HDF majors have big hearts and a desire to help others. They want to make the world a better place, and their program of study prepares them well for a range of jobs in health and human service settings—the kind of jobs that consistently place high in national growth industry rankings.

Although our graduates go on to work and/or pursue graduate studies in a variety of settings, listed below are job paths and graduate programs that align with the HDF curriculum.

Counseling and Social Services

Description: This concentration prepares students for future careers working with individuals and families in counseling and therapy settings.

Careers: Students who graduate with a degree in HDF would be prepared for entry level careers as:

  • counselors (such as crisis and hotline workers)
  • intake coordinators
  • clinical case managers
  • drug and alcohol prevention workers
  • family support counselors for parents of children with special needs
  • milieu therapists in mental health programs
  • residential treatment workers
  • academic advisors
  • food pantry and food assistance program coordinators
  • consumer protection agency workers
  • family advocacy agency workers
  • employee assistance programs and human resources staff

Graduate Studies: Students interested in therapy would also be required to pursue graduate studies in disciplines such as couples and family therapy, clinical social work, mental health counseling, applied behavior analysis, school/clinical/counseling psychology, consumer finance, nonprofit management, and public policy.

Health and Aging Services

Description: The Aging and Health concentration prepares students for future careers in various health-related and community settings. Aging covers the entire lifespan, from newborns to older adults. HDF graduates understand what typical development should look like, allowing them to identify developmental concerns and intervene before health is significantly impacted. As populations grow older, there is increased need for trained persons to provide aid and assistance.

student working on a project with an older woman

Careers: Students have the opportunity to hone skills in the areas of leadership development, collaboration skills, and teamwork, which will help them be be leaders and coordinators of healthcare teams. Students interested in this area often work as:

  • case managers
  • community organizers
  • gerontologists
  • activity or quality of life directors
  • crisis/hotline workers
  • family policy analysts
  • program managers
  • project coordinators
  • community engagement coordinators
  • operations managers

Graduate Studies: Many students will also pursue graduate studies in public health, post-baccalaureate nursing, medical school, health psychology, gerontology, aging services, and social work.

Child and Family Development

Description: The Child and Family Development concentration prepares students for careers helping individuals and families in social service settings, such as schools, recreation centers, community agencies, retirement communities, mental health facilities, hospitals, universities, preschools, and childcare centers. HDF graduates also help with managing financial behaviors, preventing child and domestic abuse, defending the rights of people with disabilities, preparing for retirement and family transitions, and assisting with life transitions such as adoption, foster care, teen pregnancy, and the challenges of military families.

This interest area allows students to tailor courses to gain in-depth knowledge about working with children, adolescents, and families in their many environments.

HDF student with group of young children

Careers: HDF graduates often work in agencies as:

  • service coordinators
  • family coaches
  • home visitors
  • youth development workers
  • after school program directors
  • daycare providers
  • early interventionists
  • family advocacy agency workers
  • child life specialists

Graduate Studies: Many students will also pursue graduate studies in developmental science, child development, school psychologist, child life specialist, and family criminal justice.