Social Work

Overview of Social Work Postsecondary Programs

Social work postsecondary programs are generally offered under Humanities.  Some postsecondary schools also have separate Social Work departments.  When you major or minor in social work you learn about public and social policies, social justice, how the human mind works, the impact of family on society and individuals and the role that gender, age and culture play in society.

Degrees in Social Work at Accredited Colleges and Universities

Undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates and diplomas are offered in social work at colleges and universities that are accredited by agencies like the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Council on Education for Public Health.  Types of certificates, diplomas and degrees you can get are Certificate in Social Work, Certificate in Gerontology, Diploma in Social Work, Bachelor's degree of Science in Social Work, Master's degree of Science in Social Work and a Doctorate degree in Social Work in Clinical Practice and Leadership.

Curriculum for Social Work

The curriculum for social work provides you with a broad range of academic and training knowledge that you can use to land quality employment.  Specific curriculums are established by individual accredited colleges and universities.  However, core courses associated with the social work major include:

  • Introduction to social work
  • Social welfare
  • Gerontology
  • Human behavior and social environment
  • Social work practice with individuals and families
  • Helping relationship in social work practice
  • Ethics and law
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social work with groups and organizations
  • Understanding diversity in global society
  • Research
  • Social polices
  • Social issues
  • Human development

How to Enroll in Social Work College and University Programs

College and university social work programs can be completed online or offline.  Check with the admissions representative at the school you want to attend to find out if you have to pay a small fee (e.g. $25, $50) to enroll in an online college program.  All you need to take an online social work college or university program is a computer and Internet access.  Whether you complete your diploma, certificate or degree program online or offline, you generally must purchase books for your required courses.  As a tip, you can find books at discount prices online.  You can also purchase used books from campus bookstores at reduced rates.

Skills and Benefits Related to Social Work

Once you get a social work degree you can gain employment with government agencies and private companies and organizations.  You can work as an educator, social worker, historian, counselor, life coach, school guidance counselor or drug and alcohol substance abuse prevention advisor and/or counselor.  Skills you gain from social work last for years, sometimes throughout your lifetime.  Some of these skills and benefits are:

  • Ability to help others
  • Understanding of human behavior
  • Improved communication skills
  • Skills to communicate and relate to people from diverse backgrounds
  • Better understanding of yourself and your family members
  • Help youth and teens avoid negative behaviors
  • Assist elderly citizens with transitions and challenges
Job Outlook for Social Work Majors

Jobs for social workers are expected to grow from 12 to 16 percent from 2008 through 2018 according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The middle 50 percent of social workers earned between $31,040 and $52,080 as of May 2008.  If your wages are in the top 10 percent for the field, you can take home more than $66,430 a year.

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