Online Colleges for Social Work and Human Services

Social work and human services careers are set to explode in the next few years. The aging of the Baby Boom generation and a faltering economy means that these workers--who help clients solve problems that range from personal-relationship issues to disabilities to unemployment--are expected to be in-demand. Whether you want to become a social worker or social and human services assistant, an education in the social work and human services field could be advantageous to you.

Social Work and Human Services Online Programs

Certificate or associate degrees in areas such as gerontology, human services or other related fields are often preferred for those wanting to work as a social and human services assistant, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These people often act as aides to social workers and other professionals working in related social service and health areas. Social workers need to have more education and a bachelor's degree is usually a basic requirement to start in the field. Master's degrees can be required in some positions, according to the BLS. While it's important to receive the necessary training to succeed in your field, online social work and human services degrees could help you in this endeavor. These programs can help you gain knowledge in specialized areas such as addiction, child protection, gerontology, sociology, psychology and more. Example degrees that might interest you that are available online include a Bachelor's of Science degree in Human Services, a Master's degree in Professional Counseling and a PhD in Human Services-Clinical Social Work. There are sundry other online programs that could help you work toward your goals--whether you want to become an assistant in the social services field or a full-fledged social worker.

Opportunities for social and human services assistants are expected to grow by 23 percent during the 2008-2018 decade. This could create more than 75,000 new job opportunities for those working in the field. However, because the mean earned wages for workers in the field were just $30,100, it could be worthwhile to pursue at least a four-year degree to become a social worker. Employment opportunities for social workers are expected to grow by 16 percent during the 2008-2018 with the largest growth predicted for those working specifically as medical and public health social workers or mental health and substance abuse social workers, according to the BLS. Mean earned wages for those working in these two categories were $49,200 and $41,880, respectively. There are many other occupations that are available to those who are interested in meeting the needs of others in a social service-like setting. Alternate occupations include child care, counseling, health education, occupational therapy and more.