Working for the Department of Health and Human Services: What You Need to Know

If you are considering a human services career, you have probably done at least some research about your opportunities for employment. Because you will be qualified for positions in government organizations, group homes, community centers, health care facilities and other environments after completing an online human services degree program like the one offered by Brescia University, your career could take any number of paths. However, one of the largest and most significant employers of human services professionals is the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This organization is part of the federal government and aims to help improve the quality of life for many Americans. It is the government’s primary agency for protecting the public health and providing services that improve overall quality of life and help individuals meet basic needs.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) comprises a network of agencies that includes 11 operating divisions and 10 regional offices throughout the country. Its permeability and large scope of service make this organization a popular choice for human services students who are involved in the job search. We’ve put together a profile of this department to serve as a guide for prospective and current human services students who are researching their career path options.

Here are just a few of the roles that this department fills in communities across the country:

  • Providing access to high-quality health care
  • Helping people find employment
  • Helping parents find affordable childcare
  • Innovating how diseases are diagnosed and treated
  • Keeping infectious disease under control

The various programs and services that this department provides serve millions of Americans every day. If you want your career to be about helping people and directly causing social change, completing an online human services degree program is the perfect first step.

Health and Human Services Agencies, Programs and Services

HHS works closely with both state and local governments. This means that many HHS-funded services are provided at the community level by state or county agencies and even through the private sector. The department includes the U.S. Public Health Service and the Office of the Secretary Staff Divisions, as well as various operating divisions and regional offices. For more information on the department’s structure, visit the website.

  • Health care insurance is one of the biggest areas of HHS. The Department of Health and Human Services operates Medicare, the nation’s largest health insurer, as well as Medicaid. These two programs alone provide health insurance for one in four Americans.
  • Public health is another area in which the department provides programs and services to its clients. HHS works to modernize health care and improve the quality of patient care. It also functions as a system that promotes accountability and efficiency, provides patient safety and works toward increasing the quality of life for those it serves within communities. One of the main goals of HHS is to improve access to health care for those who are uninsured, special needs, underserved or vulnerable.
  • Social service is critical to the mission of HHS. The various agencies under the department’s jurisdiction work together within and across departments to streamline programs, services and policies that are designed to improve the overall wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. Many of these services are performed by state, local and tribal partners.
  • Research is yet another area in which HHS aims to improve public health. By funding and carrying out research, HHS works to increase our understanding of how to best progress health care and human services, as well as safe medical and food products. These efforts strive to identify, implement, analyze and evaluate current and new approaches to health care and public service. Sustainability and efficiency are its main concern.

Human Services Careers with the HHS

If you are considering getting an associate’s degree in human services through a program like Brescia’s, employment at the HHS could be an exciting opportunity for you. HHS has a wide variety of programs and services that make it an ideal employment resource for human services professionals. Spanning the disciplines of health care, social service and research among others, there are a wide variety of options for careers. HHS employs individuals from diverse social and academic backgrounds in a wide variety of human services positions. For more information about career paths and job options, visit the HHS careers page.

Human Services at Brescia

Brescia offers a 100% online Associate of Arts in Human Services degree. You can complete the associate’s degree and then apply your credits directly to Brescia’s online bachelor’s degree programs in social work, psychology, theology or integrated studies as well. Students enrolled in Brescia’s human services program gain the skills needed to work with individuals, groups and communities. You will learn to work with people of diverse racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The degree coursework focuses on crisis counseling and intervention, theory, case management, information systems and other human services areas. Major subject requirements are in the fields of psychology, sociology, biology and social work. Students are required to complete 63 credit hours.

For more information about our online associate’s degree in human services, visit our Online Programs page.