Human Services: Do You Have What It Takes?

The field of human services is focused on assisting underserved individuals, groups and communities. Human services professionals work to provide their clients with access to basic human needs such as food and medical care. Their main goal is to empower those they serve to live more independent and complete lives.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the field, there is no “typical” career path for human services professionals. For example, those who work in social services help underserved groups, such as the elderly, developmentally disabled, or those dealing with substance abuse, to attain a higher quality of life. Professionals in mental health service, on the other hand, work with clients who require counseling or rehabilitation. If this basic profile aligns with the kind of career you are interested in, then a degree in human services could be a great fit for you.

Regardless of the aspect of human services in which a professional works, certain character traits are essential. For this reason, human services is considered by many to be a calling rather than just a job. At Brescia University we understand that  human services is a rewarding field but also a challenging one, so it is important to consider whether you have the necessary attributes to enjoy the work you will do and the responsibilities you will have. To help you explore whether a career in human services is right for you, we’ve put together a list of some of the characteristics of successful human services professionals as well as a guide to just what is human services.


Human services work often takes place in fast-paced and high-stress environments, and clients are often in exceedingly difficult situations. This means that, as a professional resource, you need to be somewhat fearless and a little brave so that you aren’t daunted by the day-to-day challenges of your job.


Being able to understand and even identify with the clients that you work with is essential to human services work. To provide the best service possible, compassion is key.


Because you will be navigating social organizations and bureaucratic services, it is important to understand that change does not happen overnight. Sometimes providing clients with the services they need will take extended amounts of time. In addition, the individuals you serve will not always be cooperative, so patience is necessary.


There are large amounts of paperwork and bureaucracy involved in the work that human service workers do. Because you will be serving a wide variety of clients and dealing with many different types of cases, it is important to be organized and structured in your work.


Along with organization comes the keen sense of responsibility that is important for human services workers. Because you will serve such an important and personal role in the lives of your clients, it is important to practice due diligence and take your work seriously.


As a human services worker, you will work with individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life. Because of this, it is important to have a strong sense of tolerance and respect for diversity.


No matter what specific area of human services you work in, your responsibilities will not usually be straightforward. Your work with clients will often be nuanced and complex, and your hours will probably not be strictly 9-to-5. Being able to adapt to changes in situation is so important to human services work.


Human services work often requires you to deal with legal and ethical issues. This means that you must have a strong moral compass and understand the need for rules and regulations in the workplace.


Just as it is important to have the right personality traits for human services work, professionals in this field should also be sure to acquire the right education and training. Degree programs like Brescia’s associate degree in human services help prepare you with the skills and experience you need to be successful in the human services field.

Continuing Education

Because of the broad, interdisciplinary nature of the human services field, understanding the value of lifelong learning is important. Brescia recognizes this, and as a result we have made our associate in human services degree applicable toward a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, theology or integrated studies.

Human Services at Brescia

Brescia’s associate degree in human services is offered completely online and prepares students for a variety of entry-level human services positions. Once enrolled, you will learn to work with individuals, groups, communities and clients with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Our online human services program focuses on intervention and crisis counseling, case management, information systems, theory and other human services areas. It covers subjects such as biology, sociology, social work and psychology. The program requires 63 credits for graduation.

For more information, visit Brescia’s Online Programs page.