If you love working with people and are interested in learning how to help create better, more effective societal systems that support the well-being of people on a local, state, and federal level, you should consider earning your degree in human services online.
Online human services jobs are available in a variety of fields, including law enforcement (probation officers), social services (social workers), mental health (substance abuse and trauma counselors), medical (mental health nursing), and more.
What Is an Online Human Services Degree?
When you earn an online human services degree, you're making it clear that you care about people and want to dedicate your professional life to increasing advancement and healing opportunities for people going through a tough time. People who choose to earn human services degrees are typically empathetic, optimistic, caring, and excited about the possibility of creating positive change in their communities.
Earning your online human services degree can be a smart way to boost your education while continuing to gain experience working in your field. Your online human services degree can be completed on your own time, making it easier for you to go through the process of earning your degree without having to change your lifestyle or schedule. Many people earning their human services degree online while working can draw on their real-life work experience to inform their coursework. Attending online classes also gives people in the human services field a chance to connect with others in similar jobs, allowing them to make lasting connections that can further their career path.
What Course Work Can I Expect with a Human Services Degree Program?
When you take online classes, it's wise to look into the format of the human services degree programs you're considering. Some courses require synchronous work. This means you must attend class online at a specific time. While you can still hop on your laptop from anywhere, you'll need to ensure your schedule can accommodate this requirement.
Other courses are asynchronous, meaning you'll watch lectures, complete assignments, and post on discussion boards on your own time without having to adhere to a schedule set by a professor. If you're someone who has a schedule that makes it hard to attend online classes during regular business hours, it may make more sense for you to choose an asynchronous program that allows you to work when it makes sense for you.
Some programs offer a combination of synchronous and asynchronous courses. For example, a hybrid program may require you to sign on for a weekly lecture at the same time as other students in your program, allowing you to ask and answer questions in real time, but then you complete the rest of your coursework when your schedule allows.
No matter what type of online program you choose, it's likely that you'll find similar coursework requirements. Online programs often require you to interact with other students in the class, even though you aren't physically meeting with one another in a classroom. This may mean completing group projects, participating in discussion boards, and commenting on one another's work with constructive criticism. You'll likely also need to turn in writing assignments, like submitting a weekly reflection on required reading or submitting regular papers on topics discussed in class. Some online programs require students to take exams, while others only require students to submit essays. Before starting an online human services degree program, it's a good idea to talk with a student advisor to learn more about the requirements for the degree program you're considering.
You Know You Want to Help People–Is Human Services the Right Fit for You?
You're not alone if you're having trouble choosing the best career path. Deciding what degree to earn is a big decision, and it's best to take your time deciding whether a human services online degree program is right for you.
If you're not sure you're interested in the human services field, it can be a good idea to job shadow someone already working the job you'd like to have after graduation. This can give you a good idea if you're headed in the right direction with your education.
Talking with a career or school counselor can help you decide whether a human services major suits your personality and career goals. Getting an outside opinion on whether you're making the right choices regarding your education and career is typical. An experienced counselor could help you decide what educational path to take and may even point out factors you haven't considered. There's no need to be ashamed of feeling uncertain about your academic future. Talking with a counselor about whether the human services field is a good fit can help you proceed confidently if you enroll in an online human services degree program.
People who are successful in the human services field tend to maintain a high level of optimism under stress. One of the most common issues that people working in human services have seeing clients repeatedly return for the same issue. It can be challenging when a human services worker is doing their best to help someone else, but their help does not seem to make a difference in a person's life. As you work through earning your human services degree, you'll learn more about why people become stuck in behavioral patterns and why you shouldn't take it personally when someone needs your help more than once to figure out how to move forward in life.
A human services career might be right for you if you genuinely desire to help people and make a difference in their lives and understand how difficult it can be to help people make a real, lasting change. The more you can educate yourself about the inherent challenge of effecting change within human services, the better you'll stand the test of time in your career field (and provide genuine, compassionate help to people who need it).
How Will an Online Human Services Degree Prepare Me for My Career?
When you earn an online human services degree, you'll get the chance to interact with and learn from professors with years of experience in the field. No matter how much you read about what it's like to work in human services, it's impossible to replicate the value of being taught by someone who has been in the trenches. Connecting with others doing the type of work you're interested in can give you a clear picture of what to expect in your field.
Your online human services degree will expose you to new facets of human services you have not previously considered. The more you network with classmates and get to know your professors, the more you'll learn about human services options that may be a good fit for you.
Your online human services degree will teach you the techniques required to help people move forward after tough times in their lives. By earning your human services degree online, you're committing to making a difference in the world, one life at a time. Learn more about the human services degree by reaching out to University of the Cumberlands!