Social Work Degrees
Discover if a social work career is right for you
For those who want to make a career out of community outreach and helping others, becoming a social worker is a great choice. Social work careers come with a lot of responsibility, but they can also be extremely rewarding. Those interested in social work jobs must undergo intensive education and training, but the skills they learn help them to prepare for the challenges and situations they will face in their demanding career paths.
What Do Social Workers Do?
Social workers provide advice and counseling to adults who are struggling emotionally, mentally or physically. For example, they can help people who suffer from drug or alcohol abuse, are out of work and need to improve their job skills, or can't seem to otherwise improve their financial situations. Social workers can provide connections to rehab and counseling facilities, career training programs, and financial relief programs, such as welfare or low-income housing and day care.
Social workers also frequently work with children. They may be responsible for observing children when accusations have been made regarding the children's home situation, and they may take steps to find foster care or placement for children who are removed from their homes. Social workers also help children who are having difficulty adjusting to a new environment or who have special needs – many social workers who have pursued special education degrees specialize in this type of care.
Social workers are also employed in the medical industry, working with both families and patients. Social workers can provide introductory counseling in difficult situations, but more often, they are facilitators in connecting families in need with resources like counseling services, financial advice and housing options, to help ease the burden of their situation.
Becoming a Social Worker
Becoming a social worker starts with a social work degree – bachelor's social work degrees are the most common, but many social workers also choose to complete their master's degree, which gives them even more advanced training and specialized knowledge in their field.
Social work degrees are generally four-year programs. During this time, students will study human behavior, family dynamics, the legalities of social work and much more. Field placements are common in social work programs, to help give students real-life experience before they start their social work careers.
For students who can't see themselves in a traditional four-year program, an online social work degree is also an option. Taking a social work degree online allows students to learn at their own pace and in their own environment.