- Best Online Human Services Associate Degree Programs
- Accreditation and Online Associate Degrees in Human Services
- Getting to Know Online Associate Degree Programs in Human Services
- Paying for Your Human Services Associate Degree Online
- What’s After Your Online Associate Degree in Human Services
- Furthering Your Education in Human Services
The Best Human Services Associate Degrees Offered Online
Knowing you want a career helping people may be easy enough, but choosing the right degree program to get you there might be a different story. Online associate degrees in human services provide a flexible way for students to gain the foundational human services knowledge needed for a variety of entry-level careers. In order to find a fitting program, it’s important for prospective students to do their research before enrolling in an online associate degree program. To help in that search, we’ve pinpointed schools with the best online associates in human services degrees based on quality and affordability.
Accreditation and Online Associate Degrees in Human Services
Before applying to an online human services program, make sure it’s accredited. Accreditation indicates that a school or program has met certain quality standards set by a board of experts. Look for these two main types of accreditation: institutional and programmatic.
Institutional accreditation can be awarded at the regional or national level. National accreditation is generally reserved for trade or vocational schools. Regional accreditation is generally considered more valuable, but both represent seals of approval for schools, so you can be confident with either. Students must attend an institutionally accredited school in order to qualify for federal financial aid.
Programmatic accreditation assesses individual schools or programs within an institution. For human services degrees, programmatic accreditation may be provided by the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE). This organization works to create consistent, high standards for human services education programs. Their qualifications for accreditation are evidence-based and peer-reviewed by experts in the field to help ensure programs around the country are relevant and high-quality. CSHSE accredits human services programs at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels.
Inside Online Associate Degree Programs in Human Services
Online associate degrees in human services can take many forms, so be sure to choose a program that pertains to your career goals, suits your schedule, and works within your budget. Individual programs vary, but the following information can give prospective students some guidelines to keep in mind when comparing human services associate degrees online.
Paying for Your Human Services Associate Degree Online
It’s important to have sufficient funding to complete your online associate degree in human services before enrolling in a program. Figuring out how to pay for school can be challenging, but there are many financial aid resources available to students. Here are some options to explore:
What’s After Your Online Associate Degree in Human Services?
Before beginning a degree program, students should familiarize themselves with potential career and education paths, what they entail, and the income and job growth they can bring. Researching this information ahead of time can help students make sure an online associates degree in human services is a good choice for them.
What Can You Do with an Associate Degree in Human Services?
Those who earn an associates in human services online can pursue a wide range of professions depending on personal career goals and areas of interest within the human services field. Human services graduates may find themselves in careers in the justice system, social work, healthcare, nonprofits, or community services. All of these areas provide opportunities for people who want careers focused on helping others, whether that’s providing mental health support to clients, conducting community outreach, or supporting young people in the juvenile justice system. Associate degrees in human services can also prepare students to move into various bachelor’s programs. Many schools even design their human services associate degrees to transfer seamlessly into related bachelor’s degrees. This can lead to even more career opportunities, often with greater earning potential.
Below is just a small sample of the potential career and education paths that may be available to students who earn a human services associate degree online.
How Much Can You Make with an Associate Degree in Human Services?
Many careers exist under the human services umbrella, so earnings can vary widely. Associate degrees in human services can prepare students for a range of entry-level careers, but earnings will generally increase with more experience and education. The table below illustrates the income progress of popular human services careers.
|Career||# Employed||Entry-Level||Early Career||Mid-Career||Experienced||Late Career|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||384,080||$21,480||$26,130||$33,120||$41,910||$53,380|
|Community Health Workers||56,130||$26,070||$32,280||$39,540||$51,650||$65,890|
Certifications Available to Human Services Professionals
Some careers require special certifications in order to practice, but in many cases, certifications are optional. These extra credentials can indicate a level of competency, expertise, or commitment to the field. Most entry-level human services careers do not require certification, but students may want to pursue optional credentials to increase employment opportunities. Check out some of these optional certifications human services students can pursue upon earning their online associate degree.
Furthering Your Education in Human Services
Earning an associate degree in human services can be a nice way to enter the field, but if you’re interested in building on the knowledge and skills gained in an associate program, continuing your education may be the next step. In many cases, the coursework completed in an online associates in human services can transfer directly into a bachelor’s degree. Students can continue advancing their educations to hone their knowledge and enhance their job skills, or they may want to pivot into a related degree program that still puts their human services knowledge and credits to use. Students interested in human services associate degrees may be interested in these programs as well.
Students interested in expanding their human services education can pursue an online bachelor’s degree. With an associate completed, students can often earn their bachelor’s in about two years. This is a good option for those who want to begin specializing their knowledge and pursue advanced careers.
Online Master’s in Human Services
Those who want to go even more in-depth in a particular area of human services may look into online master’s degree programs. These can help prepare students for leadership roles in their chosen specialty or help them transition into research and education careers.
Online ADN programs help prepare students to become Registered Nurses (RN). Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required for RN licensure. This degree is a great option for students who are interested in helping people in a clinical setting.
Those who want a career helping others with daily activities but don’t want to enroll in a full degree program may be interested in online home health aide certification programs. Home health aides typically work with elderly, sick, or disabled clients, and while training is necessary, a degree typically is not.