Whether you are a college student, recent graduate, or currently employed, a master’s in social work (MSW) can help boost your career. Here are four reasons why.
1. Advocate for underserved populations.
Social workers get to advocate for the most marginalized and vulnerable populations. At-risk populations require the most assistance from social workers, but they have the most difficult time effecting change in their life and in their community. Social workers serve and speak up on behalf of all human rights and social justice issues to preserve the dignity and worth of all persons.
2. The demand for social workers is increasing.
The demand for social workers is increasing as Federal and State Legislation impacts various parts of the country, Baby Boomers start aging, Mental Health needs continue to be a rising issue in health, and opioids continue to become a public health issue. The number of Social Workers in Health Care settings is projected to grow by 12%, which is faster than the average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3. Your skillset will span multiple disciplines.
Social workers are employed across diverse practice areas and host settings in Hospitals, Medical Centers, Private Practice, Government Agencies, Social Service Agencies, Academia, Clinics, and Outpatient Facilities. Social Workers have the option of specializing in a specific practice area: substance use, gerontology, mental health, health, school social work, forensic social work, child welfare, administration/supervision, etc. In most MSW Programs, there are opportunities to choose a specialization that represents the primary practice area a social worker ends up working in. An MSW Student is also required to complete Field Education that is similar to an internship and provides students with early, hands-on experiences as a social worker.
4. You can impact public policy.
Social Workers often have an active voice in policy, especially as a community social workers or attorneys. On a macro level, social workers advocate for large-scale social policy changes. As our political landscape evolves, it is important for policymakers to be connected to the lives of those most impacted by policy changes, which is where social workers intersect.