Online human services PhD programs or a doctorate in human services may focus on criminal justice, counseling, counseling psychology, social work, non-profit management, ministry, family studies and other specializations, all in alignment with the inter-disciplinary nature of a human services program. Other available options in a doctorate degree in human services include behavioral medicine, clinical work, or social and community services PhD programs. Additionally, clinical work is possible in law enforcement or correctional settings.
Human services Ph. D. programs generally require at least a bachelor's degree in counseling or psychology or human services, although possibilities are also available for those with a master's degree. Like similar programs, it helps to have a strong employment record with counseling or social work.
Students re-apply the techniques of human services and/or counseling, and then conduct research on new methodologies. Coursework is varied, but most schools require practicum and residency programs for successful completion of a doctoral degree in human services. Learning emphasizes both theoretical aspect and practical application of learned skills making the graduates effective in solving problems and preparing them for the challenging task of serving the underserved populations.
In addition, depending on the specific area of specialization, obtaining a state license may be required before gaining employment as a human services employee.
Human services work involves serving the needs of diverse and underserved populations, including those struggling with illness, addiction, violence, and poverty to improve their quality of life through effective policy administration. With a PhD degree in human services, you may work in management, supervision, teaching and research.
Job opportunities are available in government agencies in social work capacities or performing research for non-governmental institutions. Prospects are much better than average for social work and other high-contact occupations, but there are no job prospects that are bad for graduates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is expected to increase, especially for organizations that target the elderly populations. No matter what humans services PhD specialization you pursue, the job market is strong whether you consider social work or research.
The wealth of opportunities for graduates of a doctorate degree in human services means that salaries can vary tremendously. In social work, salaries above $50,000 are common. However, for those working in counseling facilities, the salaries can go much higher, closer to $70,000 working in a solo office and higher for freelance and consulting work. Lateral movements among different organizations are possible, as is heading departments or social service teams.
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