Americans with addiction and substance problems are looking for professional help with their afflictions more than ever before. That, combined with an aging population, largely explains why positions in human services and social work are expanding rapidly throughout the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in social and human services are expected to increase 22% throughout the decade, making it one of the fastest growing fields in the country. As the demand for qualified professionals rises, there has never been a better opportunity to pursue a position in human services.
An associate degree in human services provides graduates with the necessary training and skills to work in the field and to begin a rewarding career. Increasingly, students interested in human services are earning their associate degree online. Studying online allows students to balance their school responsibilities with other obligations, which is particularly useful for working professionals or parents with young children.
Additionally, more and more schools offer online programs in human services with each passing year. This allows students to find a curriculum that matches their academic interests and professional ambitions. A degree in human services prepares students for a variety of career paths ranging from youth counseling to criminal justice administration, and students can train for any of these careers in an online program.
Below, we’ve ranked the top online associate in human services programs. These schools provide a robust curriculum adept at developing compassionate and effective social workers in a variety of fields. If you’re interested in beginning a human services degree, consider starting your research with a look at these premier colleges.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Niagara County Community College||Sanborn||$$$$$||3111 Saunders Settlement Rd|
Sanborn, NY 14132
Niagara's online human services associate degree program prepares students for careers in social work. While some graduates pursue their bachelor's in the field, many find immediate employment in early childhood centers, elderly care facilities, substance abuse treatment centers or government organizations. While everyone takes the same core classes, Niagara's flexible curriculum allows distance learners to customize their schedule as they complete their online associates degree in human services.
|2||Ivy Tech Community College||Indianapolis||$$$$$||50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive|
Indianapolis, IN 46208-5752
The online associate degree in human services program at Ivy Tech caters to students interested in counseling and social service careers. Students are equipped with the skills to manage the psychological, social and environmental needs of people of all ages. Ivy Tech embraces hands-on learning, and all graduates are expected to complete at least two internships during their time in the program. Most coursework is conducted through Blackboard, including online lectures, videos and exams.
|3||Ocean County College||Toms River||$$$$$||College Drive|
Toms River, NJ 08754-2001
Ocean County’s public services degree allows students to pursue careers in the rewarding field of human services. Upon completing their general education requirements, students are allowed to specialize in addictions counseling, child care, developmental disabilities, fire science or social work. The school uses Pearson Learning Studio to facilitate their distance learning program. Pearson allows students to register for classes, communicate with faculty and access course materials.
|4||Horry-Georgetown Technical College||Conway||$$$$$||2050 Highway 501 East|
Conway, SC 29526
HGTC's online associate degree in human services program prepares students for careers in a range of human service positions. The curriculum introduces distance learners to counseling theory, crisis intervention, behavior modification and rehabilitation. Students interested in progressing directly to the field are qualified for work in substance abuse treatment programs, child care, mental health centers, group homes and elderly care facilities. HGTC’s uses Desire2Learn to facilitate their online courses. Here, students can check their grades, access discussion forums and view all course materials.
|5||South Central College||North Mankato||$$$$$||1920 Lee Blvd|
North Mankato, MN 56003-1920
SCC's program in community social service prepares graduates for work in health, human service and education. The program includes coursework in physical development support, facilitating positive behavior, interventions, basic nursing and social work. SCC’s certificate, diploma and degree offerings provide a solid foundation for students interested in going straight to work or transferring to other institutions. All online materials are hosted on SCC’s own Online Student Lounge, which supports lectures, exams and discussion forums.
|6||Bismark State College||Bismarck||$$$$$||1603 Edwards Ave.|
Bismarck, ND 58506-5587
The human services associate degree online program at BSC prepares students for entry-level employment in most social service industries. Designed with flexibility in mind, students are encouraged to tailor the curriculum to suit their interests and career goals. Upon graduation, distance learners can work in schools, welfare agencies, group home settings, community organizations and geriatric services. All online resources and materials are available through the North Dakota University System's own web platform, which offers 24/7 online tech support for all students.
|7||Alexandria Technical & Community College||Alexandria||$$$$$||1601 Jefferson Streeet|
Alexandria, MN 56308
The human services practitioner program is designed for working professionals who would like to advance their careers and enhance their skillset. The program is specifically centered around community support for people living with disabilities. Most coursework focuses on facilitating positive behavior, interventions, developmental support, psychology, welfare services and child care. With the exception of an internship, all coursework and exams are available on Distance Minnesota, ATCC’s preferred web platform for distance learning.
|8||Columbia College - Missouri||Columbia||$$$$$||1001 Rogers Street|
Columbia, MO 65216
In order to meet the rapidly growing demand for social work professionals, Columbia College offers a human services associate degree online. Though their training at CC, students may pursue careers in public policy, parole offices, advocacy and the federal government. The curriculum values empirical knowledge and a practical curriculum. Online materials are hosted through Desire2Learn. Here, students can find assignments, exams, notes, lectures and much more.
|9||Franklin Pierce University||Rindge||$$$$$||40 University Drive|
Rindge, NH 03461-0060
Franklin Pierce's human services program introduces students to counseling techniques applicable to people of all ages and backgrounds. The curriculum includes courses in psychology, sociology and social work, and it provides students with a variety of problem solving strategies. Coursework also focus on race and ethnic relations to equip students with the appropriate knowledge for understanding cultural roles in social development. Online coursework is available through FPU’s eCollege.
|10||Great Basin College||Elko||$$$$$||1500 College Parkway|
Elko, NV 89801
Graduates of GBC's online human services associate degree programs excel in client interaction and development. The school prepares students for employment in mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics and community health organizations. Some courses require students to shadow social work professionals, teaching them to practically apply the skills they learn in class. GBC uses Canvas to host online lectures and other distance learning materials.
|11||Brescia University||Owensboro||$$$$$||717 Frederica St|
Owensboro, KY 42301-3023
Brescia's online human services associate degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in social services, mental health facilities and developmental social institutions. Coursework teaches students how to work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds in counseling and case management situations. Outside of general education requirements, most coursework focuses on social work, sociology, psychology and biology. This degree may be completed entirely online through BU’s Learning House platform.
|12||Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional Studies||Elizabethtown||$$$$$||One Alpha Drive|
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
The human services associate degree online at EC provides students with the fundamental skills and concepts needed for employment in various social work positions. Courses range from basic graduation requirements to specializations in marriage counseling, welfare programs, addiction disorders and rehabilitation. Students are encouraged to work with advisors to build a curriculum that matches their career goals and academic interests. Online materials are delivered through Canvas: here, students find lectures, class assignments and other digital materials.
A strong human services program develops empathetic and disciplined social workers capable of using a variety of strategies to improve the quality of life of the people they work with. These schools provide more than just career preparation: they teach students how to get along with people from all walks of life and how to help those in need.
Human services graduates can work in a number of different jobs. Many go on to be family counselors, substance abuse counselors, probation officers, child advocates, crisis intervention counselors, social work assistants, juvenile court liaisons, elderly care assistants and rehabilitation caseworkers. Professionals in the field report earning an average salary of roughly $30,000 per year. More importantly, they consistently report a high degree of job satisfaction, a feeling that stems from challenging and rewarding work.
In order to make a quick transition into the field, students should get as much hands-on supervised training as possible while they’re still in school. Many programs arrange individual internships and shadowing opportunities for distance learners, and you can take this time to assess how you’ll use your skills once you graduate. These internships can also help you decide whether you’re ready to enter the field, or if you’d be more comfortable continuing your education in a bachelor’s program.
Ultimately, a human services degree offers you an opportunity to enhance the lives of others in a professional capacity. If you’ve always wanted to help people for a living, consider pursuing an associate degree. A quality program thoroughly prepares students for the field, and studying online will help you get certified as quickly as possible, without requiring you to drop other obligations.