There are so many factors to consider when choosing a degree program. One of them is the available job opportunities. This is because there is no point in investing in a degree if it doesn’t lead to a career of your choice.
Each degree leads to certain paths, but not every path will be suitable for you. Thankfully, most degrees allow graduates to work in different fields, taking different job roles.
If you are considering a Masters in Social Work, consider the following job opportunities for graduates.
Psychotherapy/Mental Health Therapists
As an MSW graduate, you can work in a hospital setting or other organizations that assist individuals dealing with mental health issues. Mostly, social workers are allowed to be more involved in mental health issues after attaining a master’s degree specializing in the subject.
This is why it’s important to further your education by signing up for courses from institutions such as Wilfrid Laurier University. It gives you the skills and knowledge you need to get more specialized roles. Some of the roles a social worker in this setting can be assigned include:
- Counseling the client
- Giving suggestions and being part of the treatment plan
- Working with the client to ensure they cover the treatment plan
- Talking with and coordinating members of the family for the sake of the wellbeing of the client
- Assisting the client in tasks that contribute or affect their wellbeing
The roles are normally decided by the one in charge of the institution where you are working.
Child Welfare Social Worker
If you love children, you could enjoy working as a child welfare social worker after attaining your master’s degree. These are basically workers who look out for the welfare of children.
You could work with government agencies or non-profit organizations that deal with child rights and protection. Some of the roles of child welfare social workers include:
- Carrying out home visits to ensure children are being treated properly and their needs are being met.
- Assessing the parents’ ability to provide for the child
- Supporting the parents to ensure they meet the needs of their child
- Investigating cases of abuse and any other form of mistreatment at home
- Rescuing children who are being abused or whose needs are not met
- Identifying the best place for the child to stay based on the current circumstances, for example, foster care placements
School Social Worker
If you have a heart for students, but teaching isn’t your thing, then maybe you could consider working as a school social worker? Students go through a lot of things that could affect their academics and social life if they are not addressed. School social workers play roles such as:
- Identifying factors affecting learning and coming up with solutions
- Counseling for students
- Working with teachers and parents to ensure the students’ needs are met and also to solve issues
- Advocating for the rights of the students with special needs
- Reporting any cases of child abuse
- Working with students to correct any unacceptable behavior and reinforcing the good behaviors.
Family Social Worker
These are professionals who work with families that are going through issues such as divorce and illness or even social issues. Just like child social workers, family social workers can work with the government, non-profit organizations, and other sectors. Some of the goals of this position include:
- Bringing family members together to have constructive discussions in cases where the clients are in not on talking terms
- Finding the root cause of issues in families
- Helping clients come up with viable solutions for their issues
- Helping in conflict resolution
- Helping clients identify services offered by other organizations that can be helpful to them
- Helping clients complete the steps necessary to get help from the government and other organizations.
- Being part of the treatment plan for patients going through health issues
Substance Abuse Social worker
Substance abuse has adverse effects on health and wellbeing. The issue becomes worse when one develops an addiction. Coming out of an addiction is tough, but it is possible with the right assistance.
There are many professionals who can help individuals get through substance abuse and addictions, and a social worker is one of them. Substance abuse social workers can:
- Offer counseling for the clients
- Offer counseling for the client’s family so that they understand how to best treat and help the client in his or her recovery process
- Help the client find other services that may be helpful in their recovery
- Help the client fill in any paperwork needed for treatment or any aid
- Be part of developing the client’s treatment plan
- Offer the client support to ensure he or she completes the treatment process
Those are some examples of the paths you can follow as a social worker. Take time to examine your interest and see which one works best for you. While you are in the process of making your decision, it’s also important to consider these factors:
Your short and long term career goals
Where would you like to be after graduation as well as the next five or ten years? What’s your ideal work setup now and in the future? Set some smart goals for your career and this will keep you focused.
How will you pay for college?
Before you sign up for your master’s degree, come up with a financial plan. You can pay for your masters with your savings, apply for a scholarship, work more hours per day to pay for tuition, get a loan, or get your parents or another family member or friends to support you. Plan to avoid getting stressed along the way.
Are you sure this is the right career path?
If you are not sure what kind of social worker you want to become, consider looking for volunteer opportunities in one or more area. For instance, if your interest is in children, but you have doubts you will do well as a child social worker, approach an NGO or any other organization that employs child social workers and volunteer with them for a while.
You don’t have to volunteer for a long time. Within a few weeks, you will have known where your heart is. Also, consider talking to a career coach about your goals.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement.
We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written.
In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to “Get All A’s”.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I’ve accepted that I am where I am and that’s a good thing.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I have found that when I appreciate everything I’m in a good space. I need to be more mindful of my tolerance of others.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us what makes YOU most proud? Share the goals and dreams that you still have?
I’m proud of living my dream of an alternative lifestyle on a smallholding surrounded by animals. My dream is to make enough time to write and paint more.