The field of Counseling and Human Services is continuously changing and adapting within the context of modern society. As a result, there is a constant need for qualified professionals who have a strong understanding of the personal and social issues that people face every day. Many well-established colleges and universities throughout the United States have created specialized programs for professionals in the Counseling and Human Services field. Through advanced degree programs and online coursework, individuals are able to gain the knowledge and experience necessary for effectively meeting people’s needs in a variety of settings. Selecting a program that will help you to satisfy your career goals is the first step in launching a successful career in Counseling and Human Services.
What is Counseling and Human Services?
Counseling and Human Services encompasses jobs that aim to provide assistance to improve people’s overall quality of life and meet people’s individual needs. The challenges that people face are wide-ranging, and thus this field includes the disciplines of Counseling, Clinical Mental Health, Human Services, Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation, Social Work, and Behavior Analysis. Counselors typically take on an area of specialty through an advanced degree program. Clinical Mental Health professionals are trained to address the personal and social issues that affect people’s mental well-being, while Human Services professionals serve clients through public outreach organizations. Professionals in Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation are trained to manage conflict. Social Workers use their knowledge of human development and social institutions to assist people through difficult challenges that arise in their lives. Behavior Analysts use the scientific study of behavior to help people to improve their quality of life.
Advancing your Counseling and Human Services Education
Most careers in Counseling and Human Services require a Bachelor’s degree, but in an ever-changing field, a specialized degree is highly recommended. In order to gain specialized knowledge within a discipline of Counseling and Human Services, many professionals complete advanced degree programs within an area of specialty. Each discipline approaches the personal and social issues in people’s lives from a specific angle. For example, a Behavior Analyst would address an individual’s challenges from a different angle than that of a Clinical Mental Health professional or a Social Worker. Determining the aspect of Counseling and Human Services that most appeals to you, while factoring in your personal strengths and abilities, may help you to determine the advanced degree program that best suits your career goals.
Counseling and Human Services Degrees
Specialized degree programs will focus your skills and knowledge, preparing you to address the personal and social issues that people face within specific settings. Many colleges and universities currently offer degrees in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health, Human Services, Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation, Social Work, and Behavior Analysis for individuals seeking a specialized education in one of those disciplines. Consider online degree programs in Counseling and Human Services for a more flexible schedule that may better suit your professional level or family situation.
- Counseling Degree: Most counseling professionals are required to hold at least a master’s degree in counseling. Focusing their studies on an area of specialty will prepare students to provide counseling services to people in a variety of settings. A degree in counseling also propels students toward meeting states’ requirements for independent practice.
- Clinical Mental Health Degree: An advanced degree in Clinical Mental Health will equip students to help people to address the personal and social issues that may interfere with their lives. Many Clinical Mental Health programs are practice-oriented, providing students with a combination of classroom and field experiences.
- Human Services Degree: A master’s degree in Human Services prepares students with the skills needed to take on a role in serving clients through a variety of public outreach organizations. Degree programs allow students to learn counseling skills, oral communication skills, management skills, and research skills.
- Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation Degree: A Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation degree trains students to analyze and address conflict effectively. Students learn how to manage conflict in a professional manner.
- Social Work Degree: A degree in Social Work gives students the knowledge and background to assist other people through the difficult challenges they face in their lives. In order to help people cope with a wide range of difficult issues, social workers must understand human development and behavior, and they must have a deep knowledge of the influences of social, economic, and cultural institutions on modern society.
- Behavior Analysis Degree: Behavior Analysis is a discipline of psychology that involves the scientific study of behavior. An advanced degree in Behavior Analysis prepares students to apply the principles of behavior analysis to help enhance people’s quality of life.
Counseling and Human Services Schools & Colleges
It is important to consider your desired area of specialty when selecting the best college or university for meeting your needs. Your individual abilities and strengths may also determine the discipline that best suits your interests and skills. With many options for degree programs at accredited schools, it should not be difficult to find programs in your desired discipline. Think about factors such as online course offerings, faculty, and school reputation when making your final choice.
- Wake Forest University: Wake Forest University is a private university in North Carolina that combines the personal attention of a small liberal arts college with the broad opportunities of a leading research institution. The university is committed to educating innovative global leaders. Its undergraduate program offers degrees in Psychology and Sociology, while students can receive advanced degrees in Psychology, Counseling, and Human Services.
- Abilene Christian University: A private Christian college located in Texas, Abilene Christian University is committed to educating students for Christian service and leadership. The school’s mission centers on research, exemplary teaching, and meaningful service to society. Students can receive bachelor’s degrees in Family Studies, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology. The university offers advanced degrees in Social Work, Psychology, and Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation.
- University of New England: The University of New England is an independent university in Maine that has a strong commitment to academic excellence. The university offers a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs, providing numerous opportunities for fieldwork, clinical experiences, research, internships, and global experiences at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate programs include Psychology and Social Relations, Psychology, and Sociology, while the University of New England School of Social Work offers master’s degrees both on campus and online.
- Case Western Reserve University: Ranked among the best colleges in America, Case Western University is a leading research institute located in Ohio. The university seeks to improve people’s lives through research, education, and creative endeavor. Case Western Reserve University offers degrees in Psychology, Sociology, and Social Welfare. The Master of Science in Social Administration program prepares students for advanced social work practice in a variety of settings. The university also offers a School Social Work program designed to train school social workers to practice in a variety of traditional and non-traditional settings.
Counseling and Human Services Careers & Salary
Salaries of professionals in Counseling and Human Services vary widely. Factors such as an individual’s education, experience, and position make a difference in that individual’s salary. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for a Counseling professional ranges from $32,000 to $62,000, depending upon area of expertise and location. Social Workers receive a median wage of $42,480, while Marriage and Family Therapists receive a median wage of $45,720.
- What Can I Do with a Major in Social Work: Learn about the career opportunities that exist within the field of social work.
Counseling and Human Services Resources
It is crucial for individuals in Counseling and Human Services to remain current with the most up-to-date research and information. This website contains vital information and numerous articles to inform Counseling and Human Services professionals of the latest news.
- How has Social Work Changed in the Past 10 Years: Discover the progression of the field of social work and what it means for the field.
- What is Social Work: Learn what it means to be a social worker and about the opportunities in the industry.