According to the 2008-2009 U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, human service workers will be one of the most rapidly growing occupations through 2014. In 2004 the median annual earnings of human service workers and assistants were $24,270. The middle 50 percent earned between $19,220 and $30,900. The top 10 percent earned more than $39,620 (source).
Many HDFS graduates take positions as social welfare workers. Employment for such workers is projected to grow very fast as well. Other graduates go on to graduate school to obtain master's degrees in social work. The median annual earnings of social workers were $34,820 in 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $27,840 and $45,140. The top 10 percent earned more than $57,860 (source). Employment for preschool teachers and child-care workers is projected to increase as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2014 (source). Students intending to work in preschool or child-care settings should discuss certification and education requirements with their academic and faculty advisers.
This list will give you an understanding of the types of organizations and kinds of jobs to which you can apply for employment. HDFS graduates work in a variety of fields: Many work in human services professions or in business, while others continue with graduate or professional study. The links at the bottom of this page may help you in clarifying career interests or possibilities for future employment in these areas.
Through their internships, many students are able to explore their tentative career paths and clarify their interests. Please consult the Internships page for more information on internship opportunities and the Degrees and Options page for information and advice on tailoring the program to complement potential career paths. For additional help or consultation, please contact the HDFS adviser, your faculty advisor, or Penn State Career Services.
In addition to the HDFS Internship, you may want to consider an Externship. Externships are available through the office of Career Services. An Externship is usually one-week long in duration and is spent at the site of a sponsoring organization working on a project. Externships are most helpful to sophomores and juniors who know their career interests and would like more exposure to actual work experience. HDFS students, for example, may be interested in an Externship in social work or human resources. It is a great way to learn more about a particular organization or a particular job. Externships do not provide academic credit.
Career Services holds Career Days in the fall and spring, which can be additional opportunities for you to meet possible employers. In addition to the fall and spring fairs, they hold a "People-to-People Career Fair" in February which specifically hosts organizations that would be of interest to HDFS students. Career Services has another excellent program called the "Mock Interview Program," which enables you to practice employment interviews. The interviews are videotaped and replayed for you. This is an excellent way to get feedback on improving your interviewing skills and gaining confidence through practice. Remember, you have to "sell yourself" and be able to explain how your major, skills, classes, internship experience, and volunteer experience make you a perfect match for the job. Visit Career Services at 101 Bank of America Career Services Center or call 865-2377.
- Human Services Professions
- Business Professions
- Graduate or Professional Study
- Careers of Recent HDFS Majors
General Careers and Job Opportunities
The following web sites may be helpful in exploring general careers and job opportunities.