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Alternative Career Options You Can Choose With A Social Work Degree

Alternative Career Options You Can Choose With A Social Work Degree

Are you consumed with the desire to help vulnerable populations and bring a real difference in the lives of people with whom you come into contact? Do you want to introduce a systematic reform to eliminate the prejudices and injustices in society?

If the answer is a definitive yes, you must consider a career in social work that allows you to promote actual change at domestic and national levels.

Social workers wear more than one hat. They are revolutionary innovators, advocates, strategizers, therapists, organizers, influencers, and problem solvers. These professionals engage with people at a micro level while taking into account the macro context.

Either you wish to opt for a counseling job role, or an administration position piques your interest, the field offers a myriad of job opportunities. And even if your interest lies outside the traditional clinical work setting, the social work degree empowers you with the education and experience that may prove immensely valuable for other industries, too.

Since caring professionals commit their whole lives to help people grapple with challenges that life throws at them. They become well-acquainted with several transferable skills. And various organizations and institutions value and respect the skills that these professionals bring to the table.

Contingent upon which alternative career you want to choose, you might have to obtain an advanced degree to transition your career. Unfortunately, many individuals find it challenging to attend in-person classes and manage the daily commute.

However, the good news is numerous social work masters programs online are available today for aspiring professionals. An online MSW degree imparts real-world expertise and in-depth knowledge to the individuals to collaborate with professionals appertaining to other fields such as business, health, psychology, or medicine.

Continue reading to find out some of the exciting career prospects with a degree in social work:

1. Sociologist


Same as psychologists, sociologists study and assess societal elements and people’s behavior. These professionals perform research and accumulate data through surveys, interviews, and observations to accurately picture cultures and social institutions.

If you wish to join this field, then you must acquire strong analytical and critical-thinking skills.

The primary responsibilities of a sociologist include:

  1. Reviewing and examining the data collection methods, such as questionnaires, surveys, and interviews
  2. Collaborating with statisticians and other professionals to gather and analyze the research findings
  3. Working together with policymakers and social scientists to discuss research results
  4. Educating people about societal theories

The work setting of a sociologist is typically an office environment. However, these professionals may need to step out of the office to conduct research projects and present the results.

2. Human resources manager

While most people might not relate social work to business activities, there’s still a fraction of overlap in the work duties. For example, human resources managers resolve employee conflicts and support employee assistance programs as they possess strong communication and organizational skills.

And therefore, social workers can choose to outshine this business role since they have vast experience holding conversations with people from diverse backgrounds.

The day-to-day responsibilities of a human resource manager are:

  • Recruiting a new workforce and ensuring a seamless onboarding process
  • Resolving conflicts among the employees and organizing employee benefit programs
  • Ensuring that all staff members comply with safety and disciplinary guidelines

HR managers often work at offices during specified business hours. However, these professionals might have to travel to recruit people and attend conferences for organizations whose branches spread worldwide.

3. High school teacher

High school students raising hands on a class

Since the primary duties of social workers revolve around guiding the clients; therefore, they are proficient in counseling and communication skills.

Hence, these workers can pursue a career in the education sector and opt to be high school teachers. A high school teacher educates, supports, and mentors teenage students in secondary schools.

On a given day, the typical job duties include:

  • Grading the exam work and assignments, providing feedback, and informing the parents about the student’s progress
  • Monitoring student’s activities within the premises of the school
  • Creating administrative policies as well as safety rules and regulations

It’s up to you whether you wish to work in a public or private school. First, however, ensure to practice patience, imaginative thinking, leadership, and confidence to become the best fit for this job.

4. Health administrator

Health administrators are one of the links that bind the social work and healthcare world together. These professionals oversee all the operations in a healthcare facility and ensure that the patients receive high-quality care.

In addition, their organizational and management skills ensure the smooth functioning of the healthcare organization.

Below are some of the responsibilities of a health administrator:

  • Ensuring that all healthcare professionals comply with the safety and health regulations
  • Keeping tabs on office supplies stock, documenting expenses, and figuring out ways to reduce costs
  • Collaborating with physicians, nurses, doctors, and surgeons to learn about their concerns

The work environment of healthcare administrators includes the entire hospitals, clinical settings, nursing centers, or just a group of medical practices. If this field sparks your interest, then you must acquire problem-solving, technology, and leadership skills.

5. Mental health counselor

Therapist Giving Support To Crying Female Patient

Mental health counseling is substantially a kind of social work since the professionals of this field lend a helping hand to people to work through complex life situations.

Child and school social workers are the most suitable for this profession as they render support to students that find it hard to cope with substance abuse problems.

Clinical social workers, too, maybe the best possible fit since their job requires them to stay abreast of the latest mental health research studies.

Mental health counselors perform the following duties:

  • Listening intently to clients to assess and diagnose the reasons for psychological distress
  • Preparing treatment plans, working with families, and educating about mental health
  • Reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of mental health programs

Mental health counselors work in a wide range of settings, includingschools, businesses, community health centers, colleges and universities, and correctional facilities. Therefore, it’s crucial to possess high emotional intelligence, verbal and non-verbal communication, compassion, and listening abilities. 

Final Words

The field of social work is a dynamic one. There are many professions out there that might not fit well in the social work paradigm. Yet, the work responsibilities overlap quite a lot. Therefore, it is better late than never to go for alternative careers in social work and put your education to good use.

Know that the field offers a plethora of opportunities for you to explore.It doesn’t matter if you are kickstarting or advancing your career; pull out all the stops if you wish to serve your community in non-traditional ways.

However, ensure to opt for a lucrative and emotionally worthwhile career pathway. Most occupations require interacting with people; thus, excellent communication and listening skills are of paramount importance.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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