Program Spotlight: Human Services Degree - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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December 22, 2015

Program Spotlight: Human Services Degree

When choosing a career, it's important to look at all of the options. But it's most important to choose a degree which will put you in a career that you love and are committed to for the long-term. A human services degree is unlike many others because it really is a calling. If you have a natural affinity for helping others, feel that your life is more full when you're able to contribute to a worthy cause or community need, and feel that your purpose in life is less dependent on your own success than on the success of the endeavors you're part of – human services may be your perfect fit.


Many people get involved in careers in human services because they have a personal experience with a cause that they want to improve. Though personal experience in a situation is not a requirement for this profession, empathy is.


What is a human services degree?


A human services degree prepares you for a number of professions where you'll be in a position to help and serve a community. Professional obligations will depend on the specific field, but some careers you may have heard of include working with Children and Family Services and those in mental health facilities. The settings might include a group home, halfway house, or working with children or addicts. You might find your skills suited for an agency where a portion of your time is spent in administrative duties.


A human service degree includes coursework to help you understand social problems, the psychology behind various disorders and the history of human services. A good curriculum will let you explore the different disciplines in theory as well as practice. It will offer you the basis for a long-lasting career being of service to the people you devote your time to, in any community you feel will benefit from your skills.


Some traits common for success in human services


People who excel at human services don't only need to master the mental acuity specific to their career trajectory. There are certain personality traits and mindsets which are just more advantageous to this career, including empathy, selflessness and commitment. Here are a few of the necessary traits you'll need:


• Empathy. Every person is not automatically equipped with the ability to understand that which they have not lived through. It's an important trait to cultivate for this field because your clients and the people you serve will need someone who understands where they come from, even when that person has never lived there.


• Knowledge. It's important to become well-versed in every aspect of your chosen community and to understand the social climate and other variables contributing to your client's life situations.


• Consistency. Often people who need social services also need ability to rely on professionals who never waiver. The rules here are set in stone and commitments need to be honored.
These are but a few of the traits that will come in handy for a human services professional.

If you're interested in more information about obtaining your degree in this field, please contact one of the career professionals at Geneva College to get started.


As one student noted, “Geneva does Human Services well.” A key reason for that, according to Geneva faculty, is that the Christian focus and biblical principles at Geneva provide an ideal foundation for all studies related to the treatment of individuals who are made in the image of God.