Career Development

Career Planning

Human Development Major Career Planning Options

Human Development majors explore the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional growth processes of individuals from conception to very old age. By studying the way these processes interdependently affect human changes and behavior patterns, students gain an in depth understanding of marital and family dynamics from both an individual and social perspective. Rivier’s Human Development major is unique in that it examines factors, which promote both normal and abnormal development, through a combination of comprehensive psychology and sociology coursework. Students further explore the familial, community, and societal conditions that influence development such as parenting, gender, ethnicity, and learning differences. Along with an intensive social and behavioral sciences curriculum, human development majors acquire a solid liberal arts foundation that promotes strong communication and critical thinking skills. Visit Rivier’s Psychology Department and Sociology Department for information on degrees and course offerings.

 Human Development Major Skills  

Oral & Written Interpersonal Engage in Ethical Practice
Communication  Observe, Analyze, & Interpret Information
Interviewing & Counseling Techniques Insight to Deal Effectively with People
Problem Solving & Decision Making Able to Promote Healthy Relationships
Detail Oriented Understanding Group Dynamics
Knowledge of Community Resources Interact Well with Diverse Cultures/Groups
Concern for & Sensitivity to Others Critical & Inferential Thinking
Good Listener Ability to Resolve or Mediate Conflicts
Knowledge of Human Development & Behavior Knowledge of Social Structure & Change


Career Paths in Human Development 

New graduates with a degree in human development have work options that are diverse and dependent upon one’s interests, abilities, work values, academic emphasis and practical experience in the field. Human Development majors may seek positions in applied fields such as human resources, social services, community organization, and health-related occupations. It is strongly encouraged that these students elect to minor in Social Work, so as to begin developing advocacy and clinical skills, as well as an awareness of community organization. With the Social Work minor, students gain practical experience through a required internship at a social service agency that is integrated into their educational program. A master’s degree or doctorate level preparation is typically required for advanced career opportunities in counseling and guidance, social work, education, developmental psychology, administration, and human resources management.

Human Development graduates may work as . . .
(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor’s degree.) 

Admissions Counselor Parent Educator
College Student Personnel Adoption Agency Official
Parole Officer Crisis Center Specialist
Behavior Specialist Employment Interviewer/Recruiter
Pastoral Counselor Recreational Therapist
Case Manager Child Care Program Coordinator
Family Services Specialist Rehabilitation Counselor
Family Therapist Retirement Counselor
Health Educator Higher Ed Administration
Child Life Specialist Human Resource Manager
Child Welfare Officer Human Services Worker
Clinical Counselor Legislative Aide
Community Outreach Worker Occupational Therapist
Community Support Clinician School Guidance Counselor
Teacher/Professor Social Services Case Worker
Youth Services Worker Social Worker


Human Development graduates may work at . . .  

Adoption/Child Care Agencies Group Homes
Business & Industry Peace Corps
Personnel Departments Head Start Programs
Churches/Religious Groups Civil Rights Agencies
Health & Public Health Departments Human Services Agencies
Private Practice Human Resource Departments
Clinics/Hospitals Public & Private Schools
Colleges/Universities Community Service Agencies
Justice Departments Rehabilitation Agencies
Publishing Firms Residential Treatment Centers
Courts/Correctional Facilities Senior/Retirement Centers
Mental Health Agencies Youth Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations Social Welfare Departments
Government (Federal & State)  

Ways to Increase Employability 

  • Pursue elective course work or additional training related to one’s professional field of interest.
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
  • Become an active student member of university, community, or professional organizations, which enhance leadership skills and promote networking relationships with fellow professionals.
  • Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through relevant part-time, full-time, and summer job/internship positions.

Professional Resources for Human Development