Social workers play a vital role in the prosperity of the society. They can help individuals and communities to find the best solutions to life’s challenges, and they promote social justice. The primary role of a social worker is to improve human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of those who are feeling vulnerable and oppressed.
However, different social work specialties have different requirements for education and licensing. This guide goes through all you need to know before pursuing a social work degree.
What is social work degree?
Social work is a profession that encourages social change and cohesion and the empowerment of people. Human rights principles, social justice, respect for diversity, and collective responsibility are all areas encompassed by the social work profession.
To become a social worker, you need at least a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Some entry-level positions might also accept a psychology or sociology degree.
There are several different types of social work licenses, such as a license for social workers with a bachelor’s degree, license for those with a master’s degree and license for clinical social workers.
Is a social work degree worth it?
Getting a social work degree can open up several possibilities for employment. From mental health clinics and hospitals to counseling and human service departments, there are plenty of jobs a social worker can apply for.
However, social work as a profession is not one of the best-paying jobs in the country. More than that, factors such as government spending, politics, and a tough financial environment can have a severe impact, causing a weak market for social workers.
Most public servants agree that the worth of a social work degree is not in the degree itself, but in the certification that the license opens up for workers. For instance, you can get your diploma and then specialize in a field for which there is a market, such as speech pathologist.
Why get one?
Not only that you will pursue a career that allows you to make a real difference in the world, but there is also an increasing demand for social workers. As the population is aging, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting a 19% increase in available social work positions in the next decade.
Another great benefit of getting a social work degree is the flexibility such a career offers. As your career evolves, you can make numerous changes, such as working with different clients, changing the environment, or transitioning from a government agency to private practice. Also, most social workers enjoy good health care and pension benefits.
What can you do with a social work degree?
Social workers help individuals or group of people by providing therapy, counseling, education, as well as guiding patients to appropriate resources. Depending on your specialty, you can apply for jobs in hospitals, schools, government agencies, career centers, mental health clinics, or community centers.
What is accelerated social work degree?
An Accelerated Social Work Degree is an innovative program that can be completed in less than 15 months. The accelerated program is perfect for adult students who want fast-paced classes or for students graduating from community colleges who have completed the basics.
To get a social work degree, most students need to:
• Perform a minimum of 120 hours of course work, including up to 10 credit hours of field practice;
• You need to demonstrate the capacity for successful work at an undergraduate level. Most programs will require a 2.5 grade-point average for all classroom work and a minimum 2.5 grade-point average for the main social work courses;
• Applicants are expected to have some experience of direct contact with patients in a social work setting. That is why successful finalization of field practicum is mandatory;
How many years is social work degree?
Although a bachelor’s degree is enough for many entry-level positions, most social worker jobs require a master’s degree. Getting a master’s degree in social work requires about two years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. Once you complete these programs, you will need up to three years of clinical experience under a licensed professional. That means that you will spend between seven and nine years to become a licensed social worker.
Choosing a career to pursue is never easy. However, by working to earn a social work degree you can rest assured that you will have a job that will have a real impact on the world.