he demand for graduates in the field of human services is growing at a rapid pace as addictions and mental health issues affect a growing number of Canadians. The knowledge, skills, and abilities required to help individuals with these issues come from a balance of analytical and interpersonal skills.

Derek Stockley knows what it takes to go through the learning process, adapting the skills and tools required to help others. With over 10 years of experience as a marriage and family therapist, Stockley made a move that would allow him to help more people. He became a teacher.

“Teaching across the college platform allowed me to really get to know the students and help them achieve their goals. It was a very rewarding experience”, says Stockley, now Dean of the School of Social & Community Services at Humber. “Human Services programs are about more than delivering an education, they are designed to help change lives. You need more than a teacher and a textbook for that. You need professors who are willing to share their experiences with you while you are learning the practical skills. At Humber, we offer small class sizes to enhance the learning experience. Our industry partners play an important role not only in shaping a realistic view of what is needed in the field today but also in providing the work placement opportunities that give our students highly valuable hands-on experience.”

Choose from these career paths

Careers in human services focus on helping people in crisis with treatments that range from prevention to intervention, with the goal of improving their quality of life. Depending on the student’s personality, there are many paths available, from the more analytic to the person-centric.

Behavioural science is the study of human behaviour through analysis, investigation, and observation. Emphasis is placed on identifying the factors that contribute to the behaviours in order to assist individuals to create change that will enhance their quality of life.

Making a meaningful difference in the lives of children and youth comes through understanding the complex challenges they face due to systemic barriers, mental illness, the impact of trauma, or
developmental challenges.

Regardless of the role you choose in human services, having the proper skills and mind-set is critical.

Developmental services careers help people who have disabilities lead productive lives. Skills needed to support people with intellectual disabilities, autism, and physical challenges include intervention techniques, augmentative forms of communication, skills in building interpersonal relationships, and counselling techniques.

Social service workers impact the lives of many via work settings such as women’s shelters, refugee centres, youth employment agencies, drop-in centres for the homeless and under-housed, and group homes. Individuals in this field require the skills to intervene during a crisis and to help people experiencing poverty, settlement challenges, domestic violence, mental health issues and substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, and other challenging life events.

Regardless of the role you choose in human services, having the proper skills and mind-set is critical. If you are passionate about helping others, this career choice may be right for you.