What Is Social Work? A Complete Guide to Social Work Degrees and Jobs

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What Is Social Work Exactly?

If you’re interested in positively impacting people’s lives, social work can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path. Social workers work with individuals, families, and communities to address challenges and improve their well-being.

On a day-to-day basis, social workers might assist clients with finding housing, navigating the healthcare system, or coping with mental health issues.

They also advocate for policy changes to address social injustices and help build stronger, more resilient communities.

Careers in social work mostly vary by demographic and community. You can pursue clinical social work, school social work, healthcare social work, and community organizing.

Some social workers work in private practices, whereas others work for government agencies and nonprofits.

What Types of Social Work Degrees Are There?

Most social work careers follow a similar educational path. For entry-level positions, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in social work.

To earn licensure and work in a clinical setting, you’ll need a master’s degree in social work. A social work doctoral degree can lead to advanced leadership and research positions.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

If you want to work in social work, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. In a BSW program, you’ll learn about the various challenges communities face, the resources available to them, and how to facilitate access.

Classes you might take include human behavior, social policy, philosophy of social work, research methods, and social work communication.

Common Career Paths for BSW Grads

chevron-rightCase worker

chevron-rightCommunity outreach specialist

chevron-rightMental health assistant

chevron-rightSupport services specialist

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