Social Work
Holloway Hall

What can I do with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work?

You should know that not everybody possesses the aptitude to become a social worker. This career is generally viewed as work for the brave and the generous. This is for people who give priority to the needy rather than their personal benefits. Social workers are considered to be valuable employees of society, because they prioritize social care. They patiently work with different kinds of individuals, regardless of age, who are usually people that are socially excluded like the elderly, delinquent youths, and physically and mentally incapacitated persons.

Graduate School

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for entry into the occupation, but many positions require an advanced degree. Although a bachelor’s degree (BASW) is sufficient for entry into the field, an advanced degree has become the standard for many positions. A master’s degree in social work (MSW) is typically required for positions in health settings and is required for clinical work as well. Some jobs in public and private agencies also may require an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in social services policy or administration. Supervisory, administrative, and staff training positions usually require an advanced degree.

Graduates from an accredited undergraduate social work program may be eligible for the advanced standing MSW program. The advanced standing program allows qualified students to complete their MSW degree in 32 credit hours. Applicants who graduated within the past three years and have a minimum GPA of 3.2 in the last 60 credits may be eligible. Click here for information on Salisbury University's MSW program.

Jobs

People choose careers in the social work because they have a strong desire to help improve people’s lives.  Social workers are on the frontlines, developing, advocating and delivering social programs that are responsive to needs as homelessness, poverty, family break-up, mental illness, disability, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and many other issues.  As a social worker you can help and individual face a disability or a life-threatening disease or a social problem, such as inadequate housing, unemployment, or substance abuse. Or you might choose to help families that have serious domestic conflicts, such as child or spousal abuse. Another professional route would be to conduct research, advocate for improved services, or become involved in policy development at the local, state or national level. Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting.  These include:

  • Improving the social and psychological functioning of children and their families
  • Arranging adoptions, or help find foster homes for neglected, abandoned, or abused children
  • Working with senior citizens
  • Helping people cope with job-related pressures or with personal problems that affect the quality of their work
  • Working in a school with parents, guardians, or teachers to ensure students reach their academic and personal potential
  • Medical and public health social workers provide psychosocial support to people, so they can cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or AIDS
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers assess and treat individuals with mental illness or substance abuse problems
  • Social work administrators, planners and policymakers develop and implement programs to address issues such as child abuse, homelessness, substance abuse, poverty, and violence