Some people just have a huge heart. If you’re thinking of going to college, you might not know exactly what you want to do yet, but you do know that you want to help people. If helping others is what you want to do with your life, you have many options to play a part in improving the lives of other people. Some careers that will help others take place behind the scenes, perhaps as part of scientific research or even administration. Others involve much more interaction with people who need help and care and are much more hands-on. If you want to go into a caring profession or help others in any way that you can, here are some fields of study which you might want to consider:
Types of Study: Depending on what you think you might want to do with your life, you don’t necessarily need a degree. Some professions require you to have a college education, whereas others might ask that you have specific training or experience. You can study your chosen area of interest in different ways, too. Even if you want to get a bachelor’s degree, you can study it online instead of having to go on campus. Many people improve their education in their evenings and spare time while they work. You might decide to spend around four years doing a bachelor’s degree at college and, perhaps, even go on to postgraduate study. Or you could do a shorter associate’s degree for some subjects. There are lots of ways to study and to reach your desired career path, although some have paths that are more set in stone than others.
Getting a Nursing Degree: For many people, the first caring career that they think of is nursing. Nurses can do a huge range of jobs, from supporting doctors in hospitals and clinics to working in nursing homes or out in the community. As well as becoming a nurse, you could also consider being a nursing assistant, who helps nurses to do their jobs. To become a nurse, you have to get a degree in nursing, which could open you up to a wide range of specialisms. You need to be registered to practice, which proves that you have the qualifications that you need. During a nursing degree program, students will get to experience a range of patient care scenarios to prepare them for the work force.
Such a flight attendant pose!
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Doctor? If you’re considering working in a medical profession, you might also have considered becoming a doctor. Some people start thinking about it long before graduating high school, whereas others might not think about it until after they’ve completed their undergraduate education. Qualifying as a doctor takes grit, especially if you want to work in a high-pressure field like emergency medicine or surgery. Not everyone makes it, so it’s important to be sure about what you want to do before you start your medical degree. There’s no doubt that you’ll help lots of people as a doctor, but it also needs to be the right career choice for you.
Human Services: Not every caring profession involves working in a hospital or medical environment, or even working with sick or injured people. Many caring professions involve various supporting roles, which help to deliver services to the people who need them. This could be in areas such as social services, family support, veteran affairs, or elderly care. If you want to work in community outreach and help to connect people to services that they can benefit from, a degree in Health and Human Services could be right for you. This degree teaches you how to help people with a number of challenges in their life, from disabilities and illnesses to difficult home situations. It could lead to a career working with people of all ages, from children to the elderly.
Admin, Management, and Support: There are also lots of other roles in health care, caring, and social work that are more behind-the-scenes. There are careers in management, administration, and support that might appeal to people who don’t want to be as hands-on as a nurse or carer might be. It could still involve working with people who need help and doing a lot to improve people’s lives, though. Some specific fields of study to consider include Healthcare Management, Medical Billing and Coding, and Health Information Technology. These careers can still often require plenty of compassion, as you might be making decisions that affect people’s lives.
Studying Pure Science: What about being a scientist? It wouldn’t necessarily mean that you work directly with people who need help. However, it could mean that you do a lot to help the people who need it. Working in scientific research can give you opportunities to help people by furthering understanding of medical conditions and diseases and developing and testing medications and treatments. If you want to work in scientific research, you might consider a Biology degree. A science degree could also lead to working in laboratories, hospitals and medical clinics.
Social Work: Outside of healthcare, one of the professions that many people who want to help others consider is social work. It can be a tough career, but there can be plenty of rewarding moments. People often think of working with children and families when they think of social work, but it can involve working with anyone who needs help. A social worker might help people with disabilities or perhaps people who have experienced an abusive relationship. They can work with elderly people or people experiencing health issues. A bachelor’s degree in Social Work is a necessary foundation, while some roles in schools or clinical work require a master’s degree. Like many caring roles, social workers also need to be licensed by their state.
Education: Another way to help others is to assist them with their education. This could mean working with children, but there are lots of ways to begin a career in adult education. If you want to teach children or teenagers, there could be several different education paths which you can consider. High school teachers are often required to have a bachelor’s degree in the subject that they want to teach, perhaps with a minor in education or a qualification in a program that prepares them to teach. If you want to teach kindergarten or elementary, a bachelor’s degree and teacher education program would probably be necessary, as well. Some specialist education areas might include teaching English as a second language or teaching music, which you could do for both adults and children.
Knowledge is power!
Counseling: When people need help, they don’t always need assistance with physical illnesses. Sometimes, they require help through talking therapies, whether it’s to help with a mental illness or just personal problems. Being a counselor or therapist is one option that you have if you want to help people work through their problems. Counselors can help people with their relationships, give school guidance, help with addictions, and much more. Although you can start off with a bachelor’s degree, many counselors also have a master’s degree and even a PhD.
Ministry: Some people want to help others in a more spiritual way. If you’re religious, you might consider some form of ministry. If this is something that interests you, entering the career might involve attending a specialist institution or school, such as a seminary. However, some people might begin by studying theology or even philosophy. If you want to offer religious leadership and guidance, it’s best to look into the structure and rules set out by the religious organization that you’re a member of. Different groups and churches may have their own ideas on what qualifies you to help others.
Law: If you want to help people, another area to consider is the law. There are many areas of law in which you could practice and several of them involve helping people to get justice. You might consider criminal law, in which you can also help people on matters such as accident claims and other civil matters. Of course, to be a lawyer, you need to go to law school. There are also other careers and roles that you might consider, though. For example, you could look into being a paralegal or a legal secretary. These still involve some legal knowledge, but you don’t have to study for as long.
Emergency Services: If you think that you can handle a high-pressure and fast-paced job, you might consider a role in the emergency services. For several of these roles, you’re unlikely to need a college degree. You will have to complete the necessary training and education, though. You could consider roles such as an EMT, firefighter, or emergency call responder. Some people take on these jobs as full-time careers, while others do them while studying to help them pay for their education. It can also give valuable experience for future careers and opportunities.
People who like to help others can use their career to change people’s lives in many different ways. You can choose to study a variety of subjects at college or find other ways to get the skills that you need to positively impact someone.