If you find the idea of studying human relationships, family and public policy fascinating, Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS) could be the major for you.
The main purpose of the program is to understand how people develop and relationships form in society. This is an interdisciplinary program where you will study the cognitive, emotional, social and physical development of people throughout different stages. These changes from conception through death are shaped through family, friends, community, and society. This major deals with practical as well as theoretical knowledge and can be very compelling because of its strong relevance to every person.
Classes you may take when studying HDFS could include: child guidance and parenting, contemporary family issues, multiethnic society, early childhood education, human sexuality, child development, lifespan development, psychology, and sociology.
Concentrations in this major include: Adult Development and Aging, Family Systems, Child Development, Family and Community Services, Child Care and Support Services Management, Developmental Services Worker, Human Development and Family Services.
Human Development & Family Studies was the 44th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 42,112 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 461 over the prior year, a growth of 1.1%.
Our 2023 Best Human Development & Family Studies Schools ranking analyzes 189 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for human development and family studies students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of human development programs later in this article.
If you are interested in studying people of all ages and backgrounds, this major will have plenty to interest you. Your classes will help you understand how people behave and react in different circumstances. Many colleges will require you to gain first-hand experience in an internship or co-op. You will experience work in a variety of different settings so you can get a better idea of what to specialize in.
This major requires critical thinking skills that will allow you to analyze an issue from many perspectives. People make decisions as a result of their emotional, social, physical, and intellectual growth. The nature versus nurture debate will be something you cover in depth in both classes and research. Students will have plenty of practice working on their writing while completing research papers, lab work and recording observations from the field.
Students who excel in this field are both curious and caring. You should want to understand human development in order to learn to help others. The knowledge you obtain can help reduce the stress of people going through medical treatment and help ease family worry. You could also work with youth who may not be given ideal situations to grow up in. You should be able to work with others without judging or patronizing.
New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional human development certifications required to pursue a career in this field.
There are many different human development degree levels. You can get anything from a in human development and family studies to the highest human development degree, a . The time it takes to complete a human development degree varies depending on the program.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
A master's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to human development, with approximately 20.9% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to human development tend obtained the following education levels.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma||25.4%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||11.0%|
About 51.7% of workers in careers related to human development obtain at least bachelor's degrees. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in human development and family studies careers have.
The education level required is different depending on the human development career you are seeking.
With a degree in HDFS you have the ability to work in many different settings. The range of occupations you can participate in includes youth services organizations, program coordinator at a community center, educational programs for students of all ages, a job in a health care setting, family and community services, such as a marriage or family therapist, and long-term care facilities. Many students will decide to obtain their master's degree in behavioral or social sciences.
Want a job when you graduate with your human development degree? Human Development & Family Studies careers are expected to grow 9.7% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to human development and family studies.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||453,600||16.4%|
|Community and Social Service Specialists||113,500||13.2%|
|Farm and Home Management Advisors||11,200||7.7%|
Human Development & Family Studies graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $28,847 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $8,248 to as high as $52,231. As you might expect, salaries for human development graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Salaries for human development and family studies graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers human development grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
|Home Economics Professors||$77,170|
|Farm and Home Management Advisors||$52,700|
|Community and Social Service Specialists||$46,050|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||$35,830|
With over 2,371 different human development degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased human development school rankings to help you with this.
One of 7 majors within the Family, Consumer & Human Sciences area of study, Human Development & Family Studies has other similar majors worth exploring.
|Child Care Provider/Assistant||20,843|
|General Human Development & Family Studies||9,497|
|Child Care & Support Services Management||3,917|
|Family & Community Services||1,401|
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Food, Nutrition & Related Services||4,858|
|Textile & Apparel Studies||3,313|
|General Family & Consumer Sciences||2,906|
|Family & Consumer Economics||1,454|
|Human Sciences Business Services||704|
View All Human Development Related Majors >
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