How to choose a career in the helping profession

February 15, 2019

You care deeply about helping others.

Assisting others as they overcome challenges brings you joy and satisfaction. You want to help others access the resources and support they need.

How do you turn that passion into a career? The options for working in the helping profession are seemingly endless, but if you’ve done some exploration, you know that each professional path requires a different type of educational focus.

What’s the right program for you? Read through the following statements and decide which one most aligns with your goals.

1. You want to treat people directly, in a clinical setting.

Consider programs focused on behavioral health. There is a continued need for licensed counselors, psychologists, and social workers to help people seeking assistance for marriage and family problems, job stress, addiction, depression, and mental illness.

2. You want to help individuals or groups achieve their potential in a non-clinical setting.

Consider programs focused on leadership and performance. Professionals with a degree in psychology but without a license can assist organizations and people with performance issues through leadership, coaching, and inspiration. With a deep knowledge of how the mind works and how human behavior shapes interactions, such professionals understand what motivates individuals, groups, and teams to achieve success.

3. You want to collect and communicate research. You want to teach and train the next generation of helping professionals.

Consider programs focused on education and research. People interested in helping others may decide to work behind the scenes in research, teaching, or developing academic programs.

4. You want to work in a school setting with children and adolescents, from preschool to high school.

Consider programs focused on K-12. School counselors, psychologists, and social workers assist young people with their social, emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges making them more resilient as they move into adulthood.

5. You want to collaborate with other professionals to create policies and programs that encourage communities to grow and thrive.

Consider programs focused on human services. Human services professionals help people navigate challenges or chronic situations—like hunger, homelessness, or unemployment—and provide guidance to allow people to move forward with their lives and regain self-sufficiency. In the wider context, human services professionals work in nonprofit or government to promote public policy, legislation, and funding that furthers human services work..

Still not sure how to transform your passion for helping others into a career path?

Sometimes the best way to get to where you want to go is with the help of a trusted advisor.Contact Capella University and you’ll be matched with an enrollment counselor who will ask targeted, thoughtful questions to help you find the career path and program that best fits you.

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