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College of Education

Claudius G. Clemmer

Why should I study the field of Human Services?

People. Growth. Assistance.

Human Services integrates human development, counseling, education, psychology, social work, sociology, anthropology, criminology, and other health related fields into professionals and organizations directly helping people with their needs and aspirations as well as their problems and concerns.

Human Service Practitioners are generalists who work in public and private organizations, nonprofit, education, corporate, and religious settings where assistance is given for human development and learning. Work settings include treatment facilities, community agencies, in home counseling, foster care, institutional settings, mental health agencies, schools, hospitals, child and youth centers, adult care, foundations, and both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Human service workers are major change agents that assess, plan, and implement programs for helping others gain solutions to personal, family, professional, and community problems.

Known by the variety of their titles and work, uniting a composite of disciplines, Human Service Practitioners might refer to themselves as youth counselors, community advocates, program directors, program coordinators, grant writers, case managers, child life specialists, in-home counselors,  mental health technicians, foster parent trainers, community organizers, unit directors, group leaders, rehabilitation workers, community health workers, recreational therapists, life coaches, child care workers, adoption specialists, student activity leaders, therapeutic assistants, residential counselors, behavior specialist, teaching assistants, group home supervisors, executive directors, fundraisers, volunteer coordinators, family liaisons, substance abuse counselors, youth ministers, social work assistants, behavioral technicians, training specialists, life skills instructors, wilderness counselors, food bank coordinators, youth service officers, and child or adult protective workers. For more information regarding areas of opportunity, employers, and information/strategies related to the Human Services profession check out ETSU's "What can I do with this major?" at http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/human-services/.

The majority of positions in the helping professions are met by those with baccalaureate degrees, yet many continue into graduate school to expand their qualifications, licensure, employment, and earning opportunities. Keep in mind that a graduate degree in counseling is required to be a licensed professional counselor. Being a professional in human services is a career building process, one where it is important to start in direct care and work up, where experience is gained while providing services which are augmented by additional training and education. The prospects for employment in this field are excellent. Human Services is touted as one of the leading job categories for the future. The field is personally rewarding, the kind of career that gives back in meaning and satisfaction.

Please see www.etsu.edu/coe/chs for information about our Counseling and Human Services degrees.

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