5 Top Career Choices for Humanitarians

5 Great Careers For Humanitarians

  • Physician
  • Agronomist
  • Human Resources
  • Counselor or Therapist
  • Legal Professional

There are career choices for humanitarians aplenty in a number of industries. Many students have their hearts in the right place and want to spend their careers helping others. The following are some of the best career paths for someone with these sensibilities to take.

1. Physician

Many people who care strongly about the well-being of others are drawn to the medical profession. Physicians are on the front lines saving lives, whether in local hospitals or on battlefields. They also help people in quieter ways by informing them about important health issues and encouraging them to live healthier lives. This profession pays well too – most of the top-paying jobs are various medical specialties. Even for students who may not want to work with people directly, there are roles that can be done in the background, such as physicians who work in diagnostics.

2. Agronomist

For those interested in the sciences, agronomy is a great career choice for humanitarians who want to help others. Agronomy is the study of crop science, such as how to grow better yields more effectively and with more care towards the environment. Agronomists are needed, especially in developing economies, to help supply the populace with enough food. Hunger is still a significant problem around the globe. According to the World Health Organization, global hunger is actually on the rise. Agronomists will be needed to combat this substantial problem, especially with the looming challenges of climate change.

3. Human Resources

Students who are humanitarians but want to go into business may find the role of human resources professional a good fit for them. Workers in human resources have a responsibility to see to the needs of the people that work for their company. This can include dealing with harassment cases, creating and approving employee policy, and generally improving the lives of employees at work. The downside to working in human resources is that occasionally these professionals must make the difficult decision to fire people as well as balance the needs of the company against the needs of the employees. However, human resources professionals are in a good position to make changes at business organizations that simultaneously improve the lives of employees and are good for business.

4. Counselor or Therapist

Counselors and therapists are responsible for helping others improve their lives, making them among the best career choices for humanitarians. They can work in schools, hospitals, community health centers and private practice. Therapists have to be excellent at interacting with people and giving their clients comfort and encouragement to speak freely. They need to know the most appropriate techniques for helping clients through their issues, whether relating to mental illness, life events, their relationships with others and so much more. Differing levels of education will have to be obtained depending on the type of therapist a student wants to become.

5. Legal Professional

Significant humanitarian work is done by legal professionals. They work to defend human rights, protect people from environmental hazards, seek justice for the oppressed and many other humanitarian causes. Legal professionals can work for private law firms, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Humanitarian organizations need substantial legal advice and assistance, which provides ample opportunities for volunteering and employment. Legal professionals need strong critical thinking ability and communications skills. Attorneys in particular command high salaries.

Related Resource: 10 Best Online Degrees for Humanitarians

Most jobs improve the lives of other people to some degree. However, certain careers are undoubtedly more oriented towards helping those in need. The options listed above are among the top career choices for humanitarians.

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Carrie Sealey-Morris