Master’s in Human and Family Development Career Guide
What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s Human and Family Development Program?
An online master’s in human and family development prepares students
to help adults, children and families get through an array of life
issues. Designed for greater flexibility, the online degree makes it
possible for professional students to continue working while going to
school and makes it easier to balance school and personal activities.
Classes may be taken full- or part-time, and you can choose between a
program that requires you to take all your classes online or opt for
classes that include on-campus participation. Because every online
degree program is different, it’s important to find the best one to suit
your needs and career goals.
Degrees Offered for an Online Master’s in Human and Family Development
|CONCENTRATION||DESCRIPTION||CAREERS THIS CONCENTRATION PREPARES FOR|
|Gerontology and Aging||A concentration in gerontology and aging prepares individuals to treat and assist the elderly within a community.||Social worker, health care business manager, grief counselor, physical therapist, herbalist and mental health care associate|
|Addiction Treatment Services||This concentration provides students with a solid understanding of issues facing individuals and families who are struggling with some form of addiction.||Substance abuse counselor, victim’s advocate, health educator and case manager|
|Childhood Education||Coursework provides students with the skills needed to work effectively with children in a learning environment.||Childcare center director, special education teacher, preschool teacher, elementary school teacher and child welfare worker|
|Youth and Adolescent Development||This concentration includes background on adolescent brain development and how self-esteem shapes a child’s identity. It also focuses on how children respond to puberty and what adults can do to be supportive during this time.||Child life specialist, special education paraprofessional, parent educator, early childhood education consultant and social worker|
Curriculum for an Online Master’s in Human and Family Development
The online master’s in human and family development Is a highly
specialized degree that varies in focus from infants to the elderly.
Because you will invest a significant amount of time and money, it’s
important to find a program that closely fits your career goals and
needs. Factors to take into consideration include concentrations,
whether internships and practicums are part of the program and what type
of capstone is required. Some programs also offer all of the classes
online that are offered on-campus while others require some of the
coursework to be completed on-campus. Some of the classes you may
|Aging in Families||Prepares students to work in settings that serve older people and their families.|
|Family Relationships and Dynamics||Develops skills to help resolve issues related to individuals, families and groupsr.|
|Administration and program management||Provides students with the knowledge to develop and manage projects from start to finish.|
|Leadership and Social Justice||Helps equip students with the tools and theory needed to become activists and community organizers.|
|Theoretical Issues in Child Development||Looks at the overview of child development and the theories that discuss and measure development.|
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s in Human and Family Development?
A typical online master’s degree in human and family development can
take two to three years to complete when attending classes full-time.
The degree program makes up 36 credit hours, which may include a
practicum or field component. Those who prefer to work and take classes
part-time may take as long as five years to complete the degree.
Factors, including the type of program you choose, can affect the time
of completion. With cohort classes, a group of individuals take the
required courses together and graduate together. This can take longer
because some classes may only be offered once a year. The self-paced
program makes it possible to take as many or as few classes necessary to
complete the degree on your own schedule.
Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Human and Family Development Prepares For
|National Certified Counselor (NCC)||The NCC is the main certification for counselors. By becoming board certified, you let others know you have met the highest national standards in counseling. Applicants must complete a graduate degree from a regionally accredited counseling program, have adequate work experience and demonstrate the highest ethical practice standards.|
|Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)||Licensing requirements vary by state, but it is required for clinical social workers who want to practice independently within the United States.|
|Marriage and Family Therapist License||Individuals who meet the educational and clinical experience criteria may sit for the licensing exams. A master’s or doctorate degree and supervised clinical experience are required.|
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Human and Family Development Degrees
An important consideration for an online master’s in human and family
development is accreditation. An accredited program is one that has
been evaluated by an outside agency that determined the program meets or
exceeds certain industry standards. Accreditation can affect whether
you receive federal and some types of private funding and can determine
whether you can get a job after graduation. Regionally accredited
schools are typically more prestigious and are held to high standards.
National accreditation applies to faith-based colleges, trade schools
and career-based programs.
Employment Outlook for Master’s in Human and Family Development Graduates
Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s
In many careers in sociology, a master’s degree is beneficial for
advancement. Some require at least a master’s degree for entry-level
positions. The majority of individuals who complete a degree in
sociology go on to work in human services, such as social work or
working with non-profits. Most of the available jobs require advanced
degrees for research, academia, government positions and career paths in
the private sector. An online master’s in sociology provides career
opportunities and gives you the knowledge needed to make a major
difference in your field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Standards, graduates with a master’s
degree earned an average of $12,000 more per year than those with
bachelor’s degrees. Because many occupations in human and family
development deal with health care, research and counseling, an advanced
degree is often the minimum requirement for entry-level positions. In
health care, approximately 43 percent of all physician’s assistants held
master’s degrees in comparison to the 23 percent who held bachelor’s
degrees. Nearly half of all counselor’s held master’s degrees in
comparison to the 26 percent who help bachelor’s degrees.
|Job Title||Salary Range|
|Marriage and Family Therapist||$44,760-$72,580|
|Substance Abuse Counselor||$39,980-$63,030|
|Mental Health Counselor||$42,840-$70,100|
Approximately 3,500 jobs were held by sociologists in 2016. While most worked in an office setting, some may work outside when conducting research and making social observations. The top industries for sociologists were as follows.
A master’s degree in human and family development prepares
individuals for a wide range of social work, counseling and psychology
careers. Because many of these jobs require someone with specialized
skills, a graduate-level degree is needed for even entry-level
|JOB TITLE||JOB DESCRIPTION||MEDIAN SALARY||PROJECTED GROWTH RATE|
|School Counselor||School counselors help students develop social and academic skills needed to excel in school. They work in both private and public schools.||$55,410 per year||13%|
|Marriage and Family Therapist||A family or marriage therapist works with couples and families to help them overcome problems with their relationships. They may work in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices and mental health centers.||$48,790 per year||23%|
|Social Worker||Social workers help people solve and cope with problems pertaining to everyday life. They may work in schools, welfare agencies, hospitals, settlement houses and community development corporations.||$47,980 per year||16%|
|Public Health Administrator||Also referred to as health care administrators, public health administrators plan, direct and coordinate activities that go on in a medical practice, hospital, specific departments or entire facilities. They also make sure the facilities they work in conform to all health care regulations and laws.||$98,350 per year||20%|
|Occupational Therapy Nurse||These nurses help treat disabled, injured or sick patients through therapeutic activities so they can regain strength and a better quality of living.||$83,200per year||24%|
Industry associations are a valuable resource for scientific
professionals. Membership can connect you with new research, career
advancement resources and continuing education opportunities. Here are
several groups that serve forensic psychologists and allied
American Counseling Association (ACA):
This non-profit organization focuses on the enhancement and growth of
those in the counseling profession. It is the world’s largest
professional counseling organization.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW):
With more than 120,000 members around the world, the NASW is the
largest professional social work organization. The group works to
enhance the growth and development of its members.
Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC):
The NAADAC represents over 100,000 counselors, educators and other
health professionals who specialize in addiction-focused prevention and
treatment. The group helps develop quality health services and protect
the well-being of the public.
American Mental Health Counselors Associations (AMHCA):
The AMHCA provides support to mental health professionals through
continuing education, publications and various events throughout the
Financing Your Online Master’s in Human and Family Development Degree
An online master’s in human and family development degree costs less
than the traditional on-campus program, but students seeking this degree
may still require assistance paying for classes. The first place to
look is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This
application identifies any grants, loans and scholarships that you are
eligible for through the federal government. There are also several
public and private funding options in addition to federal funding.
Consider some of the following resources.
|Financial Aid for Graduate Students|
|Knowing Your Options|
|Human Services Scholarships|
Deadline: May 1
Eligibility: Preference is given to students with special needs or minorities. Applicants must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA and write a 500-word essay about helping others.
Deadline: April 30
Eligibility: Applicants must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA, exhibit financial need, be a U.S. citizen and provide proof of community involvement.
Deadline: May 1
Eligibility: Scholarship applications must have a minimum of 2.8 GPA, demonstrate successful volunteer work and possess interpersonal skills in the workplace.
Award: Full scholarship
Eligibility: Recipients must prove a financial need.
Deadline: December 15
Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time accredited university, be in good standing, receive IRB approval for research and have the goal of reducing the misconceptions about disabilities.