Community colleges, universities and colleges are among the schools offering 2-year associate degrees in human services, which are typically offered as Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science programs for those who hold a high school diploma or GED. There may also be internships to gain field experience.
Students earning associate degrees in human services learn to help people needing various types of community assistance. Social policy, diversity and advocacy are emphasized in these programs that also teach students to hone their listening, observing and critical thinking skills.
Associate Degree in Human Services
Human services coursework is often grounded in sociology and psychology. In addition to classroom instruction, students may also gain practical experience through internships and fieldwork. Required course topics may include:
- Counseling concepts
- Human development and behavior
- Sociology and psychology
- Communications and personal relationships
- Domestic violence and social welfare
Popular Career Options
Graduates of this degree program may find employment in a variety of professional settings, such as rehab centers, mental health clinics, corrections departments and public aid offices. Specific occupations include:
- Public services aide
- Social work assistant
- Volunteer coordinator
- Case management aide
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment growth of social and human services assistants was expected to be 11% from 2014-2024. Based on findings by the BLS, the median salary for social and human service assistants was $30,830 in 2015.
Although graduates may be prepared for many different entry-level human service positions, those aspiring to advanced careers, such as a social worker, may need more education. Credits from an associate degree program may transfer to a bachelor's degree program in human services or a related field.
The curriculum of a human services associate degree program typically revolves around how to interact and help individuals, groups and families. Given the possible areas of concentration, graduates can pursue human services positions in a variety of professional settings.