If you enjoy being directly involved with resolving problems for individuals and families, being a social worker my be right for you. The minimum requirement to become a social worker is a bachelor’s degree. More often than not, most students go to the masters level (Master of Social Work (MSW)). There are many opportunities out there in a number of different venues such as housing, child and family services, transportation, health and education. You need to develop a wide range of skills to become a social worker so there are many steps involved particularly if you go to the masters level and become certified. Additionally, requirements vary from one state to another in the United States and from country to country.
Your bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) generally takes 4 years to complete. Some of the courses you might take include Intro to Social Welfare and Human Services, Principles and Practice in Social Work, Human Behavior Theory, Issues in Social Welfare, Social Work Practice in Research and Statistics for Social Work Research. If you go on to get a master’s degree in social work (MSW), that will take two years. Your coursework will be more advanced and will concentrate on your area of interest. You’ll take courses like Practice in Home and Community Settings with Older Adults, Social Work with Children and Adolescents and Child Abuse and Neglect.
No matter what degree you achieve, you will need a license to practice being a social worker in the U.S. and of course this varies from country to country. Nevertheless, requirements vary by state but most states require supervised work training and in many cases you’ll need to pass a written exam as well. Some states require over 3000 hours of supervised work done over a two year period. To find out what the requirements are for your state go to The National Association of Social Workers website. This site also lists information about requirements to maintain your licensure.
If you have a foreign degree in social work, your degree can be recognized in the U.S. by the International Social Work Degree Equivalency Recognition Service and this is provided by the Council on Social Work Education. However, there will be additional state licensure requirements that you will have to meet.
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Susan has studied at the University of Texas Medical Branch Marine Biomedical Institute in Galveston, Texas and the University of South Florida in Tampa and received a Ph.D. in Biology with a major in Neuroscience and minors in physics and mathematics. Area of research is in brain transplantation and behavior testing with twenty years of teaching experience. Fields of interest include the physical basis of memory and learning, brain repair and regeneration as well as neuro-development. As an educator, has taught thousands of students at the college level in anatomy and physiology, biology, microbiology, marinebiology, nutrition, communications, radiography, ultrasound, mathematics and physics. She enjoys reading current scientific literature and simplifying the material making it readily available to the public.