Social work is a broad umbrella of a profession. Trained social workers work in practices, organizations, and clinics of all shapes and sizes. Social workers also work with all kinds of people — from the very young to the very old, and from people that need to access social welfare services once, to people that rely on social workers for their whole lives.
There are some threads — some commonalities — that weave throughout a social worker’s career. For one, nearly all social workers practicing today have a bachelor’s degree, and most have obtained a master of social work degree.
But there are other universals that also tie social workers together. We built the following resources to fit best at those intersections so that people looking to start a career in social work, or people looking to transition into the field can get a high-level overview of key parts of how the profession works. Like where and how to get a social work internship, for example, or where to look for social work jobs.
We hope that the following guides provide a good starting place for a deeper dive into the topics they cover:
What do social workers do? Where do they work? Are they in demand? What kinds of degrees or certifications do you need to get a job as a social worker? All of these questions and more are answered in the social work job guide. LEARN MORE
Unlike other professions where internships are often looked at as a way to build out a professional network and a resume, in social work, internships are critical. In fact, most degree programs at both the bachelor’s level and the master’s level require some sort of hands-on internship experience. Often the programs will help place students in these internships, but understand the basics is key to having a successful internship. LEARN MORE
Just like there is a range of practice areas that social workers can undertake, there is also a wide social work salary range. A social worker’s salary depends on degree level obtained, experience, field of work, employer (like private practice versus government agency versus nonprofit), and geographic location. This social work salary guide unpacks all of these factors to help paint a clear picture of what to expect. LEARN MORE
One important designation in the social work field is the licensed clinical social worker. This license allows social workers to take on specialized responsibilities and work with a variety of therapy methods. Each state has its own licensing process to become an LCSW. This guide unpacks some of the requirements, as well as how becoming a licensed clinical social worker can open up career options. LEARN MORE
The guide outlines some of the most common mental health issues experienced by students today. The guide also provides suggested resources for support and treatment, as well as the role that social workers can play in student mental health. LEARN MORE
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected via the internet, new social and security issues are emerging. One such issue is the rise of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can take many shapes and forms. This guide takes a dive into what cyberbullying is and how social workers are training to deal with the new field of digital health. LEARN MORE
There are a lot of career possibilities when becoming a social worker. Despite the wide variety of practice areas, the pathway to becoming a social worker is very similar. This guide outlines the steps to get started, including information about obtaining a social work degree and licensing requirements. LEARN MORE
The social work scholarship guide has one simple purpose: to make navigating social work scholarship opportunities more straightforward. The social work scholarship guide goes through specific details for many popular scholarships. It also contains a list of current opportunities. LEARN MORE
If we have learned anything from 2020, it’s that the world can change fast. Between the COVID pandemic, demonstrations against racial inequality, and a highly contentious election year, more people are looking for mental health resources to deal with issues like anxiety, addiction, and other issues. The problem is that during these unprecedented times, many of the traditional ways of accessing mental health services like counseling and therapy are not available. The guide was designed to present some new alternatives, and to provide resources for people to find remote mental health support. LEARN MORE
If you are searching for social work degree programs, chances are you have come across the term “CSWE accredited.” It’s a term used everywhere by schools and degree programs (or so it seems), but it’s not really explained that well. This guide covers what the CSWE is (it’s short for Council on Social Work Education) and it breaks down all that you need to know about the CSWE and how this organization is committed to furthering the field of social work. LEARN MORE
Ethics is a key component of the social work profession. This guide covers social work ethics, how ethics guide social workers’ behaviors and actions, and how professionals build their knowledge and skills around ethical dilemmas. In addition, state requirements for ethics training are covered, as is a discussion around how social work ethics apply to our now largely remote working world. LEARN MORE
The master of science in social work (MSSW) degree is not as common as the MSW degree but it still represents the successful completion of rigorous graduate-level social work education. Similar to the MSW degree, traditional MSSW programs consist of two years of coursework that also include field placements each year for hands-on experiential learning. Courses are split between foundational (first-year) and advanced (second-year) classes and cover the categories of human development and behavior, generalist practice, social justice, social policy, theory, field placement (also called practicum), and research methods. LEARN MORE
Online counseling offers tremendous accessibility, flexibility, and convenience — both for therapists and their clients. It undoubtedly creates more opportunities for dynamic mental health care. With that in mind, it’s important to understand the concept, benefits, and risks associated with this type of treatment. Let’s get into what you need to know! LEARN MORE
Fieldwork is an important component of the social work degree. While traditional coursework gives you an idea of the types of situations you may encounter in your work, there is no substitute for practical real world experience. In your field placement, you will have the opportunity to put the skills you are learning into practice while receiving guidance from an experienced supervisor. LEARN MORE
This guide on the role of social work in climate resilience and environmental justice will explore the definitions of climate change, environmental justice, and climate resilience. It will identify the role that social workers play in the environmental movement, including the ways that social workers in all capacities feel the impact of climate change and how it can be addressed at all levels of practice. LEARN MORE
Social workers who work in clinical mental health fields might experience a lot of overlap with clinicians trained as psychologists. The careers can share a lot in terms of roles and responsibilities. But the training and career paths for social workers and psychologist can also vary widely and are distinctive from one another. LEARN MORE
Students pursuing an MSW have the opportunity to specialize the degree. Often that specialization happens by selection what kind of courses to take, what level of social work to practice (micro, mezzo, and macro), and what kind of field experience to have. The MSW degree also pairs well with other graduate studies, allowing students to further specialize and gain additional skills and experience. This guide discusses several common MSW dual-degree programs and links to additional resources for each degree path. LEARN MORE