Do you have a desire to help others overcome their struggles? Are you skilled at setting boundaries while maintaining empathy? Are you culturally sensitive? Do you have social justice awareness?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a career in social work may be the perfect fit. Even more exciting to know is that you can earn your master’s of social work online. There is a great need for people like you who can step into this role as a professional while maintaining a healthy desire to support others through their life’s challenges. While the role of a social worker is deeply impactful and fulfilling, it does come with its own set of obstacles and challenges that every candidate must carefully consider before entering into.
Not surprisingly, the field of social work tends to draw those with deeply valued traits such as compassion, empathy, and an overall desire to create change. However, it’s important to keep in mind that many of the situations you will encounter as a social worker will take time, patience, and perseverance. By setting clear and realistic expectations, you will set yourself up for success.
Due to the emotional component of interacting with and advocating for better conditions for those you work with, self care is of the utmost importance. The National Association of Social Workers agrees and has recently revised their Code of Ethics to highlight new provisions on self care as well as cultural humility for all social workers. This is great news as it addresses your well being on both a personal and professional level.
Beyond these new changes, there is also broad support and resources for anyone who chooses to go into this life changing career field. By connecting with others in the industry, you will develop meaningful practices and strategies that you can use during all stages of your new career. A great place to start is The New Social Worker, a digital magazine for those in the field of social work. Here, you will find the latest industry updates, articles, news, events, and more. You can also utilize their social media platforms to further engage and be a part of the larger community.
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding on your new career is choosing where you will complete your program requirements. Of course, there are several determining criteria, such as cost and length of program, hands-on field experience, entry requirements, and more. Because the field of social work is expected to grow 12% each year until 2030, it is an exciting time to join the force and begin making an impact on the causes you care most about. Even more exciting is the fact that you can complete this entire program online. So, no matter where you live or what you currently have going on in your life, you will have the flexibility of finishing all of your necessary coursework right from your computer. Field work will be arranged to take place in your area once that time approaches.
Typically, you can expect to complete your program within 2-3 years, depending on your educational status.During this time, you can expect to receive in-depth learning from instructors, coursework, field experience, self directed research, and peers. Areas to be explored as part of your training will include mental health, foster care, trauma, addiction, and much more. By the end of your program, you can expect to be highly trained and well prepared for your new career.
There is a great need for the work you have chosen but your impact will be even greater.