As its name implies, human development is a sweeping academic discipline that pulls from numerous other fields such as sociology, anthropology, psychology, and even linguistics. The underlying focus of the study is the series of developmental changes each person undergoes throughout his or her life. Additionally, historical and sociocultural circumstances play key roles.
The breadth of knowledge that comes with the major complicates students’ decisions on which subjects to take up as much as it frees them to engage in numerous methodologies. To put it another way, the field of human development can be a bit overwhelming.
Undergraduates in human development will ascertain groundwork knowledge of the discipline, gain competencies in core human development concepts, and thoroughly study notable research and theories within the field. Beyond concepts, undergraduate programs present students with current issues in the field so that they can gain practical experience. In some programs, students will have the opportunity to apply their skills in community work projects.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
Many individuals looking for work today realize that a bachelor’s degree is one of the foremost characteristics employers look for in job candidates. The study of human development may prove a useful option for students who seek a bachelor’s degree and enjoy working with people, but are unsure what field they would like to ultimately study (sociology, psychology, education, etc). Students who major in human development learn to support others and their problems as they arise in personal, educational, and business environments.
Inside a Human Development Bachelor's Degree Program
Bachelor’s programs are generally designed for a duration of four years, but some programs allow students to select an accelerated schedule. Other students may take longer than four years. Online institutions typically allow more flexibility than traditional schools.
Students who major in human development will enroll in a wide range of courses, and these will vary by academic institution. Common core classes may include: ‘Issues in Human Development’, ‘Social Development of Children’, ‘Social and Cultural Dynamics of Human Development’, ‘The Helping Relationship’ and ‘Analysis and Interpretation of Statistical Data in Education’. It is common for bachelor’s programs to require a final capstone project, in which students develop a well-defined topic, conduct and present their research.
What's Next for Human Development Bachelor's Degree Holders?
An undergraduate program in human development provides the education a student needs to start a career in youth advocacy, early childhood center education or employment recruiting. They may find work in a variety of establishments, such as women’s resource centers, employee assistance programs or assisted living institutions.
In 2014 the median pay for social and human service assistants was $29,790 per year, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The employment rate for this sector is growing faster than the national average for all occupations. .
Students may find it advantageous to continue their education by earning a certificate degree, such as the certificate in behavioral psychology, in order to best assist their clients. Others may want to pursue a master’s degree in social work in order to qualify for higher paying positions. Those who want to pursue careers as school psychologists, speech therapists, psychologists or consultants must also earn advanced degrees.