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Top careers for people who want to make a difference

Top careers for people

Given a choice, most people will choose a career that makes a difference in others’ lives. Decades ago, when options were limited, people took whatever employment was available. Today, however, there are numerous options. All it takes is the right qualifications and training. 

As a young person looking to get into the job market for the first time, you may not think job fulfillment is important. You may only care about how much you get paid. 

If you are not convinced that job satisfaction matters, talk to someone who has had to change their career halfway through their life. 

Many adults who make this difficult decision will tell you that they were in a dead-end job without prospects, were working too hard without commensurate remuneration or didn’t like the office politics and wanted to work in a better environment. 

Choosing the right career starts with enrolling in the right university course. We will talk about how to choose a course a little later, but for now, let’s take a look at some of the best careers for making a difference in the world. 

What are the best jobs that make a difference?

In an ideal world, we would all choose fulfilling jobs that paid well and offered great benefits. However, it doesn’t always happen this way. 

Many fulfilling jobs pay just enough to live on. If you are looking to be a millionaire by the age of 30, this may not be the right professional path for you. 

However, if you are determined to help others, certain professions offer good salaries and benefits and allow you to climb the career ladder. 


Most nurses will tell you that they opted for a career in the health sector because it allowed them to care for others. 

Nursing is an old, noble, and trusted profession. Although emotionally and physically demanding, it allows you to make a difference when people need it most.

Jobs in nursing, and healthcare in general, are expected to grow in the coming decade. The increased demand for nursing professionals has helped improve their salaries, benefits, and working conditions. Their job descriptions have also changed in recent years. 

According to an article in Health IT Analytics, nurses are taking on bigger and bigger roles in healthcare. Their jobs are not just about making beds and changing bedpans. Today’s nurses are important decision-makers. It is becoming increasingly common for them to take on new roles like coordinating healthcare providers, managing patient caseloads, and overseeing the patient transition and home healthcare. 

Nursing specialties include clinical nurse leaders, neonatal nurses, critical care nurses, and nurse midwives. You can also choose infection control and prevention nursing, dialysis nursing, school nursing or public health nursing. These are just a handful of opportunities available to you if you choose nursing as a career. 

Human services

Human services are a broad career option that gives you the chance to work in several roles that make a difference. 

You can become a school social worker, a community health worker or a case manager for at-risk individuals. You can also get a job as a child advocate, a counselor, a behavioral therapist or even a grant writer. 

You will need a human services degree to get started, and you can take a master’s course later in your career if you want to specialize in a particular field. You need to choose universities carefully, especially if you want to pursue an online degree program. 

Spring Arbor University offers a well-recognized human services degree to help launch your career. All courses are online, and the program covers a variety of topics that equip you to work as a care provider. There are several enrolment dates in the year, and students are allowed to transfer credits. 

So long as you attend a recognized institution, you can use your human services degree as a stepping stone into a better-paying career. You can, for example, get a bachelor’s in human sciences and then get a master’s degree in social work or any other related field. 

Humanitarian worker

Every day, in every continent, a disaster or emergency is happening that impacts people’s lives profoundly. It may be climate-related, a natural disaster, a conflict or even a pandemic. The demand for humanitarian workers in the last few years has soared. 

According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance skyrocketed during the pandemic, and in many countries, people are yet to recover. Human conflict and climate change play a significant part in increasing these numbers.

This means that there are plenty of jobs in the field, and demand is expected to grow in the coming years.

A humanitarian worker will come in contact with people who need assistance right away. This individual is part nurse, part advisor, part care provider and more. 

Social work

According to the Social Workers Occupational Handbook, the employment rate for this sector is expected to grow by 9% in the next decade. This is faster than many other occupations, so getting a degree in social work today is a good career decision. 

Simply put, America needs social workers. More than 15% of the population lives below the poverty line. Families and communities everywhere struggle with the scourges of addiction and mental health. As a social worker, you will be on the frontlines, helping people cope with the problems that confront them every day. 

As you climb up the career ladder, you can become an advocate or fundraiser so that you can focus on broader issues and bring about real change. 


Like nursing, teaching is an old and noble profession. You get to shape lives when it matters. You teach young people the skills they need to become successful adults. If you do it well enough, your students will remember you for the rest of their lives. 

The prospects for teaching professionals in the US are bright. Jobs are expected to grow by at least 5% in the next 10 years. According to some estimates, the US will have a shortage of at least 100,000 teachers by 2025.

As someone who is looking for a career that changes lives and pays reasonably well, you will not go wrong if you choose education. You can also use an education degree as a steppingstone for a better-paying but still rewarding career. 

Child welfare advocate

There is a big need for child advocates in the US. The number of at-risk children grows every year, and the need for professionals has also increased. 

To become a child welfare advocate, you’ll need a degree in behavioral sciences. Your job will likely involve working with children who need fostering. You will help find them new homes and make sure that they are well cared for. 

You can start your career working directly with those in need and then earn an additional degree, such as a master’s in social work, that will help you climb the career ladder.


As a counselor, you can work in a school, hospital, care home, drug rehabilitation or any other setting where people need guidance to help them get their lives on track. 

To get started, you can pursue a human services degree or any of the others mentioned in this article and then get a master’s in the field within which you want to specialize. 

How to choose a university degree for careers that make a difference

Choosing the right degree to help you get started in a job you are passionate about is not easy. Many young people end up making choices that they regret later in life. Opt for a program that gets you started in work you are passionate about and that allows you to care for others. 

  • Start by thinking about your strengths. If you are not an empathetic person by nature, you should probably not consider this line of work. People who succeed as caregivers and healthcare providers are often those who are inclined to assist others. 
  • Enrolling in an online program is a good idea especially if you want to work and learn at the same time. 
  • Don’t choose a degree program just because your friends are choosing it. Although the need to fit in may be a strong motivation, remember you are now entering adulthood, and you own the decisions you make. Whatever program you choose, whether it is for a human services degree, a social work degree or nursing degree, it will define your career. 
  • Choose your university carefully. Confirm that it is accredited by relevant bodies, has a good pass rate and that alumni generally go on to get good jobs. A good university will also provide proper support for students (and relevant materials) to maximize their chances of success. 


There are numerous careers for those who want to make a difference outside of the non-profit sector. Many of these jobs pay well and provide good benefits. 

To get hired, ensure that you earn the proper qualifications from a recognized institution. You also have the option to enroll in an online program, which allows you to qualify faster and join the job market sooner.