What You Need to Know About Human Services Leadership

nurse caring for an older patient

As health care continues to grow, and with it the number of jobs available, you might find yourself considering a future in health care. With health care, the human services sector is an option to explore if you are interested in the care of individuals through appropriate knowledge and implementation of services. Though the field may appear all-encompassing, its division into human services and human services leadership helps you understand the levels of involvement you can have in your professional practice.

What Is Human Services?

Human services is defined by the National Organization of Human Services (NOHS) as meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. 

What Is Human Services Leadership?

Human services leadership will prepare you to lead human services organizations as they work to prevent and resolve the most pressing problems facing vulnerable populations in our society. While the core theory and understanding of human services is still intact, the emphasis on leadership can help you prepare to practice with a greater impact.

What Are Typical Human Services Leadership Courses?

Curriculum can vary from one institution to the next, though typical coursework in human services leadership will emphasize understanding and skills in social work and organizational leadership.

For instance, you’ll develop human services leadership knowledge in:

  • Applied Behavior Science
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Economics
  • Health Care Administration
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Promotion
  • Human Services Leadership
  • Mathematics
  • Public Administration
  • Psychology

How Does a Degree in Human Services Leadership Prepare You?

Ashford University’s Bachelor of Science in Human Services Leadership degree program aligns with the national standards for human service education outlined by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education and the human services management competencies established by The Network for Social Work Management. The primary objective of the program is to prepare human services professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote effective service delivery and program management with increased attention to planning and governance. 

Human services leadership provides a strong foundation in an array of health care skills that can be readily applied to your career path.

What Can You Do with a BS in Human Services Leadership?

Though educational programs vary, a degree in human services leadership at Ashford University will prepare you to:

  • Analyze the delivery of social and community services from a political, socioeconomic, and psychosocial perspective to inform human services leadership decision-making.
  • Apply ethical and cultural sensitivity as a human services leader in determining the scope and provision of human services for a variety of populations.
  • Evaluate local social and human services and program offerings at the individual, family, group, organization, and community levels.
  • Analyze ethical issues and challenges inherent in the administration and provision of human services from a leadership perspective.
  • Examine the development and management of community-based human services programs that support children, adolescents, adults, and families.
  • Originate research-based projects and develop proposals to implement public policy in the Human Services context.

What Are the Career Paths for Human Services Leadership?

The foundational health care and organizational skills you gain in a human services leadership degree can prepare you for a number of careers, such as:

  • Community Coordinator
  • Human Services Program Specialist
  • Outreach Specialist
  • Adoption Services Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Program Director
  • Children’s Service Supervisor
  • Probation Officer
  • Parole Officer

As you consider beginning, or perhaps extending, a future in health care, human services leadership provides a strong foundation in an array of health care skills that can be readily applied to your career path.

To get started in human services leadership or to learn more about the academic journey at Ashford University, contact an advisor today.



Written by Kelsey Bober, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education

Questions? Talk with an Advisor