Connect with us
  • Advertisement
  • Social Work

    Growing Careers in Social Work

    Published

    on

    Social work is a field offering a diverse array of challenges and exciting opportunities to improve the lives of individuals in all sectors of society. The jobs in social work and the human services field are considered to be some of the fastest growing career opportunities, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting growth rates exceeding 23 percent in many areas. Some of the fastest growing sectors of the human services field are discussed below.

    Case Management

    Growing Careers ImageHuman services case management opportunities continue to top the list of growing fields in the social work arena. Professionals taking on these tasks assess individuals to determine their needs and make recommendations of community resources that benefit them. These professionals maintain a relationship with their clients for as long as services are needed, and they constantly reassess to ensure resources remain appropriate and necessary. Case managers work in long term care facilities, with geriatric clients in their homes, assisting children and families in the court system, in hospital settings and with clients in community corrections. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 27 percent growth rate in this field between 2010 and 2020, making it one of the fastest growing professions in the United States.

    Substance Abuse Counselor

    Another growing sector of the human services field is substance abuse and behavioral health. Counselors working in this capacity advise people who are facing addictions. They might work in a hospital setting, outpatient care facility, within the prison system or in private practice. Substance abuse counselors can expect to see a 27 percent growth rate in their careers between 2010 and 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Continued growth in the field of substance abuse and behavioral health counselors is largely due to the transition that managed care insurance companies are making, moving clients away from seeing more expensive psychiatrists and psychologists and toward sessions with less expensive counselors. In addition, as jails seek solutions to overpopulation problems, the criminal justice system continues to sentence drug offenders to counseling rather than jail time.

    Health Education

    Health education is a third field of human services that is experiencing tremendous growth. The demand for healthy living information continues to escalate, and this is leading to an increased need for professional health educators. These individuals often work in private practice or hospital settings, and they teach individuals about behaviors that promote physical and mental wellness. Corporations are also employing firms that offer wellness services in an effort to reduce employee illnesses and cut down on increasing healthcare costs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 37 percent growth rate is expected in this field between 2010 and 2020.

    Social Services Assistant

    Individuals seeking a more entry level human services occupation might be interested in a social services assistant position. Professionals working in this capacity provide support to social workers and their clients. They assist in locating resources, transporting clients, completing social work documentation and generally providing support to the organization in which they serve. Social service assistants work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, government agencies, nursing homes and non-profit agencies. This is an excellent position for the new graduate, as it provides exposure to the field of social work and additional on the job education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 28 percent growth rate in this profession between 2010 and 2020, a higher than average rate when all occupations are considered.

    Marriage & Family Therapist

    Finally, individuals with higher degrees can consider a career as a marriage and family therapist. This profession requires at least a Master’s Degree, and licensing is required in all fifty states. Therapists assist individuals, couples and families during times of crises, and they empower their clients by recognizing strengths and teaching coping techniques. Many therapists are employed in private practice, but mental health facilities and hospitals also offer positions for these professionals. The growth rate for this field is anticipated to be 37 percent between 2010 and 2020, with continued increases expected as managed care programs show a preference for paying reimbursement to therapists versus more expensive psychologists or psychiatrists.

    The opportunities a social work degree presents will continue to see extensive growth well into the 21st century. Graduates should consider the challenges that each area of social work presents, and apply their talents in the area that best represents their individual strengths. In addition, considering positions such as the ones described above helps ensure continued upward career mobility and job security for many years to come.

    Ashley Dunlap is an online specialist for The Learning House and works with several universities including Shorter University Online.

    4 Comments

    4 Comments

    1. Michael Wright

      August 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks for this, Ashley. It’s interesting and important in a way to highlight the core values, knowledge and skills that social workers uniquely possess to fulfill these opportunities. I fear that graduates often see the multitude of options and freeze. Or, they get passed over for positions because they can’t articulate beyond “I’m flexible.” I agree, focusing in on these areas as job titles to look for, preparing a specific approach to your desired option, and articulating your individual uniqueness are good professional starts for new grads.

    2. SWCONFUCC

      August 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      “: New Post! Growing Careers in Social Work – #SWUnited #msnbc #uniteblue http://t.co/th5VIQ8Om4”

    3. Amanda Fladager

      August 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      I just graduated with my BSW. I love my area of study, loved my Practicum, and am eager to begin my career in this field.

    4. Timothy Hill

      Timothy Hill

      August 15, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Nice to know since I’ll be getting my degree in a year LOL

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Advertisement

    Connect With SWHELPER

    Twitter
    Flipboard Instagram
    Advertisement

    Trending

    Advertisement
    °
    ___
    ______
    • Low Temp. ___°
    • High Temp. ___°
    ___
    ______
    October 22nd 2020, Thursday
    °
       ___
    • TEMPERATURE
      ° | °
    • HUMIDITY
      %
    • WIND
      MPH
    • CLOUDINESS
      %
    • SUNRISE
    • SUNSET
    • FRI 23
      ° | °
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • SAT 24
      ° | °
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • SUN 25
      ° | °
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • MON 26
      ° | °
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • TUE 27
      ° | °
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    • WED 28
      ° | °
      Cloudiness
      %
      Humidity
      %
    Advertisement

    Trending