July 30, 2015  |  Jessie Budzinski, MSW  |  Updated March 15, 2022

You have been working diligently toward your bachelor's degree, juggling many responsibilities and probably doing more than you ever thought possible. With each course that you have completed, you have become more confident in your skills and excited about your graduation and entry into the workforce.

You have also probably found yourself daydreaming about what type of work you will do when you graduate. As you begin to think about your career journey in the human services field, take a minute to think about the following quote:

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

—Winston Churchill

According to the National Organization for Human Services, "The primary purpose of the human service worker is to assist individuals and communities to function as effectively as possible in the major domains of living." One of the amazing things about the human services field is that it can provide a variety of populations and settings that you can work with and in. It can often be helpful to initially search for job listings based on your area of interest, for example child and family welfare, human service administration, or gerontology. Hopefully, your passion for your area of study has grown and you are ready and excited to begin working in that field.

As a human services bachelor's degree student, you may have had the opportunity to explore areas including but not limited to child and family welfare, administration, and gerontology. Possible career opportunities in the human services field could include*:

  • Family support worker
  • Community organizer
  • Human services administrator
  • Residential counselor
  • Program coordinator
  • Eldercare worker
  • Child welfare worker
  • Client advocate
  • Adoption services manager
  • Social services director
  • Youth worker
  • Eligibility counselor

Gaining Experience in Human Services

If you are new to the human services field or are worried about your lack of experience or knowledge in the field, take a minute to review the following opportunities:

Volunteering

Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In the human services field, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you're interested in. For example, if you are interested in child welfare, you could volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), where you could have the opportunity to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in your community. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could be of benefit to your career.

Internships

An internship allows for hands-on practical experience in your field of study while earning credit toward your degree. It also allows you to make connections and network with other professionals in your community. This experience is invaluable when you begin your job search. If you are a bachelor’s student and have at least a 2.0 GPA, a minimum of at least 30 completed hours toward your degree, and room in your degree plan for a 6-credit elective course, you should consider taking AS495: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Internship. Reach out to your Student Advisor for more information.

The Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP™) Credential

The HS-BCP™ credential allows individuals with a human services degree to advance their careers by gaining independent verification of their knowledge in the field and their educational background. Individuals must meet post-degree experience requirements, have their educational and professional experience reviewed, and pass a national exam to receive the credential. Students who are enrolled in the associate’s, bachelor’s, or master's degree programs in human services are eligible to take the exam at a discounted rate. Students must be in good academic standing and have 15 or fewer semester hours left to complete to qualify to register for the exam.

Purdue University Global’s campus coordinator for the HS-BCP™ credential is Jessie Budzinski. Please see the Center for Credentialing and Education for more information about the exam and how to register. It is important to note that this credential is optional and not required by the University or employers.

Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master's Program

The accelerated bachelor’s to master’s degree is for exceptional bachelor’s degree students who are interested in continuing to pursue their graduate degree at Purdue Global. You can work toward completing your bachelor’s degree while simultaneously completing graduate core courses. Once successfully completed, you can apply to the master’s degree in human services program and the graduate classes will transfer into the corresponding graduate program. You must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, up to 20 open elective credits available on your degree plan, and completed between 30–100 credit hours to be eligible for this program. If you meet these requirements, this program might be a great fit for you. 

Please reach out to your Student Advisor or the Assistant Department Chair in Human Services, Jessie Budzinski, if you have questions about any of the above opportunities.

Filed in: Human Services


About the Author

Jessie Budzinski, MSW

Jessie Budzinski, MSW, is Assistant Department Chair for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ Human Services department. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Purdue Global.


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NOTES AND CONDITIONS

*Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment.