5 Reasons Why Social Work Is Your Calling

Social work is a fast-growing field, composed of intelligent and emotionally strong professionals that represent the populations with the most need. It is a profession that historically produces agents of change who are not afraid to challenge antiquated policies, fight for social justice, and make the world a better place. Below are five of many reasons why social workers do what they do, and enact the change they want to see in the world.

1. Because everyone matters.

Social work is about assisting those who need it most. Everyone, including those from difficult circumstances, deserves to live a fulfilling life and to have someone on their side willing to fight for them. Social workers fill that role, making a difference on multiple levels. Lasting, significant change usually starts close to home, and requires collaboration between the individual and community level, a skill social workers develop through their education and field experience. On an individual level, efforts like the #YouMatter campaign show how social workers reach those in need. 

2. Because the role of social worker is changing.

Social work is evolving to be more than what it’s been in the past, with the overall focus shifting from fixing the problem to prevention and early intervention. Traditional practice approaches are being expanded to include new disciplines and professions. For example, business-minded social work students are changing and modernizing the way social workers apply their training. If you have an idea of how to apply your skills to fix some of our nation’s social challenges in new and exciting ways, now is the perfect time to use an MSW to bring those ideas to social work.

3. Because social work is a growing field.

The number of jobs in social work grows at a rate of 16 percent per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than ever before, organizations and communities are recognizing the need for social workers, and as communities grow, they require more highly trained social workers to support the population. Additionally, because of the changing role of social work, jobs are opening up in nontraditional sectors, like business and public policy, as well. Now, social workers are advancing their careers through higher education and advanced training.

4. Because someone who can’t be heard needs a voice.

At-risk populations need the most help, but have the hardest time getting it. They need someone who can make their voice heard, and who advocates for them and effects change. Social workers have a unique ability to speak up in the public space on behalf of others and navigate systems in a way that benefits those in need. For example, two graduates of the MSW@USC program have started their own initiatives to empower at-risk youth through entrepreneurship in the music industry and to create a bridge program for high school foster youth to help them prepare for college.

5. Because it will challenge you in ways few other careers will.

No two cases are the same, which means social workers must constantly solve problems and apply their studies and experience in creative ways. Social workers also have a direct influence on someone else’s life, which can be extremely rewarding, but also emotionally difficult, which is why social work requires a unique combination of intelligence and emotional strength.

Social work is a challenging, changing, high-growth profession that puts social workers in a position to make an actual difference in many people’s lives. The lessons you gain from a Master of Social Work can be applied at many levels of society and in different fields, including community activism, business and public policy.