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Find the right human services career for you

January 23, 2015

Human services specialists provide social services, counseling, and treatment to help people stabilize their lives.

Their clients face immediate challenges ranging from food insecurity to dangerous home situations, as well as acute or chronic physical or mental health issues.

The variety of human services careers available makes this field appealing to many different types of people. There are high-touch careers that involve a high degree of personal interaction with clients; medium-touch careers that are more managerial in nature, and low-touch careers for those who prefer to work behind the scenes.

1. High-touch careers

A high-touch human services career is ideal for those who thrive on person-to-person interaction and are energized by seeing the impact of their work firsthand. Examples include:

  • Housing Stabilization Case Managers work with housing-insecure clients to help them become self-sufficient and find stable housing. They perform one-on-one crisis assessments, assist clients in setting goals, and help clients manage relations with landlords and school districts.
  • Behavioral Health Therapists work with clients who struggle with mental health issues. They complete initial diagnoses of clients, assess the factors that aggravate mental health conditions, coordinate with primary care providers about clients’ treatment goals, and help clients get the assistance they need from government agencies.

2. Medium-touch careers

A medium-touch career is ideal for those who want managerial careers and still want to be involved with clients. Examples include:

  • Wellness Program Coordinators create health initiatives for the community, such as programs that help aging populations maintain physical capabilities. Their work includes designing and scheduling classes, as well as leading community outreach.
  • Community Service Directors work within universities to develop and execute service, learning, and civic engagement opportunities for students and faculty. They recruit and train student volunteers, develop strategies for community service, and assess the impact of programs.

3. Low-touch careers

Low-touch human services careers often involve helping organizations build their infrastructure to provide services to people in need. Examples include:

  • Grant Managers administer the funding process for human services organizations. They monitor funding opportunities, administer organizations’ grant portfolios, and track which programs are funded.
  • Social Services Directors lead organizations in implementing public assistance, social services, and employment programs. They develop policies and procedures, manage how their organization delivers services, and evaluate program effectiveness.

Whether you want to work directly with people in need, lead other service providers, or support social service organizations, Capella University offers an online human services degree that will prepare you for a career that fits you.

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program.

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