The demand for Human Development and Family Studies graduates is strong because the HDFS major provides students with a valuable foundation for understanding important social trends:
- The population of older people is growing, and the number of trained persons who can provide help and assistance to them falls far short of the need.
- Social problems such as child abuse and drug and alcohol problems affect many individuals and families.
- Young adults face many social and economic pressures that can lead to problems in work and relationships.
The U.S. Department of Labor says that the social and human service field is one of the fastest-growing occupations. It is projected that it will grow by 13% between 2018-2028 (much faster than average).
The internship program is designed to assist you in gaining pre-professional experience and in establishing a professional identity in the human services field to enhance your appeal to potential employers.
Here is a sampling of locations that our students have completed an internship:
- Primary Health Network
- Crisis Shelter – Lawrence County
- Sharon Regional Health System – Behavioral Health
- Prince of Peace Center
- St. Paul Homes
- Area Agency on Aging
- Diversified Family Services
- Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission
- Mercer County Veterans Affairs Office
- Mercer County Children and Youth Services
- New Light Christian Education Center
- Vocational & Psychological Services
- Children’s Aid Society
- Keystone Adolescent Center
- Kids Zone Learning Center
- Community Counseling Center
- Lakeland Learning Center
- The Purple Cat
- Student Affairs at Penn State University
- Mercer County Juvenile Advisory Council
- Hope Academy for Autism
- Associates for Child Guidance and Counseling
- Alliance for Behavioral and Developmental Disabilities
- Alta Behavioral Health
- Whole Life Services
- Farrell Family Center
- Alta Behavioral Health
- Veterans Resource Center at Penn State University
- Youth Advocate Program
- Belmont Pines Hospital
Many HDFS graduates go directly to the workplace based on their understanding of people, their knowledge of group dynamics, and their skills in training and in program development and evaluation.
Many positions are in human services and health care settings while others are in business and industry.
- Social services management
- Hospital programs for children, youth, and families
- Prevention education
- Institutional and community mental health programs for individuals and families
- Programs for abused or neglected children and adolescents
- Women's resource centers
- Human resources programs
- Employee assistance programs
- Nursing homes
- Area agencies on aging and other community settings for older adults
- Public welfare and family service agencies
- Business, consumer and family resources services
- Community-based social services
- Early childhood education
- Faith-based organizations
- Family intervention
- Government and public policy
- Health care and family wellness
- International education and development
Opportunities for graduate studies
The HDFS major is also excellent preparation for graduate school in the social, behavioral, and health sciences.
- Counseling (e.g., school counseling, counseling psychology)
- Social work
- Health professions (e.g., nursing, occupational therapy, medicine)
- Human development and family studies
- Elementary and secondary education
- Child life