Social work is a profession where the primary goal is to improve the lives of individuals, such as homeless children, the elderly, the disabled, or the sick. Social workers deal with the personal affairs of working people, including their family life, school life, conflicts, housing and employment. Social workers may work in offices, clinics, or hospitals, or they may visit clients at school, work, or at home.
The first professional development goal for any social worker has to do with education and the acquisition of some bachelor’s degree. Each country requires social workers to go through a certification process that could include up to 3,000 hours of work or two years of supervised experience.
While no post-secondary education is required, most employers require their social workers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field.
Even for social workers who have been able to land an entry-level position without a graduate degree, post-secondary education is generally required for promotion. It should be a professional development goal to pursue higher education like most other careers that require postgraduate education such as a master’s or doctorate.
Professional promotion is one of the professional development objectives that each career must have. Everyone, no matter what their career, needs to be promoted and needs to get a breakthrough in the career of their choice. Not many careers have a set path, however, careers like social work and health care often require higher education to show signs of progress.
In social work, a person with a minimum of post-secondary certification and some state bachelor’s degree can get an entry-level position. However, no matter how many years of experience you have, if you don’t go back to school to get the next level of education, whether it’s a master’s degree or a doctorate, you won’t advance in your career development.
Head of department
Each social worker has a particular group of people with whom they like to work. Some social workers work with people who are addicted to drugs or with people who have mental health problems while others work with children in a school setting.
One career goal social workers should have is to run a non-profit social work department while also caring for a particular group of people with whom they would like to work.
In order to achieve this goal, a social worker must have a strong educational background in the specialty of their choice and appropriate experience that demonstrates not only their ability to work with this particular group of people, but also the ability to lead them.