Is a career in social work worth it?
The field of social science comprises a whole range of sub-fields or courses.
These include economics, anthropology, history, communication, education, psychology, political science, law, geography, linguistics, social work, and sociology. Each of these fields specializes in a specific area of social life.
One of these fields is of particular interest to us; Is social work a successful career?
Here, we’ll focus on social work with an emphasis on the positives it offers. In other words, our interest here is to find out whether social work is a promising career or not.
If you wish to pursue a career in social work, you’ll find the details here educating.
Why a Career in Social Work?
As a practice-based profession, social work seeks to facilitate the welfare of society, communities, and individuals.
This social science field abides by certain tenets, which Dubois and Miley identify as the development of cooperative networks and the promotion of social justice and equality.
Other social work goals and scope include upholding integrity in all aspects of social work practice, establishing linkages between people and resources, empowering people, contributing to knowledge development, and embracing a world view of human issues and solutions.
Should I Study Social Work?
For most people, picking a field of study or profession is preceded by identifying or perceiving clear opportunities. In other words, there must be apparent benefits to incentivize people to study the course.
The same applies to social work.
With that said, what clear benefits do you stand to gain by studying social work? There are several of these.
They include gaining transferrable skills and career advancement opportunities that offer the much-needed challenge you might seek and help you become a better policy maker.
Social work also allows you to discover things about yourself you ordinarily wouldn’t. More importantly, you get to change people’s lives for the better while also helping you self-improve.
Social work benefits you from its versatility while also having a wide range of job opportunities to pick from.
It’s personally rewarding to work with people of like minds as you get to interact and rapidly learn on the job. Persons with careers in social work get to appreciate things’ true valueer better.
Connecting with people and proffering solutions to problems can be personally rewarding.
i. Gaining Transferrable Skills
Social work as a field of study offers all kinds of skills that prove helpful in solving social problems. The skills learned throughout the study period are sought by different employers.
Examples of skills learned include verbal communication, active listening, critical thinking, and written communication.
Others include boundary setting, initiative, psychology, sensitivity, lie detection, people orientation, attentiveness, and attention to detail.
More of these transferrable skills include tact, insightful questioning, problem sensitivity, stress tolerance, patience, and tenacity.
These and many other skills learned allows for duplication in other related disciplines. In a nutshell, they’re vital skills highly applicable to various professions within the social sciences.
ii. Career Advancement Opportunities
Another reason why social work is a great career is due to the career advancement opportunities it affords.
Here, its diverse nature allows for an easy switch to more suitable career roles. For example, a social worker can switch to adult work or other less demanding positions within the field.
Speaking of career advancement, social workers can reach higher levels within their profession. You can choose to start a non-profit organization, a rehab center, or gun for higher positions along the research path.
Your ability to move up the ranks largely depends on your educational qualifications. With an undergraduate degree in social work coupled with relevant field experience, getting an advanced degree enhances your prospects.
iii. Offers the Much-Needed Challenge you Might Seek
Persons seeking to take on more demanding or challenging careers will find social work highly rewarding. Here, the challenges faced can be mental, physical, and emotional.
When it comes to emotional challenges, you’ll need to be able to detach yourself from the emotional swings or roller coasters.
iv. Helping you Become a Better Policy Maker
Policies are ineffective if they have zero bearing on the target population for which they were made.
Here, social work enables you to identify your audience’s needs better while formulating policies that help address the same.
This is where a clear distinction is made between seasoned and untrained policymakers.
By closely working with different organizations and groups, you can see the problem from their perspective while proffering much-needed solutions to these issues.
This makes you a reliable problem solver and, by extension, an asset to your community.
v. Self Discovery
The insight received through studies in social work helps with a better understanding of human behavior.
Being a human also, you get to discover certain personality traits or characteristics that would have been impossible without this discipline.
With the newfound knowledge, you get to understand your strengths and weaknesses while taking advantage of these to put yourself to better use.
Examples of discoveries that may be made of self include being able to assess your emotional intelligence and defuse delicate social problems.
vi. Change People’s Lives for the Better
Social work aims to help people cope with, manage, and solve problems.
Here, your value to the community is invaluable as you can use specific research techniques to attain desired results. Mostly, it’s deeply satisfying seeing people overcome challenges through your efforts.
This is a crucial incentive for most people as they get to effect change. Being a primary incentive for many, a career in social work will primarily be considered attractive and rewarding.
To proceed, you’ll need to find out what’s required to kick-start a career in this line.
Apart from positively impacting other people’s lives, a career in social work also benefits you.
Most social workers tend to be altruistic, which tends to be a highly rewarding virtue. The deep satisfaction derived from the work makes professionals love their jobs more and seek to perform better.
Challenges posed in the line of duty help professionals confront shortcomings that are eventually overcome. In a nutshell, it makes you a better person.
One of the ways social work allows you self-improve is the constant challenge to common assumptions. You’ll have to constantly re-evaluate your beliefs, values, and unconscious biases.
viii. Benefit from its Versatility
A career in social work allows you to be versatile.
Apart from making a difference at your primary job, you can also handle various roles, such as becoming a special needs teacher, therapist, diversity trainer & facilitator, policy analyst, and juvenile court liaison.
These are only a few of several roles you can quickly fill in. Such versatility ensures your expertise positively touches many lives.
Another clear example of its versatility is that social workers can operate locally and internationally. This can be highly rewarding to these professionals.
ix. Having a Wide Range of Job Opportunities to Pick from
One of the clear advantages of following a career in social work is the ton of job opportunities available.
Unlike some careers that offer scanty job opportunities, social work opens up employment in different organizations, including the government.
It’s no surprise that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the field of social work to grow by 11% from 2018 to 2028. This reveals a rise in demand for persons with social work skills and experience.
You can leverage such to start a rewarding career in this field.
x. Better Appreciate the True Value of Things
In providing solutions to social problems, you’ll come across difficult situations that highlight humanity’s good and bad sides.
While some experiences may prove very upsetting, others allow you to see the good in people you might have taken for granted.
Understanding human flaws and virtues for what they genuinely are helps better appreciate the best things in life.
In other words, your priorities gradually change from material things to more important aspects like health and meaningful human interactions.
xi. Connecting with People and Proffering Solutions to Problems
Again forming meaningful connections with people helps with better problem-solving.
As a social worker, you can fully immerse yourself or empathize with your audience to understand their situations.
This helps with better problem solving as you can proffer far-reaching solutions efficiently.
We’ve discussed the many benefits or reasons influencing people to follow this path to answer the importance of social work as a career. Based on the answers provided, you can better judge whether it’s a field you should consider or not.
Social work offers many opportunities for career advancement. As such can be highly rewarding to you. You’ll have to take the necessary steps to start your journey.
By now, you should have a clearer idea of what you want.
We’ve seen the many upsides of following a career in social work. To gain more clarity about your choice, you might want to discuss it with persons already in this career.