Social work policy is a rewarding and rapidly expanding field. This article will help you navigate your way along the typical educational track to obtaining a career in this field.
Start by Volunteering
Volunteering is the easiest way to find out for sure if a field is the ideal fit for you. You will need college degrees in order to obtain your career, and volunteering gives you several advantages:
- Colleges ask why you want to pursue your goals, and having volunteer experience adds validity to your response.
- Good grades alone are not sufficient for college admission. Extracurricular activities like volunteering set you apart from other applicants.
- Volunteering helps you determine the exact kind of work you want to do in the field, which simplifies the process of choosing programs, classes, and areas of concentration.The more you know about the field, the better prepared you are to work in it, and the more appealing you are to selection committees. In addition to volunteering, read the most current research. To begin, visit the website for the Social Work Policy Institute.
Earn Your Bachelor's Degree
Your educational track begins with a bachelor's degree. You can earn an Associate's degree at a community college and then transfer to a Bachelor's program, or you can apply straight to a bachelor's program. USA Today explains these two options so that you can decide which is the best for you.
Many universities offer a direct bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) if you are certain that you want immediately immerse yourself in social work. If you know that you are passionate about the social sciences, but have not yet decided for sure on social work, you can major in an area like psychology and then pursue a Master's degree in social work (MSW).
Consider Earning your Master's Degree
If you are conflicted about whether or not to make graduate school part of your educational track, you are not alone! The best way to decide whether or not your BSW is enough for you is to do a job search of the positions you qualify for without an MSW. Social Work Job Bank is a website devoted to posting jobs within the social work field, and they have published this article about the job market that exists for BSW graduates. Peruse some of the job postings to see how you feel about the positions your BSW will qualify you for. Compare that to how you feel about the positions you will qualify for with a MSW.
If you decide to apply to an MSW program, it is most likely because you have decided to become a Licensed Social Worker, so make sure to apply to MSW programs that meet the accreditation requirements of your state, and programs with high rates of student licensure success.
Building a career in social work policy will open doors for you to create positive social change, and you will find a wide range of positions to choose from. Begin your journey now by volunteering and exploring the research, and then follow the guidelines in this article to decide on your next educational step.
See also: Top 25 MSW Online Programs 2016