Career Paths

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Are you wondering what you can do with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences?

HDFS students are prepared for wide variety of careers. Our Department has identified eleven different career pathways to represent the breadth of student interests and career possibilities.  Students are encouraged to contact Kristin Van Ness, the Undergraduate Academic Advisor in the Student Services Center (Family Studies building, Room 123) for more information.

See the list of Career Paths below.  Click on the title of a Career Path to get a list of HDFS faculty who can assist you more.
**ECS leads to a State certificate.


(Gerontology offered as a minor) The aging boom has produced a growing number of career paths available now and in the future for persons interested in working with, for, and on behalf of the older adult population.  While many of the career paths listed here do require graduate training, opportunities do exist in the aging field with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. Some of the more popular career opportunities in aging include:  older adult programming and social service, government/public policy, elder law, long-term care and planning, housing specialist, education, health administration, gerontological social work, intergenerational and family research, business, and technology.

Child and Adolescent Development

For students interested in pursuing a graduate education or career opportunities in the areas of youth program services, human/social services, research, and government/public policy.  Students will advance their knowledge on how family, culture, and neighborhoods influence child and adolescent development.

Counseling and Therapy

For students interested in pursuing a career as a helping professional. Students who follow a counseling or therapy track often go to graduate school and enroll in one of the following programs: Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Social Work, Psychology, or Professional/Rehabilitation Counseling. These degree paths enable one to develop the skills necessary to intervene with individuals, couples, and families in ways that improve psychological and relational wellbeing.

Early Childhood Specializations**

Students who complete the Early Childhood Development and Education Concentration are qualified, upon graduation to receive the State of Connecticut Early Childhood Teaching Credential. Students are prepared to take a position as a head teacher in a preschool, or infant/toddler classroom. This would also be considered exceptional preparation for a graduate program in Elementary and or Special Education.

Family and Consumer Sciences

Family and Consumer Sciences Educator: this career path will provide the FCS content courses needed by students interested in teaching human development and family sciences, nutritional sciences and food production, textiles and apparel, and related courses to middle and high school students. Graduate level work will be required to complete the FCS teacher certification process.

Families and Disabilities

Disabilities are a universal aspect of the human experience. This career path is for individuals who are interested in thinking critically about the “lived lives” of individuals with disabilities, their families, and community.  Graduates with BA’s might work in schools, community residences, or intervention and support programs for children, youth, adults, and families. This focus prepares students for graduate study in: disabilities studies; education; special education; clinical, social, or school psychology; public policy; public health; or sociology.

Public Health

For students interested in pursuing graduate and professional degrees in the field of health or a career in health promotion and education, health administration, health service evaluation, health research, health advocacy, hospital/managed care administration, community outreach, or related positions.

Public Policy and Law

For students interested in pursuing graduate school or a career in the legal field, policy making, public administration, or policy analysis, including work as an attorney, human rights advocate, legislative aide/researcher, policy analyst and researcher and related positions.

Social Work

For students interested in pursuing graduate school or a career working with children and families in clinical and community settings; community organizing, social justice, policy analysis and advocacy, and working with various human rights organizations and in health and mental health fields, among other related positions.