What can I do with this degree?
Public welfare is designed to provide services and support for poor, disabled, ill, elderly, or juvenile clients.
Criminal Justice / Corrections
Social workers in corrections focus on assessment and rehabilita¬tion of clients.
School of Social Work
School systems may employ social workers to help students cope with/resolve emotional, developmental, or educational difficulties.
Child welfare social workers strive to ensure the safety and well-being of children through treatment of the whole family.
Gerontology involves working with older adults, healthy or ill, and their families.
Clinical social workers are found in a variety of settings that provide therapeutic counseling to clients.
Administrators are involved with planning, budgeting, public relations, operations man-agement, fund-raising and other crucial responsibilities that keep organizations functioning.
Research and Education
Research provides data and statistics important in program implementation and policy development.
Occupational social workers help employees to be more productive and satisfied.
Social workers in this area help people with disabilities to adjust and to lead productive lives.
Social workers in health care facilitate medical and emotional treatment of patients.
Social workers in this area work with existing organizations to improve conditions for specific groups, enhance quality of living, and involve community members in the political process.
- Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) prepares individuals for entry-level direct practice.
- Master of Social Work (MSW) is necessary to provide therapy and for advancement to supervisory/administrative positions.
- Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) or Ph.D. is usually required for positions in teaching, research, and administration. Desirable for some clinical positions and private practice.
- Must complete a degree from a college or university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Programs in¬clude practical field experience.
- Most states require licensure, certification or registration.
- The field practicum is used to determine suita¬bility for this profession and to provide exposure to various practice settings/clients.
- Candidates should possess empathy for others, an appreciation for diversity and an interest in social change.
- Social workers serve a range of client systems (individuals, families, groups, communities) as they attempt to enhance social function¬ing.
- Social work is unique given its dual focus on the person and the environment.
Note: A large amount of this information was adapted from Choices: Careers in Social Work by the National Association of Social Workers and was originally prepared by the Career Planning Staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1998) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer