Social Work Colleges and Schools

Anyone interested in becoming a social worker must complete a training program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). You will need at least a bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) from accredited schools for social work in order to apply for entry-level positions in the field. Social worker colleges around the country typically offer both bachelor's degree and master's degree programs. If you have a bachelor's degree in a related field, many schools will still accept you into the master's degree program. You'll need to take some time to review degree programs and advanced training programs available at different schools so that you can work towards a career you are truly passionate about.

Attending Schools for Social Work Degree Programs

Schools for social work often provide both classroom and hands-on training opportunities for students. Fieldwork experience is very valuable for anyone entering the social work profession because it gives the student a chance to work with a broad range of clients and learn how agencies and local programs work.

Social workers are responsible for connecting their clients with different types of resources, as well as solving problems and working through a client's challenges. They must have a deep understanding of human behavior, psychology, and social climates. Schools for social work provide the specialized training needed to succeed in this field, and can pave the way for students who want to advance their educational careers by pursuing research studies or advanced studies in a particular field.

Fieldwork Training Programs at Social Worker Colleges

Almost all social worker colleges that offer a master's degree in social work require students to complete a practicum or internship component. An internship or practicum gives the student a chance to work under the supervision of an experienced and licensed social worker. They learn how to work with all types of clients, including teens, children, and seniors. They have a chance to introduce themselves to the social worker community and build up a contacts list that they can use throughout their careers. Some internships give the student a chance to work in a clinical setting under the supervision of a social worker or psychotherapist. Here, the student learns how to provide counseling services to various clients and how the whole counseling process works.

Fieldwork and practicum sites may include local community health networks, the city's public health department, the Boys and Girls Club, coalitions for the homeless, and local charity organizations.

Employers hiring social work professionals look for fieldwork experience, internships, and other training completed at social worker colleges. They want to hire social workers who have a diverse skill set and extensive work experience working with clients directly. If a student cannot fulfill an internship while attending schools for social work, they might consider taking on a volunteer position for six to 12 months right after graduation. This can help them acquire necessary work experience for high-paying positions in the field, and also provide some training for any advanced educational programs the individual is interested in pursuing.