Social work is among the fastest-growing niches in American employment. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests a 12% growth rate in the current decade, which is higher than many other industries. And if you’re already enrolled in a program, there are plenty of diverse opportunities that await. While the pay scale may not be as impressive ($51,760 per year according to BLS), the scope of work is still gratifying. Plus, you can make more if you opt for hourly compensation.
But here’s the important question- what can you do after completing an education in social work? Well, look no further than below for your answer. Listed below are some of the areas where you can pursue your career.
If you want to improve the lives of children, this route is for you. By collaborating with community organizations, you can protect children from suspected abuse and neglect by reporting it. You can also acquire counseling licensure and help children with issues related to mental health. You will work closely with dysfunctional families to ensure kids grow in safe spaces.
Start your organization
If you’re passionate about bringing social change, why not take the entrepreneurial route? You can start your own company by identifying a niche you’d want to improve. Complete the legalities, develop a business plan, and start immediately. But do consider obtaining higher education before taking this route. You can obtain an MSW online while you establish your company. This way, you’ll save time and money as you prepare yourself to become a leader in social work.
School social worker
Most elementary and preschools hire social workers to assist students struggling with mental health issues and emotional, social, or behavioral challenges. As a school social worker, you can devise plans and strategies for students dealing with trauma while taking teachers and parents on board. Your duties may also include assisting teachers and parents in addressing their concerns. By providing counseling, classroom, and academic guidance, you can make the school experience for students productive and more rewarding.
Educating the public is essential to ensure people live healthy lives. If you like working closely with healthcare professionals, you can participate in programs that spread awareness about human health and disease. By becoming a health educator, you can work in various organizations, including government agencies, hospitals, nonprofits, and inpatient/outpatient care centers. You can also be a trainer for community health workers and a health instructor at middle and high school levels.
But if you like a more structured job, consider a career in administration. As a healthcare administrator, you can work in hospitals, medical facilities, clinics, and public and private healthcare providers. You can support healthcare providers in delivering their operations efficiently by acting as a case manager, patient navigator, administrator, etc. Moreover, you can oversee teams of service providers, coordinate and support staff to perform effectively. Your job will have regimented hours and possibly more market-competitive pays.
Mental health social worker
As a mental health social worker, you can help people cope with mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. The specific work areas for you include rehabilitation centers, private addiction centers, trauma centers, outpatient service providers, etc. However, you may have to acquire state licensure before practicing as a mental health specialist. So do check in with your state’s requirements.
Social and human services
As a social and human service assistant, you have a broad array of responsibilities while working with people belonging to different communities. However, the primary responsibility of an assistant is to aid people, especially older adults and children facing homelessness.
With the boom in green technology and sustainable development programs in the private sector, corporate social responsibility has become essential for every organization. You can bring positive social and environmental change to larger organizations by using your social work skills and combining them with business practices. You’ll use your skills and knowledge to fight for employee rights, suggest alternatives to reduce carbon footprint, and devise ethical business practices. Working in the corporate sector will also pay better.
Public health administration
You don’t have to work closely with patients or disadvantaged groups of the community if you are interested in the bigger picture. For instance, you can take a holistic approach and bring change at the policy level. In this way, you can influence every social work sector by formulating policies that enhance service delivery and shape operations. Policymakers primarily focusing on public health can take initiatives, manage policies, and tackle public and community health challenges. You can work in government agencies or nonprofit organizations dealing with policy-making at the local, state, regional, or national levels.
Social science research
Research leads to better outcomes. For example, what segments of society need urgent help? What are the deficiencies in the current healthcare service delivery to the community? How can social services be made more accessible to the community? The answers to these questions lie in research. As a researcher, your duties include data collection, sampling researchers, and carrying out experiments.
While it may be a less traditional path for a degree holder in social work, many find the prospect of helping people in a broader sense compelling. For some, using the skills gained from their degree alongside knowledge from one of the best life coaching certifications in the industry can be a powerful combination. This can be an incredibly rewarding career for someone that loves to help people succeed.
The world is full of opportunities for those who can explore their options and discover possibilities. There are an unlimited number of options you can choose after earning a social work degree. Remember that advanced education is the stepping stone towards expanding your career and achieving goals.