Through direct counseling, social workers help clients identify their real concerns and help them to consider solutions and find resources. Clinical social workers offer psychotherapy or counseling and ranges of services in public agencies, clinics as well as in private practice.
Some social workers specialize in gerontological services. Social workers are found in public agencies, private businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, private practices, police departments, courts, and countless other interesting workplaces.
To be a social worker, one must have a degree in social work from a college or university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The undergraduate degree is the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). Graduate degrees include the Master of Social Work (MSW) and the Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) or PhD. An MSW is required to provide therapy.
A person working in a social work related field should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills
- Quantitative literacy skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Appropriate cultural awareness and sensitivity.
A social work major may work in any of these capacities:
- Child welfare and family services
- Mental Health
- Medical social work
- School social work
- Criminal justice social work
Core Social Work courses that may be helpful in pursuing the major**:
- Introduction to Sociology
- Introduction to Psychology
**Specific social work requirements will vary depending on the baccalaureate granting institution.
Looking for more information? Check out these resources.
- WISCareers – “Wisconsin’s career exploration and planning website.” Contact Student Affairs for access to this website.
- Transfer Information System (TIS) – Access a transfer planning guide for specific majors and UW institutions.
- Course Schedule – Search for courses available at UWFox
- Education advisors – An excellent resource for all your academic and career questions.