What Sort of Education Results in a Social Work Degree?

Social work jobs can be incredibly rewarding, both financially and personally.These jobs allow you to work with those in need of many different forms of assistance, from mental illness to child abuse and more. However, in order to enter this career field, you will need to know more about your options for a social work degree. What sort of education will you need to have?

Minimum Education Requirements to Become a Social Worker

The minimum social work degree required to enter the field is a bachelor’s degree. This will give you access to entry-level positions, as well as some higher up the ladder. You will also find some jobs open to those who majored in sociology, in psychology or in other fields as well. As mentioned, these will all be entry-level positions. For higher positions, an advanced degree will be necessary.

Advanced Social Work Degree Requirements

If you are interested in helping others, then you should consider a social work degree that allows you to access higher echelon jobs.  For instance, with a master’s degree in psychology or social work, you can work within an educational setting, in an academic setting or directly with people in need of counseling or other assistance.

A Ph.D. will give you even greater access to lucrative social work jobs.  If you will be entering a supervisory role, or working in administration, you will also need an advanced degree. These positions require specialized training and knowledge, so you might also find that they require course work in social services, or social work values and ethics.

Other Qualities for Social Work Jobs

In addition to attaining the right social work degree, you need to have some other qualities to be a good fit for this industry. You should want to help others around you, certainly.  You should also be mature and objective, as well as sensitive to the needs of others.  Discretion is another good quality for those engaged in social work, as sensitive subject matter can be discussed quite frequently in many settings.

Finally, be prepared to put in your time on the job. In addition to a degree in social work, most higher positions will also require a minimum number of years working in the field.  Rarely will you find a high position with no experience requirements.

Additional Resources

You can find excellent information about a social work degree with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You can use the tool at the top of this page to search for both online social work schools and brick-and-mortar sw degree programs in the U.S.

Psychology schools also offer a route to sw positions.


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