Human development is an interdisciplinary degree that takes theories from diverse fields such as sociology, biology, psychology and anthropology. Although a graduate-level degree is required for most teaching positions in this field, a variety of other career options are available to people who get bachelor's degrees in these studies. Most of these careers do not require a human development degree, but having one can give you an edge over the competition for these jobs.
One of the main focuses of a liberal arts degree in human development involves working with children. Options include providing day care services, working in an after-school program or serving as an elementary or preschool school teacher. You can also work in adoption and foster services, helping connect parents with children.
As a human development professional, you'll be especially well equipped for a job in the human resources field. You can work as an HR director, helping make decisions regarding staff development and morale. You will also be well prepared to work in the customer service area of a corporation, fielding questions and helping create a system that ensures greater customer satisfaction. The degree can also qualify you to work in employment recruitment.
A human development major is uniquely qualified to work in crisis intervention involving people of all ages. These types of careers include social workers, family therapists or crisis intervention specialists. You can work or even manage a domestic violence shelter, helping women and children who are victims of abuse find help. You can provide drug or alcohol counseling to help people turn their lives around. Some of these jobs may require an additional certification that shows you are specialized in that particular field.
Human development doesn't just focus on the beginning of a person's life, it also involves assisting the senior community. With a bachelor of arts in human development, you can get a job with an assisted living home or a retirement community, developing programs that help older adults enjoy a high quality of life. You can also provide referral services and help to families of older adults who need special care.
A human development major doesn't have to take a job that involves one-on-one work with patients or people at risk. You can also work as a lobbyist in the legal field, representing issues that are important to people with developmental problems. You can work within the juvenile justice system, helping create policy that works better at rehabilitating troubled youth, or you can work as a court liaison for families with domestic issues.
- California State University East Bay: Bachelor of Arts in Human Development, College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
- Virginia Tech: Department of Human Development - Career Development & Opportunities
- University of Wisconsin Green Bay: Human Development - What Can You Do With This Major?
- UC Davis: Human Development Career Options
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