Some people tend to have the desire to work for the community and give back to it in any possible way that they can. A strong desire to help people and work for their wellbeing is not just something that you do as a volunteer; you can now pursue it as a career option by working as a social worker. With plenty of online social work masters being offered by universities, getting the qualifications required to work in this field is no longer difficult.
Social work is one of the fasted growing careers across the United States right now; the Department of Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that there were more than 680,000 jobs in the Social Work sector in the year 2016 and this figure is expected to experience growth by a whopping 16% by the year 2026!
If that wasn’t reason enough, here are six more reasons that would make you want to consider a degree in social work:
1. A Profession for the People!
Social Work is all about making lives easier for people around us. There are so many people in the world who face difficult challenges and find it a struggle to get through each day; these people need help and support in order to survive and this is where social workers play a vital role.
As part of being enrolled in a Social Work degree, candidates don’t just spend their time helping people but also playing their part in creating better living conditions across society. A degree like this tends to instill a sense of achievement and positivity in every individual working in this profession, making it a very satisfying career option.
2. Varying Specialisations Available
There are three different variations that come under the umbrella of Social Work Degree Specialisations. The parameter is rather diverse and includes macro social work, direct practice social work, and clinical social work.
Macro Social Work, as the name suggests, is done on a larger scale and does not involve working with the affected individuals directly. It is more along the lines of creating and implementing new programs, changing policies and collaborating with public and private institutions.
Direct Practice Social Work is slightly different. It requires individuals to work directly with the affected people in varying fields like health, children’s safety, education, and others. Moreover, to be able to practice it, one only requires a Bachelors’s in the field of Social Work.
Clinical Social Work is a more complex variation of Social Work and for that very reason, one needs to hold at least a Masters Degree in Social Work to be able to practice it. It allows professionals to treat as well as diagnose mental illnesses as part of their Social Work. With an extensive number of supervised hours needed to get the license, this is the most complicated of all variations, but also the one that pays the most.
3. An In-Demand Profession
As we mentioned earlier with a few statistics, Social Work is a profession that is incredibly in demand. We talked just about the United States earlier, however, it is just as popular across Europe as well. The Social Work industry provides 10-19% of total employment in countries like Finland, Germany, Denmark, France, and Belgium.
One major reason for this growth could be the fact that there has been a considerable growth in the aging population of the world; life expectancy has increased and the elderly require more support services, hence the high demand for social workers.
4. Not an Expensive Degree
All around the world, unless you opt for an exceptionally renowned institute, Social Work degrees are generally under-priced. The reason for that may simply be to encourage more people to enter this field which is highly beneficial for society as a whole, but there is no concrete evidence to support that idea.
Moreover, there are also online options for degrees in Social Work that cut down the cost of the degree in general. An online master’s degree saves you overhead costs like transportation, accommodation and also the commute back to work if you are employed anywhere within the city. It also allows an individual to take the work at their own pace without negatively affecting their work schedule and other commitments. On-campus expenses can sometimes get overwhelming and when you can cut them down along with having a less tuition fee, it gets very convenient to get enrolled in a degree in Social Work – be it Bachelor’s or Master’s, for that matter.
5. Bachelors in Social Work isn’t a Pre-Requisite to Masters
There is no age for one to develop a liking and interest in Social Work. You could have a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine or Engineering and still opt for a Master’s degree in Social Work. You don’t need to have a Bachelor’s in Social Work in order to attain a Master’s in it. The Bachelor’s Degree may help in certain aspects but certainly isn’t a pre-requisite to the master’s degree. Instead of Bachelor’s in the subject, you can often submit a personal essay or a letter that conveys the passion that you have to help people. Often, your volunteering experiences can also help strengthen your application.
While every institution – be it online or a physical university – will have their own set of requirements for enrolment in a Masters in Social Work, there are a few requirements that make it pretty much to every institute’s list:
- A Bachelors Degree from an accredited and reputable institution
- A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA). This may vary from school to school.
- Personal and Professional References
- Application Essay
- Scores Obtained in GRE.
6. A Trial Basis is Available
A lack of surety while choosing a Social Work Degree is rather understandable. It is a long-time commitment that requires one to be selfless at times. However, the good part about this particular profession is that you can always try it to see if it is a suitable career path for you.
The trial basis can be in the form of volunteering. One can volunteer and allow themselves the opportunity to interact with and work alongside people who need help. If you enjoy volunteering and helping people out with their daily lives, there is a high possibility that you will enjoy Social Work on a professional level as well.
The Bottom Line
The reasons for choosing a career in Social Work can certainly exceed just these six reasons we have provided in this article. However, it was important to get the basic considerations and benefits across to you before you could make a decision that will turn your life around for the better.