Bakersfield College's Human Services program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in a support profession. This field is interdisciplinary, meaning that knowledge from a variety of other fields of study is applied to the overall goal of helping people in areas such as mental health, development disabilities, and underserved populations.

The Human Services program opens the door to opportunities for case manager, crisis intervention, consumer advocacy, housing counseling and more. In the program you will learn about the various community and social services fields such as childcare, mental illness, support for people with disabilities, and elderly support. The Human Services program at Bakersfield College paves the way for a rewarding career enhancing the well-being of others.

What is Human Services?

Human Services is a broad field that encompasses a range of professions aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. The focus of human services is on meeting basic human needs, such as food, shelter, healthcare, and education, as well as providing support for individuals facing challenges such as poverty, addiction, and mental health issues. Professionals in the human services field may work in a variety of settings, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, healthcare facilities, schools, and private practices. The goal of human services is to help individuals and communities overcome obstacles, develop their strengths, and achieve their full potential.

Is the Human Services program right for Me?

The Human Services field is suitable for individuals who have a strong desire to help others and are interested in pursuing a career in a helping profession. People who are empathetic, compassionate, and have good communication skills are well-suited for this field. Additionally, individuals who are committed to social justice and are passionate about working with underserved populations, such as those experiencing poverty, homelessness, addiction, or mental health challenges, will find the Human Services associate degree program to be an excellent fit.

To succeed in a Human Services program and thrive in a career in this field, individuals should possess several key traits and skills, including:

  1. Empathy and compassion
  2. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  3. Cultural competence
  4. Organizational skills
  5. Flexibility and adaptability
  6. Commitment to social justice

Human Services Degree and Certificated

woman handing a can of food to another person

The major in human services provides the student with an academic background for entry-level positions in various human services agencies. It also prepares the student for upper-division work in human services and other behavioral sciences. 

One person helping another person at a front desk of an establishement

The Human Service Job Skills Certificate emphasizes classroom instruction as well as hands-on-experience through interning with community human services agencies. The field of human services is very broad. It is concerned with meeting human needs and improving the overall quality of people’s lives.

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Paying For Education

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Don’t let finances get in the way of your goals. Get help paying for college costs like tuition, books, or sometimes even the rent with a variety of financial aid options to help you reach your educational and career goals.

Careers in Human Services

Some potential career paths in Human Services include:

  • Human services management
  • Community health worker
  • Social work
  • Youth worker
  • Case management

These are just a few examples of the many careers available. The Human Services degree gives you the opportunity to change your position or specialization throughout your career.

Internship Field

Through community-based field internship placement agencies, the Human Services program provides high-quality internship experiences to students. Hands on work experience allows you to use the information and abilities mastered in the classroom. Internships in advocacy, youth, government agencies' adolescent and family services, legal services, and recovery and rehabilitation are plentiful for BC students.

A career in human services is especially rewarding for those with compassion, understanding, patience, and a willingness to serve others. Deeply committed students can make a difference by finding ways to intervene with individuals, groups and communities, problem solving, advocacy and social change. With a degree in human services, you can follow your passion for bringing about change in your community.

Getting Started in Internship

Email the program coordinator for further information, to complete an orientation, and acquire program coordinator signature and clearance to register for the field internship course(s).

Field Coordinator: Sarah Valenzuela

Graduates with a Human Services Associate of Arts may also choose to continue their education and pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field.

Student with university penant.
Beyond BC

Transfer to a University

Graduates with an Associate Degree from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.

Academic Department: Behavioral Sciences

Career & Learning Pathway: Social Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Pathway

Courses: Human Services (HMSV)

Not sure where to start? Let us help.

Meet with a Counselor

Take the right classes to meet your education and career goals. Create your Comprehensive Student Education Plan (CSEP) with your Counselor or Ed. Advisor.
Call (661) 395-4421.

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