According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s statistics, there are over half a million social workers in the United States labor force. These are individuals with various levels of certification in this field ranging from bachelors and masters degrees to Ph.D. level.
Why Study Social Work?
Social work is basically an academic profession that aims at improving the well-being and quality of life for all members of a community. Social workers seek to achieve this goal through several ways including research, community organization, intervention programs, and educating people afflicted by extreme levels of poverty or social injustices on how to improve their living standards. As an academic discipline, social work focuses on diverse areas including public administration, social policy, human development, and all other aspects of community development. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes major subjects such as economics, sociology, medicine, education and politics.
Social work is a profession that promotes a community’s wellbeing through education, values, and ethics. Some of the organizations that require social workers include social service agencies, health care facilities and hospitals, as well as certain government programs. Of course, before one can work as a social worker, he or she would need accreditation from a recognized body, for example, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The Council on Social Work Education or CSWE, which has mandate from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, confers accreditation to schools and institutions that offer social work courses. CSWE is essentially a non-profit association with over 2,500 members including undergraduate and postgraduate social work program providers. It began its work in 1952 as a partnership of educational institutions, agencies dealing with social welfare, and private citizens. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) develops and regulates licensing examinations in this profession nationally. It is also a central resource for all information regarding accreditation and other regulatory issues relevant to the profession.
Why You Should Only Attend A CSWE Accredited Program
CSWE accredited programs meet rigorous standards designed by top social work educators to ensure that students who qualify to work as social workers are adequately prepared to handle the demands of the profession. Furthermore, only students that graduate from a CSWE-accredited program are eligible to become members of the National Association of Social Workers. Individuals who study social work in a CSWE accredited program acquire all the necessary skills and knowledge required by potential employers. In other words, a licensed social worker with a degree from a CSWE accredited program would have an easier time on the job market compared to an individual who graduated from an unaccredited institution.
A bachelor’s degree or a diploma in social work is one of the key academic qualifications for individuals seeking to join this profession. Students seeking to become social workers should ideally have completed presocial work majors, which are available from freshmen and sophomore years in the first degree. A Bachelor of Social Work degree program usually involves 125 coursework hours with emphasis on both theoretical and practical skills. You can begin the course with a presocial work major and complete other required subjects including social and behavioral sciences, languages, natural sciences, and humanities.
You may also be eligible to earn a Master’s degree in Social Work if you have a baccalaureate degree in this field. The degree gives you the required skills and preparation to work in any sector of human services. A Master’s degree is ideal for anyone with ambitions to advance to supervisory or management levels in social work field.
If you are looking to pursue a career in social work, you should join a college that offers programs accredited by the CSWE. By doing so, you will not only get quality training but also have an edge on the job market over someone who went to an unaccredited learning institution.
For more information on CSWE accreditation, view the site: http://www.cswe.org/