What is the difference in Human Services and Human Resources?

Human Services and Human Resources … sounds like the same career, right? Well, yes in some ways. They both deal with “humans”, however, no, actually they are definitely different lines of work. If you are considering a career in either of the two, you will need to know the qualities and requirements of each to make an educated decision on where your interest lies.

A career in either Human Services or Human Resources requires good communication skills and attention to detail. The Human Services position requires emotional stability due to the sometimes sad or challenging situations that you will be experiencing on a daily basis and the Human Resources position requires firm leadership skills used to manage the occasional difficult employee. Although both are as equally rewarding, they each require different “people skills.”

An online Master’s degree in Human Services is the desired degree to have if you wish to enter the field of professionals that have a desire to help various groups of people with various needs. This may consist of those recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, the aging or elderly of today or even young children or teenagers. Most people, at some point, need help and the Human Services employee helps to prevent or solve problems, acts as liaisons between two parties and is committed to providing the best overall quality of life possible to their clients.

Some job titles within the realm of Human Services may include Social Worker, Probation Officer, Marriage and Family Therapist, Director of a Human Services Agency or if you desire a position in the field of education, a School Counselor or Student Affairs Director may be for you.

Although a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources is sufficient to obtain an entry level job, an online Master’s degree in Human Resources is preferred if you wish to obtain a management position in this field. The Human Resources employee is often focused on managing other employees. They work to recruit new candidates for available positions and manage the hiring process. They also manage compensation and benefit programs and maintain all employee records, payroll and labor relations.

The Human Resource Manager must be knowledgeable in the foundations of general business principals, as well as, all employee and equality based legalities of employment. They must be equipped with resolution skills to solve employee disputes, discrimination and harassment conflicts.

Career options may vary depending on your educational degree. With a bachelor’s degree, you may be assigned a position as an Employee Relations Manager, Human Resource Information Systems Manager or a Labor Relations Manager. However, with an online Master’s degree in Human Resources you will qualify for a career as a Director of Human Resources or a Vice-President of Human Resources.

Typically, for a career in Human Resources you must adhere to all confidentiality policies and you will also need financial and accounting coursework, in addition to, business management.

As you can see, your career goal will depend on your interest and level of education. If you would like to learn more about Human Services, check out our guide to Top 15 Online Schools for Master’s of Human Services Degree Programs.