The skills a social worker needs to succeed
To be a successful social worker, you must be able to clearly communicate with a wide range of people. This includes verbal communication, which is done by actively listening to clients and advocating for their needs, and non-verbal communication, which includes paying attention to non-verbal cues such as body language. In addition to communicating with clients, social workers regularly communicate with other community members, service providers and professionals.
Social workers must also have empathy and patience. They often help clients with varying socioeconomic, cultural andacademic backgrounds. Different clients have varying needs and some may require more time, empathy and patience than others.
Additionally, social workers need to be organized as they’re required to document, report and bill for their cases. Being a social worker also involves supporting multiple clients simultaneously, so organization is important for prioritizing each client’s needs at any given time.
Jobs an MSW prepares you for
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 9% from 2021 to 2031, which is quicker than the average growth rate. After earning a MSW, you’ll have the knowledge and skills needed to work in a variety of settings with a wide range of clients, including victims of violence, individuals in the criminal justice system and more. Possible jobs you can get with an MSW include, but aren’t limited to:
- School social worker
In an academic setting, social workers may assist students by addressing behavioral problems and the underlying reasons for those behaviors, including everything from cyberbullying and truancy to health problems and food insecurity.
- Marriage and family therapist
Social workers specializing in marriage and family counseling work with families to address problems in a constructive manner and develop individualized treatment plans.
- Child welfare social worker
Social workers must sometimes intervene to protect children from harm and often work to provide a safe and supportive environment for children.
- Military social worker
Social workers have a long history of working with military service members and their families and are crucial to connecting individuals with the necessary care and support.
- Social worker specializing in the LGBTQIA+ community
Social workers have the opportunity to address the marginalization experienced by the LGBTQIA+ community in housing, health care, public transport and more.
- Community services manager
Social workers in a community services manager capacity oversee programs and organizations that work to support a range of social and community services.
- Mental health and substance abuse social worker
As a social worker assisting those with mental health and substance abuse problems, you’ll collaborate with physicians, counselors and other professionals to provide crisis intervention, counseling and treatment.
Earn your online MSW online at Arizona State University
For those interested in becoming a social worker, Arizona State University offers the opportunity to earn your Master of Social Work online. This online master’s program is offered through ASU’s School of Social Work and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). ASU Online’s MSW program follows a set sequence of courses and covers a variety of social concerns, including behavioral health, community practice, policy practice and innovative services for children, youth and families. This program also includes two professional seminars and a mandatory hands-on field education component.