Social Work – Career Opportunities in a Wide Range of Areas
Social Work is a caring career — and social workers earning their MSW are able to pursue their ambitions to be a political leader or boss, to drive organizational transformation or create game-changing programs, or even carve out a place in the C-Suite.
An education in social work gives you an extraordinary set of in-demand, future-friendly skills, ranging from research design and data analysis to team leadership and crisis management. Here are a few of the top areas where these skills are needed most.
This field must recruit 1.2 million new employees by 2025, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, crunched by Argentum, the nation’s largest senior living association. And social workers will be key among them.
The senior living industry is known for career mobility, with employees quickly working up to administrative or executive levels. In addition to clinical knowledge, social work training will prove useful in getting diverse groups — staff, residents, and families — interacting productively. And social workers know how to evaluate the results.
The National Association for Social Work points to a confluence of factors making veterans’ need for social workers greater than ever: more and different types of injuries, longer and repeat deployments, and increased stress for service members and their families. There are also new challenges and breakthroughs arising out of changed circumstances such as virtual and drone combat, LGBTQ and women in the military, and trauma and PTSD.
With almost 60 VA facilities nationwide and more than 9,000 social workers employed at the Department of Veterans Affairs alone, veterans’ services, corporate employment programs, and community transitional organizations alike are looking for help. Social workers join case managers, clinicians, and administrators in hospitals and community-based outreach programs throughout the United States. Where there’s crisis, there’s opportunity to make a big difference.
Research and data analysis
Every organization wants to know if their money is being well spent. And social workers know how to find out. What’s more, social workers are practiced at designing research and evaluation that takes in human factors — the variables that other professionals struggle to measure.
Social workers put their skills to work far beyond the traditional markets of universities and research institutes. Development corporations, governments, associations, hospitals, financial institutions, marketing companies, and virtually any field that assesses the success of its efforts are just a few places that need the skills that social workers possess.
An emerging specialization, social work in sports serves growing needs in professional and college-level athletics. With health issues such as concussions, suicides, sexual abuse, and chronic pain, player wellness has become a greater area of concern. And the ways in which athletes interact with each other and the public is an ever-trending news topic.
Sports offer plenty of opportunity for social workers — particularly those with strong advocacy skills, understanding of crisis situations, and ethical rigor. You can help shape the budding field of sports social work as you move the ball down the field toward a healthier future.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts overall social work employment growth at a rosy 12 percent, opportunity for healthcare social workers is ramping up even faster, at 19% projected growth by 2024. Healthcare social workers will be needed not only in hospitals but also in the increasing number of outpatient services.
Aging demographics and a rise in chronic conditions put social workers even more in demand. As experts in transitions and life changes, social workers will be able to find — and create — exciting opportunities in the healthcare field.
Given the current political climate, don’t be surprised if a social worker gets tapped to run for office. While social worker positions continue to grow in the hot areas of political lobbying and polling, some social workers take the path from community organizing or advocacy to elected or appointed official.
It’s a tough road, but you can make an extraordinary difference. As a former social worker, Barbara Mikulski said when she became a U.S. Senator: “I have a caseload of 4 million Marylanders.”
If you are interested in earning your Master of Social work, 100% online, please contact an enrollment counselor at 207-221-4143 or via email at email@example.com