Career Prospects for HDFS/HST Graduates

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook) job prospects for HDFS/HST majors are expected to be excellent, with growth that is predicted to be much faster than the average for all occupations. Projections show increases by nearly 27% between 2010 and 2020 Of the 134,100 Social and Community Service Managers in 2010, 22% were employed in individual and family services, 9% were employed by state and local governments, 18% were employed in religious, grant-making, civic and professional agencies.

"Don't just make a salary, make a difference!"
Dr. Dale Curry

Median annual wages of social and community service managers was $57,950 in May, 2010. The top 10 percent earned more than $96,920, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,330. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of social and human service assistants in May 2010 were:

  • Local government: $69,670
  • State government: $64,220
  • Individual and family services: $54,060
  • Vocational rehabilitation services: $52,510
  • Nursing and residential care facilities: $50,160

Becoming a Social and Community Service Manager is not an entry level position. Recent graduates need to be aware that during their initial years in the field they should expect to earn lower salaries than listed. Gaining work and volunteer experience, in addition to the program's practicum experience, during undergraduate years is a great way to 'work up the ladder' more quickly; along with networking and gaining strong recommendations from past employers during their initial career search.

The field of Human Development and Family Science offers students skills that can be used in a broad array of career choices; therefore, students need to be proactive in building their skills to make them desirable to future employers. The concentrations available to HDFS students allow them to specialize in areas of interest, yet build on similar skills. With planning and hard work, graduates should expect optimistic career opportunities in their desired interest area.