Welcome! I'm glad you're here! If you are reading this, you are probably majoring in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) or a similar major. This is a field that I love and in which I teach as a university faculty member. Like a lot of my students, I chose this field because I love learning about people and families, and I wanted to work in a field that I felt was directly beneficial to people. HDFS is a great fit for those interests. However, it does not always point the way to a specific career path.
You have probably become familiar with the question, "What are you going to do with that major," or you have probably asked the question, "What can I do with this major?" I also pondered these questions while completing my master's program in HDFS. More than likely, you are pondering these questions while completing your bachelor's degree. These questions used to keep me awake at night and distract me from my work. Thankfully, I found my unique HDFS path. Now, I stay awake wondering how to help my students find theirs.
There are some paths that are obvious. Some HDFS majors can tailor their studies to become an early childhood educator, teacher, researcher, or counselor. Other popular choices are marriage and family therapists and child life specialists. All of these options are great, and I will post information about them. However, many of these options require a graduate degree, and not everyone wants to go to graduate school. Furthermore, as our world of work changes, it is important to be able to market yourself in a flexible way that allows you to pursue a range of career options. Judging from a previous cohort of workers, people held an average of 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48 (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). There is some evidence that the "Millennial Generation," born between 1980 and 1996, is on track to change jobs even more often than their parents and grandparents (Source: Gallup, 2016).
This blog will place particular emphasis on learning how to identify your specific strengths and interests, how to seek out work that benefits people, how to obtain relevant experience and knowledge, and how to "sell" yourself and your degree on the job market in many different industries. These skills will serve you well throughout your entire career--not simply to obtain one job. To get started with the basics, be sure to read the next post, "What Can You Do With a Human Development and Family Studies Major," and the Bare Necessities page.