Degree in social work: What to expect?

The single parent struggling to pay the bills, the spouse in an abusive relationship, the child who isn’t cared for by his parents — all these people need a helping hand to change their situations and get back on their feet. As a Social Worker, you can expect to see a lot of sad people, but you have the power to shed light on solutions to their problems and turn tears into smiles. Here’s what to expect when you set off to earn your degree in social work.

The College Degree

Social Workers need at least a bachelor’s degree before they can start work. Though a degree in social work itself is most common, smaller organizations also accept individuals with degrees in psychology or sociology. To help others, you must understand them, so your classes cover all aspects of the human mind, from basic psychology to the anatomy of the family structure.

Be sure the college of your choice is approved and accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Many colleges offer both on-campus and online course options so busy parents or distance education students have time to learn.

Beyond College

After college, you can seek out internships and assistant positions to build your resume. Even the smallest of jobs can have a huge impact on helping others. If you want to progress to a job with higher responsibilities, you can return to school for a master’s degree or a Ph.D.


Degree in hand, you’re ready to strike out on your own, but don’t forget your certification; this is required by most states. Once you’ve passed the exam, you’ll find a world of job opportunities, whether you want to focus on helping children or working with adults.

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