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Why Become a Social Worker?

September 14, 2022
smiling woman holding baby talking to social worker

Why choose a career in social work? This question resonates with many who are drawn to the field not just for its growth potential, but also for the profound impact it has on lives and communities. Whether it’s the desire to enact change, address systemic issues or draw from personal experiences to empower others, social work offers a unique blend of challenges and rewards. In this post, we explore the multifaceted reasons why people choose social work, from its dynamic nature to the personal growth it fosters.

The Call to Social Work

Social work is a rapidly growing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2030, demand for social workers is expected to increase by 12 percent, which is faster than most other occupations.1 However, the potential availability of jobs is only one of the many reasons to be a social worker. Social workers are instrumental in making a difference in the world, and in advocating for those who can’t always advocate for themselves. The field is ideal for someone who wants to be a force for change and empower those who need the most help.

When first entering the field, prospective social workers will find that a bachelor’s degree in social work is required, but at this level you would not be considered a clinical social worker or a licensed social worker. To become a clinical social worker, you will need a master’s degree in social work. All states require clinical social workers to be licensed and have state-specific requirements to be considered a licensed clinical social worker. And, after obtaining a master of social work degree and license, licensed clinical social workers must complete supervised training and experience.

With all the work required to become a licensed clinical social worker, and with popular culture sometimes presenting social workers as overworked and under-appreciated, you may wonder why people choose to pursue this field. Those who choose to become social workers know the field is complex and highly rewarding. It can be an immensely satisfying and fulfilling career, and one where you have the chance to actually see how you are helping society in a number of concrete ways. Check out four reasons to pursue a career as a social worker.

1. Social Workers Help Prevent Problems

In the past, social workers have typically been called only after a major problem presents itself to find ways to fix the issue so that their clients can have healthy and productive lives moving forward. But a marked shift is happening in the field today. Social workers are becoming less focused on solving problems and more focused on “primary prevention,” providing interventions ahead of time to prevent problems from occurring in at-risk populations.2

For example, healthcare social workers in hospital settings often work with patient families before discharge to ensure that the family is equipped to take care of the patient at home and that they have all the services, training and equipment they need before they leave the hospital. The work social workers do helps prevent post-discharge complications and hospital readmission and gives families the tools and support they need for success. Social workers can see problems alleviated before they become overwhelming or out of control.


2. Become a Social Worker and Make a Difference

According to one survey, nearly three quarters of prospective employees want a job where their work matters.3 Typically, those who feel like their work is meaningful are more productive and engaged in their work and feel more fulfilled. One of the best ways to feel like your work matters is to make a difference in the lives of others, and being a social worker allows you to do just that. Social workers don’t have a hard time finding meaning in their work.

In fact, many publications list social worker among the top 10 most meaningful jobs.4 Social workers are able to tackle immediate problems head-on with their clients and patients, rather than wringing their hands over systemic problems and wondering what they can do to help. Social workers focus on a myriad of areas that affect others, including mental health, substance abuse, social and economic justice, family services and much more. As a social worker, it’s possible that you could be the person that changes someone else’s life for the better.

3. Being a Social Worker is Never Boring

If you want a sedentary desk job where you have defined tasks and a regular schedule, then being a social worker might not be the best position for you. Social work is a highly varied career; not only do your day-to-day responsibilities change frequently, there are also a wide range of areas in which you might specialize. Some social workers opt to work in a school or hospital setting, for instance, while others go into human services or even law enforcement.

Regardless of where they work, social workers are unlikely to be at their desks for long, as they are more often actively engaging with their clients and communities. Social workers can be found in a variety of settings, from private practices to nonprofit organizations to hospitals to government agencies and many more. If you want a career path that keeps you on your toes, then becoming a social worker is a good career path for you.

4. Become a Social Worker and Find Personal Growth

Many social workers enter the field because of personal experiences in their own lives.5 A high percentage of social workers have faced their own challenges, among them poverty, violence, discrimination and mental health issues, and they choose to be a social worker because they want to use those experiences to make a difference in the lives of others. However, even those who haven’t experienced those hardships in their lives find that being a social worker helps them grow and develop beyond their own expectations.

Being a social worker requires not only a great deal of empathy and emotional strength, but also creative problem-solving skills. Because of this, social workers are often personally challenged by their work. They are required to constantly learn, grow and develop their professional skills, which can make for a rewarding career in the long run.

Social workers are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of others, their communities and the world as a whole. Not only is it an in-demand job, it’s also a challenging and meaningful one. If you have a passion for helping others and want to make real change, consider becoming a social worker by pursuing a degree in social work and becoming a licensed social worker.

Become a Social Worker With a Master of Social Work From Yeshiva University Wurzweiler

If you want to learn more about why one would choose to become a social worker, and about starting on your path to this challenging and fulfilling career by earning a degree in social work, contact Yeshiva University to learn more about our online Master of Social Work program.

Nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), our 100% online Master of Social Work program provides world-class training in advanced clinical practice and offers a variety of critically-needed specializations. Learning from seasoned practitioners, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed for meeting real-life challenges and will be prepared to sit for state licensure exams to become a licensed social worker in one of the many licensure specialties.

Wurzweiler students get experience as social workers before graduating through fieldwork. Social work is an endeavor that can never be taught fully inside a classroom or online learning environment, which is why students partake in face-to-face fieldwork throughout the program. Experience the life of professional social workers ahead of graduation.

So, if you’re ready to become a social worker and find a successful career, contact us today to get started on your Master of Social Work.

  1. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
  2. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from socialwork.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.001.0001/acrefore-9780199975839-e-300
  3. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/sep/14/millennials-work-purpose-linkedin-survey
  4. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from forbes.com/pictures/fjle45lhem/no-7-most-meaningful-job/#e79da94dfc1f
  5. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/11/reason_to_choose_social_work_o.html