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What Can I Do with a Major in Social Work?

With a social work major, you have a wide variety of social career opportunities from which to choose. Since Social work is people working with people through all lifestyles and situations, social work jobs are found wherever people are found in groups, communities, or individual circumstances where they need assistance in coping with unpredictable circumstances. With a social work major, you can become part of a profession that focuses on meeting a wide variety of needs through prevention, intervention, and a commitment to make accessible care and services available to people who need assistance.

Jobs in social work often involve social casework, community organizations, and social group work.

  • Social casework involves direct contact and intervention between families or individuals in need of assistance.
  • Community organizations involve working within a program to offer outreach services to groups of people within a neighborhood or community.
  • Group work is working with more than one individual at a time in-group settings such as a support group for cancer patients, classes in anger management, or stress management workshops.

Social work majors prepare you with a solid liberal arts background and incorporate professional courses that include health care, child welfare, social work practice, community social services, human behavior, psychology, social policy, and research. Other courses often depend on the area of social work you plan to enter. A Bachelor degree or four-year program provides a social work major that prepares you with the basics needed to enter direct-service areas of social work such as case workers, or program managers. While social work majors are usually required to begin a career in social work, some entry-level positions allow a major in other fields such as psychology. However, social work majors at a Masters level are required for advanced positions and all Clinical Social Work areas of practice.

Jobs in social work are expected to continue to grow as the population ages and changes occur within the health care system. Individuals with social work majors are in demand to fill an increasing number of job titles in public, private, and government organizations. Family and children workers, patient advocates, the new adult care services, and many more areas are expected to create increased jobs in social work. Social services, social welfare programs, and human services are all other areas that involve social work jobs and these terms are often interchanged. Social work jobs include opportunities to make a difference in the lives of individuals through a wide range of positions. Some job titles that social work majors prepare you to qualify for include:

  • Client Advocate
  • Social Service Liaison
  • Therapeutic Assistant
  • Group Activities Coordinator
  • Life Skills Coordinator
  • Alcohol/ Drug Abuse Counselor
  • Client Advocate
  • Family Support Worker
  • Youth Worker
  • Residential Counselor
  • Behavioral Management Coordinator
  • Probation Officer

Job titles and opportunities will vary according to the organization or field of social work you enter. Though entry-level positions do exist for those with social work majors from a Bachelor’s program, those wishing to advance to clinical-social work and pursue management or teaching positions will need to go on to obtain a Master’s degree. You should research the area of social work you wish to specialize in and find out about any special course work, certifications or clinical experience needed before applying to a social work program. If you are working in a social work position and desire ongoing education to prepare you to advance in your career, an online social work degree offers the flexibility to work around your current schedule. An online social work degree often accepts current social work experience to fulfill the requirement for field work. Some states or social work positions require a specific number of hours on field work. For those individuals without prior social work experience, an online social work degree may not be an option. Each state has its own licensing and certification requirements so you need to investigate the requirement needs in your local area before applying to any social work training program.