There are many jobs you can do with a Social Work Degree. It is one of the most versatile professions available. Social Work degree jobs are some of the fastest-growing occupations for today’s college graduates. This surge is because society values the corrective work done by social workers. These professionals help those with addiction, abuse, and other extended support.
The social work degree, and thus the social work profession itself, is quite broad. With at least an undergraduate degree in the field, graduates have quite a few professional opportunities. They range from work with criminal justice agencies to childcare services. Each of these careers requires a unique take on the skills learned in the classroom. Additionally, each benefits a different type of personality or a different professional prerogative. With a Master’s degree in Social Work, more opportunities are available in the field and the salary is also higher.
Criminal Justice Careers
Social workers are uniquely prepared to work in the criminal justice system, largely because so many people involved with criminal justice pursuits require some kind of case management or assistance. Social workers provide behavioral counseling to their clients in the criminal justice system. Additionally, they’re among the best people for the job when it comes to parole officers and parole administration.
On the other side of this niche in the social work field, those with at least an undergraduate degree in the field typically work in victim assistance occupations. They’ll work with child abuse victims, the victims of sexual assault, and even those who have been the victim of robberies, home invasions, or other traumatic events. Their goal will be to guide them through this traumatic event and ensure that they’re mentally sound afterward.
Services for Troubled Youth
The social work field helps troubled youth overcome their unfortunate circumstances. Helping these clients is a large part of what entry-level social workers do around the world. Those with an interest in children and their struggles can secure a career with adoption agencies and counseling services for abused or mistreated children. Their professional capacity will allow them to serve as case managers, mentors, and professional problem-solvers. They’ll work with federal agencies and local organizations to ensure each of their children has a safe home, a bright future, and the tools they need to overcome their troubled situation.
Gerontology Programs and Services for Seniors
Social work is commonly associated with younger, more at-risk populations. However, many older people also require the assistance that is commonly provided by professional social workers. In this capacity, social workers focus on being case managers for older patients. These clients require healthcare and wellness services. In addition, Social Workers sometimes manage retirement homes and assisted living faculties.
Social workers can also focus on gerontology as an advocate for senior citizens. They work as managers of senior community centers and activists for better policies. In some cases, a social worker may serve as the intermediary between an older client and their family. They communicate the client’s circumstances and help the family understand what to do to meet their needs.
Social Work in Academic Settings
Just like the work done for at-risk youth from troubled homes, social workers often find themselves working in schools to help students bear the trials and tribulations of growing up. In this capacity, social workers are a lot like the traditional guidance counselor in elementary and middle schools. They’ll meet with students that either request their services or are in dire need of them. School social workers offer advice and help students overcome more serious problems in the classroom or at home. These positions supplement guidance counselors who have a more traditional approach.
Medical and Addiction Recovery Capacities
Social workers are a key part of the addiction recovery process, and they work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and also drug rehabilitation facilities. They work with clients on a one-on-one basis, giving them the tools and mental capabilities needed to defeat their tendency to relapse after successful treatment. They’ll guide them toward better decision-making that can last a lifetime.
Medical involvement can also take place either in hospitals or in public agencies, where social workers use their background to advocate on behalf of patients who require better mental health or addiction treatment services. Working within a hospital actually gives the social worker an inside track on providing preventative education, decision-making skills, and other information to at-risk patients before they require the assistance of a rehab facility.
A Diverse Slate of Occupations for Professional Social Workers
Whether it’s supplementing guidance counseling programs in schools, working with abused or troubled youth, or even helping with addiction recovery, the social work degree is easily one of the most versatile offered at today’s colleges and universities. Graduates are ready to help virtually every type of person or population they meet, giving them a great way to produce real results in any professional capacity.
Is Social Work a Stable Career?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 14% growth in social workers from 2020 to 2030. This growth makes social work one of the fastest-growing employment opportunities in the nation. Aside from its projection as stable employment, social workers’ average salary in 2020 was $51,760, according to the BLS.