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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Human Services

Majors Overview November 13, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in human services and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Graduate Programs in Human Services

Flexible human services graduate degree programs are devised to accommodate individual interests. However, a broad array of social sciences is covered, thereby training students to seek jobs in various health, community or social service organizations. Only some schools offer master’s degree programs. Incoming students to all programs are required to hold a bachelor’s degree though most schools do not insist on a specific major. Program graduates can gain experience through the completion of one or two internships. The focus of a program can vary by the specialization chosen. Concentration options offered include business, education and faith, health, organizational leadership, and family.


While different programs offer different specializations, core coursework commonly include courses with a focus on ethics, religious counseling, business, sociology, and psychology. Core coursework may commonly cover topic areas such as:

•Child development
•Society and law
•Group dynamics
•Interpersonal communication

Career Choices

Graduates of programs in human services can seek careers in sociology, psychology, counseling and business. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Human resource manager
•Healthcare consultant
•Social worker
•Group Manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a much-faster-than-average job growth rate of 29% has been predicted for mental health counselors (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, mental health counselors brought in an average annual wage of $41,500 (BLS). In the 2012 – 2022 decade, a faster-than-average job growth of 19% has been predicted for social workers who earned $44,200 per annum, on average. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth of 13% has been predicted for human resource managers. In May 2012, these professionals brought in a median annual wage of $99,720 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

While continuing education in human services is not a requirement for employers, those who seek certain types of counseling careers may need additional schooling. Varying with the preferred type of counselor job, students may opt for different graduate certificate programs. Students can choose from available continuing education options in ethics, grief, and depression, among other types of mental disorders.

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