The Best Social Work Programs and Your Career as a Social Worker

Becoming A Social Worker If you are interested in becoming a social worker, you’re probably interested in learning about the profession and earning a degree from a top accredited social work program.

As a social worker, you have the potential to deal with a wide variety of social and psychological issues with patients, as well as physical illness and drug addiction. Many people are unable to deal with the difficulties of life by themselves. Often, if life becomes too much to handle alone, they may seek professional help from a counselor or psychiatrist. The psychological help and support offered to these people is the fundamental aspect of all social work. If this type of humanitarian help is what you seek to offer to others, you can start your journey of becoming a social worker.

The Basics of Becoming A Social Worker

Step 1: Getting Your Social Work Degree

Everyone has to start somewhere. The first step to becoming a social worker is getting the education and background you need to become successful. The minimum degree required for entry-level social work is a bachelor’s degree in social work. You’d be choosing wisely if you chose an accredited program, such as one found on the Top 10 Online Social Work Degree Programs list.

This degree, also known as a B.S.W., will take four years to acquire at a traditional college. Your areas of study can include social work practice, issues associated with social welfare, oppression, welfare policy, work practice, human behavior theory and also the history and philosophy of the field of social work.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Top Social Work Program

While the road to your degree will likely be the same regardless of which university you choose to attend, choosing a college that also offers internships and field assignments in the social work field will greatly boost your chance for success. These types of services will give you the basic experience required to truly learn what the profession entails, as well as what skills will be required.

Step 2: Select Your Area of Specialty within the Social Work Degree Program

Often, these types of programs will provide experience with people of all ages and they can provide the experience you will need to choose what type of social work you would prefer to practice when you are finished with your degree.

If you believe you would be more interested in helping children, then working with child welfare agencies, some community centers, schools and youth service groups can give you the experience to help jump-start your career.

For those more interested in adult oriented social work, programs involving detention centers, substance abuse agencies, nursing homes and domestic violence centers may offer a more focused learning experience for dealing with adults.

Step 3: Apply Your Social Work Degree

After you have earned your B.S.W., you will be able to begin working entry-level positions in almost all areas of health and welfare services. Generally, fresh graduates will fill the roles of caseworkers, residential counselors, mental health assistants and group home workers. This includes working for various legal departments, such as police departments and courts, medical departments, such as hospitals and clinics, and also more private entities, such as nursing homes or private businesses.

Use this information on how to become a social worker to get started on your career today.

Social Work Professional Organizations

Many of these social work professional organizations have extensive resources for individuals pursing a career in social work.

National Association of Social Workers
Clinical Social Workers Association
School Social Work Association of America
North American Association of Christians in Social Work
National Association of Black Social Workers
Association of Social Work Boards