The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs for social workers will continue to grow much faster than other occupations at an overall rate of 15% per year from 2016 to 2026. Growth will be stronger in specialized areas of social work, such as mental health services and substance abuse treatment (18%) and healthcare (19%).1
Social workers work in a variety of settings including schools; hospitals; home health; non-profit, public and private social service agencies; and local, state, and federal government. A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) prepares students for entry level administrative and direct practice positions, such as a caseworker. A master’s degree in social work (MSW) is required for advanced level positions in social work especially for those wanting to become clinical social workers. Licensed clinical social workers work with individuals, families, and groups to address challenging circumstances. Clinical social workers assess, diagnosis, and, in consultation with their clients, develop plans for resolving conflicts.
Advocacy is a central component of the social work profession. Social workers advocate on behalf of clients, communities, and underserved populations. Locally, social workers may advocate for increased access to services for clients. Nationally, social workers may work to increase awareness of an issue, such as homelessness, and the unmet needs of those affected. Many social workers with MSWs seek public office and serve in local and state governments as well as in Congress.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm (visited November 22, 2017).
In addition to field internships, NCSSS hosts a number of events to assist students in their transition to social work professionals including career panels, job search workshops, and licensing workshops. The success of our program lies chiefly in its reputation for strong professional preparation of social work students. Nearly all students have employment after graduation, with more than 50 percent employed prior to graduation, and 85 percent employed within three months of graduation. Of students taking the licensing exam for professional practice, more than 95 percent pass on the first attempt. Given the network of thousands of alumni across the region who are eager to employ NCSSS graduates, our students are successful in launching their careers. The high success of NCSSS students is also due to the close interaction between the faculty and students in mentoring and advising relationships.