Career Social Worker

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A field closely related to social work, psychology focuses on human behavior and motivations. An undergraduate degree in psychology can be a promising option for students planning a career in clinical social work. An education in psychology provides insight into how to help clients overcome obstacles and achieve goals.


A degree in education may be a good choice for those interested in working as school social workers or with children and adolescents. In addition to courses on teaching strategies, education degrees often provide instruction in child behavior, learning disabilities and group management skills.

Child Development

Child development degrees can be useful for social workers who intend to serve children and their families. In these programs, students can learn about how children develop mentally, emotionally and intellectually. As social workers, graduates can use this knowledge to develop age-appropriate strategies for addressing mental health concerns, problematic behavior and traumas.


Sociology intersects with social work in many ways, with a focus on human society and interpersonal relationships. Social work tends to take a more hands-on approach, while sociology more often uses intricate research projects to examine the behaviors of cultures, institutions and other subsects of populations. Rather than working within a community, sociologists study the why’s and how’s of group interactions from a distance. However, this can create a solid foundation for a future career in social work as well.

Complete an Internship in the Community

Nothing is more important in a social work education than actual fieldwork and taking on opportunities to serve others as soon as possible. Even if you can’t find an internship that is exactly in line with your interests, any interaction with clients and the community builds skills necessary to careers in social work. An internship could include working for a local nonprofit health organization, clinic or hospital.

Recommended: Earn a Master of Social Work (MSW)

Students who want to become licensed clinical social workers need at least a master’s degree in this discipline. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, virtually any undergraduate major is acceptable for entry into an MSW program. Master’s degree programs incorporate clinical practice with coursework to ensure students are properly prepared for positions in the field.

Depending on the degrees offered, schools might be accredited by a regional accrediting board or other body approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Social work programs can obtain accreditation from specialized organizations like the Council on Social Work Education.

It's Interesting

  • Wanting to return to her old career as a social worker, Paige's plans get put on hold, when her Whitelighter father, Sam, returns asking for her help with his charge. Meanwhile, Piper and Leo go to see a magical marriage counselor who thinks the best therapy is for them to walk a mile in each others' shoes - literally.

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