Human development is a field that deals with people in a variety of settings. With a liberal arts degree in human development, for example, you might find work in a nursing home as an activities director or in a day care center creating curriculum. Human development careers are commonly found in social services and human resources capacities. With a creative focus, you can turn your passion for helping people into a rewarding career and have fun doing it.
Teachers are typically among the most skilled in terms of human development. From kindergarten through college, educators are involved in the development of the intellect, personality, and passions of their students. Coming up with creative lesson plans to teach the basics like reading and math can make all the difference in how your elementary students begin their educational journey. Art courses at any level require teachers to promote creative talent as a means to fulfillment in students, whether they have innate artistic tendencies or not.
Human development professionals often find themselves in the nonprofit world versus corporate America. At an nonprofit agency, a human development professional can direct her career toward a number of roles -- fundraiser, grant writer, or executive director -- that would influence the development of the agency. Find a position with a worthy cause that gets your juices pumping like promoting arts in school organizations, offering free musical instrument programs, or working with theater groups or painter collectives.
While research may not be as artsy as painting, acting or making music, working in the field of research that seeks to discover the mysteries of the mind taps into the creative side of any scientist. You’ll have to get substantially more schooling -- usually a PhD -- under your belt to land a job in a brain research facility. But once you do, only your imagination can limit your options. Creative psychological researchers come up with interesting new tests and design projects aimed at unlocking the keys held so closely in the gray matter of the human mind.
Direct patient care is another avenue that many human development professionals choose. Professionals interested in this area will need to rely on creative techniques to unlock the fears and hang-ups that keep people in harmful relationships. Listening and coming up with just the right questions to help others figure out why they're stuck in destructive patterns of behavior requires creativity and a mastery of human development. Oftentimes, you can even incorporate the arts or music in your therapeutic sessions to help your clients reach their full potential and mental health.
- University of Wisconsin: Human Development
- Creativity & Human Development: Why Creativity & Human Development?
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
- Teachers and Educators of Art Material: Mission
- Brigham Young University: Family Life: Human Development Emphasis
- Eckerd College: Careers in Human Development
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."