Social work is a respected profession that is devoted to supporting social welfare and social justice for a variety of people, including the elderly, battered women, homeless, crime victims, and people with mental or physical illnesses.
A four year college degree is normally required to become a social worker. However, social work programs are available through many colleges and universities and you can also earn a bachelor's degree in social work online. While many universities have programs that will allow you to earn a social work degree, only a handful of accredited institutions offer the degree through online courses. While flexibility is a great advantage of earning an online degree, students will lack the social aspect of attending classes and interacting in a personal environment with other students and instructors.
Before choosing your path it is suggested that you research schools and each schools program to ensure that you choose a program that best meets your needs. Many colleges and universities offer diverse social work programs that allow students to explore areas of social work practices, substance abuse, residential counseling, child psychology, social welfare policies, mental health assistance, and human behavior. Enrolling in a school that offers exposure to such a diverse social work program will better prepare you for choosing a specialized field in social work after you have earned you degree. Most programs require at least 60 credit hours related to the field of social work in order to earn a bachelors degree in social work.
Many social work programs require students to take prerequisite courses, including human biology, statistics, sociology, and introductory to psychology courses. Most colleges and universities also require or recommend students to apply for and accept an internship in their desired area of social work in an effort to gain valuable supervised field experience. Depending upon the internship, you may receive training in data collection, clinical work, counseling of individuals or families and will gain valuable outreach skills that will help you be successful in your future social work career. Once a bachelor's degree in social work has been obtained, many states also require you to take a state exam to obtain your license to practice social work in that state.
A degree in social work provides many career options to people interested in helping others. Many bachelors' level social workers can be found in government program positions such as child and adult protective services, benefit qualifiers, and child support divisions. Social work degrees can also lead to career options as teachers, life coaches, probation and parole officers, family coordinator, and outreach specialist. Numerous places employ people with a social work degree including youth programs, foster care agencies, and hospitals.
Keep in mind that maintaining good grades is very important while earning a bachelor's degree in social works. In the future you may decide to further your education in the social work field and your undergraduate grades will play a large role in determining your acceptance into an advanced degree program.
You have decided to become a social work to help others in need. Most individuals that you work with have had a hard life. You’ll work in a lot of different environments as a social worker.
Empathetic – You need to be there for them regardless of their satiation so they can trust you and open up in order for you to help them.
Dependable/Trusting – Be there for individuals emotionally. As a social worker the individuals you work with is looking for someone they can trust.
Well Organized – As a social worker you’ll be working on a lot of cases at the same time. It pays to be organized to keep track of records and be able to report on everything in your case.
Worker Bee – A typical days isn’t from 9-5. Most social workers end up working after hours as well as on weekends. Be prepared to be a hard worker in this line of work.
Goal Driven – One of the key traits social workers have is they are all goal driven. By that I mean they have a specific goal in-mind for every client they work with.
Humor – Anytime you can inject a little humor into any situation is a good thing. Being a social worker can be a very depressing career since you are always dealing with situations that sometimes you can’t control.
Passion – Without a doubt you need to have passion to be successful in this career. Not only do you need to be passionate but when working with clients you need passion so they know you care about helping them out with their current satiation.
- Meet all licensure requirements for your state and be properly prepared for an entry level career as a social worker.
- Interview and come up with a working plan to help others within the laws given to you.
- Be able to interact with others and communicate with those from different cultures and backgrounds in order to assist them with their needs.
- Make decisions in the best interest of the individuals you are helping regardless of your own personal views or religious beliefs.