Getting a degree in social work is an excellent option for many reasons. Social work is a noble profession, one in which you have many opportunities to positively impact the lives of your clients.
Likewise, social workers are an integral component in many different communities. As a social worker, you might work with children in schools, elderly clients in a retirement center, people with drug or alcohol addictions, and even couples and families that are experiencing difficulties.
To do so, however, you must first attend social work school. Here are a few reasons why doing so is a great idea.
You can attend social work school in a variety of settings. Traditional on-campus programs are popular and give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of social work in a rich learning environment.
Of course, with the popularity of online learning, you can opt to study for your social work degree from home. In this case, you get the advantage of having a much more flexible schedule while also getting the same high-quality education as on-campus students.
In some instances, you might be able to attend social work school in a mixed environment as well. That is, you can take some courses on campus and others online.
Since social work is an extremely popular undergraduate degree program, there are many different schools where you can pursue your degree. You can choose from secular or religious schools, small or large schools, or urban or rural schools, to name a few options.
Likewise, there are many different concentration areas that you might choose to focus on in social work school. For example, you might take coursework on working with children, the elderly, couples and families, or even working with groups or entire communities.
In social work school, you’ll have classes that are taught by all manner of people from a variety of backgrounds. Additionally, your classmates will be representative of many different cultures, religions, and ways of life.
Having the opportunity to hear other people’s perspectives and to learn from their experiences will prove invaluable to you as a social worker. After all, the clients you work with will be equally – if not more – diverse as your social work school cohort!
Getting a degree in social work opens up a vast array of social work career possibilities for you.
With an undergraduate degree in social work, you might find a job as a case manager, a probation officer, a law enforcement officer, or a social and human services assistant, to name a few.
Getting a graduate degree opens up even more job opportunities. You might become a school social worker, a mental health social worker, or a substance abuse social worker. With a master’s degree, you might also pursue a career as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). As an LCSW, you can diagnose and treat mental illnesses using therapeutic techniques like counseling.
In many social work programs, you will have the opportunity to participate in a practicum or internship. These experiences are critical for helping you apply what you’ve learned in a social work program in a real-world setting.
For example, if you’re interested in working with children, you might take part in a practicum in an elementary school where you shadow a school social worker, observe what they do, and perhaps even assist them in working directly with children.
While learning in the classroom is certainly valuable, these experiential learning opportunities will really help you understand what it means to be a social worker.
The coursework that you take to get a social work degree will help you learn more about yourself as both a professional and as a person.
For example, you will certainly develop strong opinions about which methods are best for working with clients. But you’ll also gain some introspection about who you are, what your values and beliefs might be, and perhaps even rediscover issues from your childhood that have impacted who you’ve become as an adult.
Social work school will also inform you as to whether you have what it takes to dedicate yourself to a life of service to others. There is a lot of work to be done in a social work program, and the amount of work you will have to do as a social worker will only increase. If you go to social work school and find success, the chances are good that you will continue being successful in your career after graduation.