Associate of Arts (AA): Human Services Degree Overview

Associate of Arts in Human Services programs provide an introduction to social services programs. Students in Associate of Arts in Human Services programs have the opportunity to learn theoretical and practical applications through coursework and internship experience.

Essential Information

Associate of Arts in Human Services programs are designed to provide students with an overview of the sociological, psychological and economic theories and applications of importance in the field of social services. Students learn to work with families and communities in educational and work-related settings. Many programs require that students gain experience through volunteer work experiences or paid internships with human resources organizations. Applicants to an associate's degree program need a high school diploma or the equivalent.

  • Program Levels in Human Services: Associates of arts degrees
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Hands-on Learning: Paid or volunteer internship in the field is required

Associate of Arts in Human Services

Associate of Arts in Human Services programs explore social, political and economic systems, as well as group behavior, social and cognitive development, service delivery and human development.Throughout a 2-year program, students investigate sociology principles, developmental psychology and crisis intervention. They also delve into professional development, learning theories and group values. Learning in these topics is reinforced through volunteer or paid internships. Students in an associate's degree program may study topics such as:

  • Human biology
  • Casework methods
  • Marriage topics
  • Family topics
  • Community health
  • Personal health

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Associate of Arts in Human Services programs are typically designed for transfer into a 4-year program; however, students may be able to find entry-level positions as a social service assistant or human service assistant. Human service assistants can find career opportunities offered through health care and social assistance industries or government organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job prospects for social and human service assistants is supposed to be excellent with a much faster than average growth of 22% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reported that social and human service assistants had median annual wages of $29,790 in May 2014.

Continuing Education Information

After obtaining an associate's degree in human services, graduates can continue their education by pursuing a bachelor's degree in human services or a related field, such as social work. Bachelor's degrees programs provide further education in social justice and applied research, as well as hands-on practical experience through internships.

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