Introduction to Consumer Services
In this introductory Consumer Services course, students analyze various career paths in terms of employment opportunities. We will discuss educational requirements, including applicable hard and soft skills, certifications, and licensures for different pathways. Developing research, analytical, and presentations skills will be key components. This course is designed as an overview to prepare students for a consumer services-related career and to introduce them to specialty areas. Emphasis is placed on the human services aspect (vs. corporate concerns) of consumer services. Social issues and advocacy, as well as ethics and legalities, are a recurring theme. Students will gain knowledge of current issues affecting various consumer services professions, and the impact of local, state, national and global issues on consumer services.
- Consumer Services Basic Competencies and Organizational Structures: This unit focuses on introducing consumer services professions, which provide services to individual consumers as opposed to businesses. It offers perspectives on customer services and consumer advocacy, organizational structure, external influences on consumer services, and career management.
- Customer Service and Consumer Advocacy: This unit focuses on customer service, conflict resolution, and working with databases. It also introduces students to the role of policymakers and consumer advocacy.
- Counseling, Advisement, and Education: This unit focuses consumer services in a financial setting. Students will learn about becoming a financial counselor, developing a financial plan and budgeting. Applying for credit and credit scoring will also be introduced, as will aspects of building an estate plan, credit counseling, and risk management.
- Creativity: Consumer services careers that involve creativity are the focus of this unit. Students will explore careers ranging from fashion designers to those involving writing and editing.
- Management, Sales, and Public Relations: Aspects of the different levels of management, sales and public relations are topics in this unit. Content focused on management ranges from what working with employees to analyzing customer bases. In the lessons on sales and public relations, students will learn how to manage a company’s public image while also improving sales.