This article is about career in “Social work”, and covers the details of eligibility criteria, Job opportunities, colleges etc.
What is Social work?
Social work, as the name suggests is a field that seeks passionate students who along with focusing on their personality development can contribute towards the well being of the society. The social workers undertake the task of nation building. They identify and access the needy and look after their needs.
Social work is not just about finding a job and earning a living. It is a noble activity aimed to promote a healthy and peaceful society by solving the prevailing social issues.
Career opportunities in the “Social work” field is gradually gaining popularity in India. Although, this course is quite prevalent in other parts of the world, India is running a little late in recognizing it as a good profession. Most of us may consider it as a part time job or anything, but it has successfully established itself as a full-fledged profession that requires scientific knowledge, skills and expertise.
Why to consider Social work?
If you aspire to volunteer yourself for the development of the society or you want to invest yourself in changing people’s life, this course is absolutely for you.
The course requires the students to be trained in advanced problem solving and critically analyzing skills to examine complex issues. The real life experiences not just enhance the working capabilities but also help to inculcate the good values in each individual. Besides, it promotes mental advancement to think and consider problems as challenges to combat.
In India, the growing population and fluctuating economy constantly propose problems for a number of people who require attention and aid. These problems can be as small as of inadequate sanitation facilities or could be as big as extreme poverty, unemployment or health emergency. Thus, social work is very much important in developing communities for bridging the economic gap which will have a direct effect on the global economy.
Social workers touch on key social justice issues, such as poverty, disability, inequality, and child abuse. They are not just peace builders but also impact lives of many people.
According to Forbes magazine, the social work supervisors rank seventh on the list of most meaningful occuppations. One can say that, the job satisfaction that you may receive eventually would add purpose to your life. Indeed, it is a noble job.
Is it easy?
No, it is not. The social workers need strong will and determination to work. Besides a satisfying job, it is an emotionally taxing career. The course requires a lot of hard work on and off the field. It is not easy for everyone to fit in the stressing environment and perform their duties.
As a student of this particular field you will be expected to control your emotions and yet show high enthusiastic approach towards solving the problems. In fact, you will have to accept the challenges and work without sparing an effort. You will often be expected to speak up for the wrongs and demonstrate the effectiveness of your speech. If you have problems in public speaking, you can go through our article named Useful tips to overcome speech anxiety.
Moreover, this field requires genuine, passionate and very hardworking students who believe in impacting lives of the people and bringing a change.
The course can be opted for both Bachelors and Masters program. The bachelors in the same takes 3 years to complete, while the Master degree is of 2 years. For bachelors the first and foremost condition is that the candidate must have completed 10+2 or equivalent examination with minimum of 40% score for admissions in these colleges. The admission is based on cut-off issued by the universities and some colleges may have their own entrance exam.
Master’s may require a little more. Usually, it requires a bachelor’s degree in any stream, a little field work, some experience in the same and sometimes a personal statement or letter of recommendation. These can be easily achieved once you decide this is the only course you want to opt for.
There are a number of internship opportunities open for volunteering NGO’s or government trusts. You can achieve certificates and LOR by doing internships or simply by participating in the concerned programs.
With your knowledge, you will certainly land a secure and good job right after graduation. But a masters in social work degree will help you move from a general grey area of social work into a very specific work setting.
After a bachelor’s degree in social work and a year or two of field work and experience you can go for the masters to major in the various categories of social work which are:
- Justice corrections.
- International social work
- Mental health and clinical welfare.
- Health care.
- Advocacy and community organisations, child welfare.
- Mental health and substance abuse social work.
- Public welfare.
- School and education welfare etc
Some renowned colleges in India for the Bachelors of Social work are:
- Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
- Madras Christian College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- Stella Maris College, Chennai.
- Don Bosco College, Panjim.
- NIMS University, [NIMSU] Jaipur.
- St Philomena’s College, [SPC] Mysore.
- Calicut University, Calicut, Kerala.
- Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi.
- Amity University, Mumbai.
Some renowned colleges of India for the Master of social work are:
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
- Delhi School of Social Work, Delhi.
- Xavier Institute of Labour Relations, Mumbai.
- Madras School of Social Work, Chennai.
- Department of Social Work, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.
- Department of Social Work, Pune University, Pune.
- School of Social Work, Mangalore University, Mangalore.
- Department of Social work, Annamalai University, Chennai.
As a rapid growing sector, career opportunities in social work is vast, extending from private to government institutions. Based on the various population of interest for example, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexuality, disability, and location you can choose your area of interest to work in.
The journey with your career in social work would be a process of growth that will help you excel with each experience.
The field is so vast that you would hardly ever think of sitting idle without a job. You can be therapists, policy analysts, community health advocates, diversity trainers and facilitators, juvenile court liaisons, special needs teacher, etc. Also, organization like United Nations Organization also recruit a number of social work enthusiasts.
As a matter of fact the more you explore and unleash the best out of the education you receive the more chances you’ll have for employment.
The salaries can vary with the jobs. In India, after MSW one can expect an initial package of Rs 100,000 – 500,000 p.a. as the Payscale.com suggests. While, in foreign countries the salary may be much higher.
However, with experience and expertise you can get a higher pay. Many well-to-do social welfare platforms such as the Rural Development department, CRY, CINI, HelpAge India, etc. UN subsidiaries like UNESCO and UNICEF also recruit the social workers.
Is it worth it ?
Without a doubt, yes! Besides, satisfaction and moral values, you’ll get to learn so much about the world. Social workers can even get a chance to work abroad with international organizations. You’ll have a life changing experience. Furthermore, you’ll learn skills that you’ll be able to rely on for the entirety of your career and personal life.
A specialization in a specific field can yield you a lot of money. Especially, the clinical researchers earn a lot.
The world will always require social workers because there comes a lot of problems that tend to create disruptions in peaceful and healthy relationships in the society as well as among the countries.
To summarize, with a career in social work you will be in positions to influence the lives of both adults and children and if you’re willing to devote yourself in this field do not hesitate.
For more detailed knowledge you may consult books such as:
- Days In The Lives Of Gerontological Social Workers.
- 101 Careers in Social Work
- Clinical Assessment And Diagnosis In Social Work
- Social Worker’s Desk Reference.