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Why study social work?

If you enjoy working with people and have a passion for helping, social work can provide you with a very satisfying career path. There are many different paths to advance, the most obvious perhaps being a degree in social work, however there are many different vocational training routes easily combined with continued employment.

What will I learn studying a social work degree?

When studying for a degree in social work you will learn vital interpersonal skills, including group work, policy making and how to best support vulnerable people such as drug abusers and children. A social work degree will prepare you to pursue a career within the social care sector.

The knowledge you gain during your studies will be invaluable in both voluntary and private care sectors. Social work degrees cover everything from helping families in distress to people experiencing violent relationships or having problems with drugs or alcohol to communities with special needs. The care you give can be in hospitals, residential or home care. Either way, your social work degree will help you to help others, and will give you a high level of career satisfaction.

When considering studying social work abroad at an international university, you may have to consider that some jobs in social work generally require accreditation, which you may have to gain in addition to your degree if you move back home or to other countries. What is also worth considering in addition to your degree is that the knowledge of different languages can be very beneficial in this area of work. It gives you the ability to communicate more easily with those in need of help, especially if you aim to work in communities with a large number of minority residents.

A social worker discusses with a client

Careers in social work – what can I do with a social work degree?

In general, all careers within social work come down to providing support, practical and otherwise to help people cope with day to day life. This often means working with those who are, for one reason or another, less fortunate. A very large area, and one which continues to grow, is care for the elderly. Other areas including caring for the mentally and physically disabled, community work with abused or troubled children and adolescents, and giving support to minority groups experiencing difficulty entering into a new society. Some potential careers include:

  • Home Care
  • Community work with families
  • Residential care
  • Community work with young people
  • Children's residential care
  • Personal assistant
  • Community work with adults
  • Studying Social Care

Here are some average salaries of occupations within social work in the U.S., according to PayScale.com:

Social worker

USD $44,351

Family support worker

USD $30,585

Youth worker

USD $30,063

Geriatric social worker

USD $45,136


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