What can I do with this major?

Area

Employer


Area:

Public Welfare

Sub-Area:

  • Administration and Planning
  • Case Management
  • Program Evaluation
  • Policy Development
  • Research

Employers:

  • Public welfare agencies
  • Private social service agencies
  • Local, state, and federal government including:
    • Department of Human Services
    • Department of Education
    • Veterans Administration
    • Indian Health Services
    • Administrative agencies
    • Job Corps
    • Head Start
    • State legislatures

Area:

Criminal Justice/Corrections

Sub-Area:

  • Counseling/Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Probation
  • Parole
  • Youth Services
  • Victim Assistance
  • Drug Prevention

Employers:

  • Prisons and correctional facilities
  • Courts
  • Police departments
  • Probation offices
  • Victim services organizations
  • Private treatment facilities

Area:

School Social Work

Sub-Area:

  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Pupil Personnel Services
  • Student Advocacy
  • Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Referral

Employers:

  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • School districts
  • Head start centers
  • Early intervention programs

Area:

Clinical

Sub-Area:

  • Therapy
  • Assessment
  • Case Management

Employers:

  • Community mental health centers
  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Behavioral health systems
  • Drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers
  • Residential and day treatment hospitals
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Schools
  • Family service agencies
  • Private practice

Area:

Administration

Sub-Area:

  • Management
  • Policy Development
  • Planning
  • Supervision
  • Fundraising
  • Budgeting
  • Grant Writing

Employers:

  • Family service agencies
  • Child welfare departments
  • Social service agencies
  • State mental health departments
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Probation departments
  • Public welfare agencies
  • Public interest groups
  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Residential and outpatient hospitals/treatment centers

Area:

Research and Education

Sub-Area:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Grant Writing
  • Supervision

Employers:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Research institutes
  • Research hospitals
  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Advocacy organizations

Area:

Vocational

Sub-Area:

  • Counseling
  • Education
  • Wellness Promotion
  • Organizational Development
  • Assessment
  • Human Resources

Employers:

  • Larger corporations
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Labor unions
  • Local, state, and federal government:
    • Department of Labor
  • Community agencies

Area:

Healthcare

Sub-Area:

  • Case Management
  • Counseling
  • Prevention and Education
  • Program Development
  • Administration
  • Research
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Hospice Care

Employers:

  • Hospitals
  • Community health centers
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Public health programs
  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
  • Nursing homes
  • Group homes
  • Hospice
  • Veterans Administration hospitals
  • Home healthcare agencies

Area:

Community Organization

Sub-Area:

  • Program and Community Development
  • Advocacy
  • Politics
  • Education
  • Planning

Employers:

  • Advocacy organizations
  • Development corporations
  • Community centers
  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Associations

Area:

Gerontology

Sub-Area:

  • Advocacy/Intervention
  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Programming
  • Public Policy
  • Administration

Employers:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Senior centers
  • Assisted living
  • Hospice
  • Home healthcare agencies

Area:

Child Welfare

Sub-Area:

  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Intervention
  • Supervision

Employers:

  • Local, state, and federal government including:
    • Department of Children's Services
  • Public and private child welfare agencies
  • Adoption agencies
  • Foster care organizations
  • Child daycare

Area:

Developmental Disabilities

Sub-Area:

  • Case Management
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Research
  • Policy Development

Employers:

  • Community residential homes
  • State and local agencies
  • Medical facilities
  • Schools
  • Colleges and universities

Area:

International Social Work

Sub-Area:

  • Humanitarian Services
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Wellness Promotion
  • Development: Economic and Community
  • Disaster/Disease Relief
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Program Administration
  • Clinical Practice
  • Policy Development
  • Research

Employers:

  • International Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs) such as United Nations Economic and Social Council and the World Health Organization
  • International Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Federal government agencies with an international focus, e.g. Peace Corps and United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Country-based service agencies
  • International aid and relief organizations
  • Foundation programs
  • Nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations, .e.g Vital Voices or Habitat for Humanity
  • Private voluntary organizations
  • Humanitarian organizations, e.g. International Red Cross and CARE
  • Religious organizations, e.g. World Vision
  • Multi-national corporations

General Information and Strategies

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) prepares individuals for entry-level direct practice.
  • Master of Social Work (MSW) is necessary to provide therapy and for advancement to supervisory or administrative positions.
  • Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) or Ph.D. usually required for positions in teaching, research, and administration. Advanced degrees are desirable for some clinical positions and private practice.
  • Complete a degree from a college or university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Programs include practical field experience.
  • Most states require licensure, certification, or registration.
  • The National Association of Social Workers offers many specialized credentials that Social Workers can earn. Research these options after choosing a speciality area.
  • The field practicum is used to determine suitability for this profession and to provide exposure to various practice settings and clients.
  • Candidates should possess empathy for others, an appreciation for diversity, and an interest in social change.
  • Social workers serve a range of client systems (individuals, families, groups, communities) as they attempt to enhance social functioning.
  • Social work is unique given its dual focus on the person and the environment.
  • Join a social work organization while in school and seek leadership positions.
  • Look for ways to impact your community and get involved with local organizations and issues.
  • Update your resume as you acquire new accomplishments, skills, knowledge, and interests.
  • Learn a second language to better communicate with immigrant or migrant populations (particularly helpful in certain areas of the United States).
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  • Note: Much of this information was adapted from Choices: Careers in Social Work by the National Association of Social Workers.