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What is Social Work and is Social Work the Career for Me?

The United Nations predicts the human population will grow to 9.6 billion by 2050. By the same year, the United States population, is expected to increase to 439 million. This means more poor, more people with mental illness, more people with physical disabilities, more social problems of all kinds. These are sad statistics for mankind, but good news for people who like to work with people and are looking for a career.

101 Careers in Social Work, Second Edition serves as both a catalog of social work job descriptions as well as a guide to career planning. The authors highlight the interdisciplinary nature of social work, and include unconventional, cutting-edge career options such as forensic social work, entrepreneurship, working in political systems, international careers, community planning, and more.

Written in a user-friendly style, each chapter focuses on a specific social work career, and outlines the challenges, core competencies and skills, and educational requirements needed to succeed. This book also includes questionnaires and checklists to help readers choose a career tailored to their unique talents, interests, and passions.

Key Features:

A catalog of 101 social work careers, including careers in emerging fields
Helpful career development tools, including self-assessment checklists, interviews with practicing social workers, and questionnaires
Guidance on educational requirements, licensure, and continuing education
An entire chapter dedicated to job-hunting tips and career planning advice


This book will help you assess whether social work is for you. Or if you have already decided to be a professional social worker, this book will help you decide which specific fields of social work practice are a good fit for you based on your interests, skills, preferences, personality, and of course, your passions! In fact, this book profiles 101 different career options for social workers - including the classic or traditional social work vocations, emerging ones, and a few that are somewhat unconventional.

People find their way to social work in many different ways. Some of you may have a close friend or family member who is a social worker, so you are somewhat familiar with the kinds of things social workers do. Many of you have probably seen social workers portrayed in movies, such as "I Am Sam" or "White Oleander", or television shows, such as "ER" or "Judging Amy". (Unfortunately, many portrayals of social workers in the media are not always accurate or very positive depictions.)

Others find their way to social work because they know they want to help others or improve society but are not sure what path they want to go down exactly - perhaps teaching, or counseling, or psychology, or nursing, or law, or public policy, or maybe social work? In social work programs, you will find a wide range of students, from those young, traditional college students, to those who are not so traditional, such as mid-career changers who want to do something completely different in the second phase of their lives.

The variety of options available to those with a social work degree is extremely impressive and is one of the many reasons students choose to pursue a social work degree. If you are looking for a career that is meaningful and challenging, and never boring, social work might be the one for you. A degree in social work will enable you to create your own unique career path - one full of exciting possibilities.

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