The Benefits of a Career in Social Work
If you’re looking for a career with meaning, job satisfaction and an abundance of options, consider social work. Social workers are individuals who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering and who want to do some good in the world. Does this sound like you? If so, request information here about our top-ranked Master of Social Work program offered online.
The rewards of being a social worker are not monetary or material. People who want to make the world a better place are generally driven by a desire to help people. Here are a few answers to four common questions about social work that may help you decide if this career is right for you.
1. Why should I select social work?
If you enjoy helping others and making a difference in their lives, social work can offer you significant personal rewards. Social workers take pride in knowing they are helping others cope with life’s difficult problems and find solutions. The profession offers multiple opportunities for long-term advancement and strong growth potential. In fact, social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the nation, with a predicted growth of 25 percent between 2010 and 2020 — an average higher than all other professions. Many social work jobs also appear on the U.S. News & World Report 100 Best Jobs list, chosen for their stability, satisfaction rating, work-life balance and even salary.
2. What are the different types of jobs I can do in the social work profession?
The social work profession is committed to helping people function the best they can in their environment. This can mean providing services or therapy directly to people or working for change to improve social conditions. As a social worker, you can serve individuals, families and communities in three main fields: child, family and school; medical and public health; and mental health and substance abuse. You can be a manager, supervisor or administrator and serve at all levels of government. You can become an educator, therapist or researcher or be elected as a political leader or legislator. You can work in public agencies, private businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, private practices, police departments, courts and countless other workplaces.
3. How do I become a social worker?
Most people who obtain entry-level social work positions have a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW). Those who wish to advance in their careers or provide therapy must earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and pass their state’s licensing requirements. Degree programs involve classroom study as well as practical field experience. The bachelor’s degree prepares graduates for generalist entry-level work, whereas the master’s degree is for more advanced clinical practice.
4. Am I suited for a career in social work?
The most successful and fulfilled social workers are those who want to help people and make a significant difference in the lives of those in need. If you are nonjudgmental, empathetic, understanding, patient and insightful, you would likely prosper as a social worker. A background in volunteering and advocacy can also be a plus.
Social work is a fast-growing field, especially in the areas of older adults and veterans. Although demanding and stressful at times, social work also can be highly rewarding, particularly if you enjoy problem solving in a busy environment. Many social workers report feeling fulfilled from the everyday activities of their job and the people whose lives they touch. If you’re looking for a career that will enable you to work with some of the most vulnerable people in your community and truly make a contribution to improving their lives, look no further.