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Social Worker Specializations: 5 Career Tracks You Can Choose From

Social work is the ideal field for compassionate individuals because it allows them to help others and empower vulnerable and oppressed individuals and communities. From the education sector to the medical field, social workers enhance the wellbeing of society by assisting underserved populations in numerous settings. Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers accelerated on-campus and online degree programs to help adult learners in their academic pursuits. Here, we discuss various social work careers you can pursue after earning your degree.

Social Work: An In-Demand Career Pathway 

Researchers expect the current work opportunities in social work fields to grow in the United States over the next few years, providing greater job security for those with a social work degree. Employment in this field is projected to increase 12% from 2020 to 2030 — a rate faster than the average for all occupations. Additionally, researchers estimate 78,300 job openings will be available for social workers each year in the next decade. 

Employment opportunities are expected to expand the most for healthcare social workers, child and family social workers, and mental health and substance abuse social workers. Clinical social workers may also be at an advantage in the job market, as well. 

Industries with Social Work Degrees

The generalist social work degree prepares you to work with different ages, populations, and in a variety of areas of practice. Whether you're aiming to work with children or hospital patients, you can serve individuals and groups in a variety of capacities as a generalist in any of the following areas: 

  • Community social work 
  • School social work 
  • Medical social work
  • Mental health social work 
  • Military social work
 

While several positions involve working face-to-face with clients, there are administrative/macro positions available for social workers to broadly support these efforts. Social work administrative professionals work more behind the scenes, guiding organizations in their pursuits to serve multiple populations. They often handle financial, legal, and other priorities vital to keeping these organizations running.

Career Opportunities for Social Workers with Bachelor’s Degrees  

There are several careers with specific social work degree requirements. For example, a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree can open the door to numerous positions. Not only can incoming professionals who've earned their BSW qualify for licensure in most  states, but several employers list this degree as a minimum requirement to apply. Some of the current work opportunities for social workers include:  

 

Residential Case Manager 

3.2% of people with a bachelor’s degree in social work become residential case managers.  Although small on the surface, this percentage represents a significant number of careers in the social work field and is worth considering. Residential case managers supervise the daily activities of residents in group homes, shelters, or other similar environments. They learn the distinct needs of each resident to develop schedules that help them reach specific goals. 

 

Caseworker 

Caseworkers are foundational to the social work field as they help people most directly.  They visit patient homes to assess their living conditions for signs of violence, neglect, or other forms of abuse. Then, they provide the patient with specific methods and resources to help them develop a healthier and safer home. Caseworkers typically work for government agencies, non-profit groups, or similar groups. 

 

Habilitation Specialist 

Habilitation specialists work primarily with people who have various mental or emotional disabilities. They may serve clients individually or work within caregiving facilities to help a specific group of clients. These social workers create activities and programs designed to help their patients develop better social skills. Habilitation specialists may also guide patients with the transition from residential care to independent living. 

 

Family Social Worker 

These specialists work with families to help them prevail through difficult circumstances. They instruct parents how to provide a supportive environment in the home to make children feel safe and loved. Family service workers typically work for government agencies and non-profit organizations. 

 

Geriatric Social Worker 

These social workers help senior citizens with numerous daily activities, including nutrition, healthcare, and transportation. Geriatric social workers must be patient and compassionate to ensure they provide the elderly with the best care. 

Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at MVNU 

If you wish to earn your BSW, turn to MVNU to enroll in a well-rounded degree program. Our social work curriculum features engaging and relevant courses that give students the knowledge and abilities to thrive in the professional world. Except for field assignments, the coursework is 100% online, which helps adult learners fit their education into busy work and life schedules. This program is also accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and guided by six core social work values. 

To learn more about social work careers and earning your degree, reach out today. 

Online Social Work Programs

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