What Else You Can Study Before a Social Work Career

 

Social work might be the noblest profession. Not only do you devote your career to helping the less fortunate navigate the world around them, but you work long, hard hours and get paid laughably little. Still, the rare satisfaction of improving people’s lives and improving the community pushes a few more people into the field social work every year.

There are social work degree programs – but they aren’t the only way you can get into social work. Because you can find accredited online MSW programs, you can gain the necessary credentials for a social work career while studying a broader, more widely applicable subject for your bachelor’s. If you are afraid of pigeon-holing your career with a niche degree before you enter the workforce, here are a few other programs you can pursue in undergrad.

Sociology

Sociology is the scientific study of society, which often involves studying the development of society as well as the structure and function of existing societies. Sociology can also entail the study of human relationships, which form the backbone of society. Sociology is a relatively new discipline, only just over 100 years old, and it intersects with dozens of similar fields of study, including behavioral economics and social psychology.

Social work can easily be explained as sociology at work; social workers apply what sociologists study and theorize. Therefore, sociology is an exceptionally useful major or minor for those eager to become social workers. Studying sociology will help you understand many of the phenomena affecting modern society, so you can more effectively respond to your clients’ needs and create positive change in their lives.

Political Science

Political science focuses on the theory and practice of government. In the classroom, students of political science study how power is distributed in different systems, how effective certain systems are at meeting the needs of their people, how political thought has evolved over time and more.

Some people believe that the definition of politics is who gets what, when and how. If that’s the case, then social workers equipped with a political science background might be better at obtaining the services their clients need. Especially if you plan to work in a government agency, you might want some experience in political science to help you navigate the complex rules and regulations of the public sector.

Psychology

It should be of little surprise that psychology appears on a list of potential courses of study for social workers. Psychology is an essential tool for the social worker, who must explain, encourage and otherwise embolden clients to improve their lives. With a psychology background, you will be capable of analyzing your clients’ psychological processes and moving them toward healthier emotional states and behaviors. What’s more, you can do the same with yourself, helping you remain calm, stable and productive in your own life.

If you hope to climb the social work career ladder, experience in psychology will become even more useful. Accredited online MSW programs draw heavily on psychology theory and practice, so your undergrad major or minor will provide a solid foundation upon which you can build.

Foreign Language

Unfortunately, the populations most in need of social assistance are often immigrant groups who have come to American seeking a better life. Though they might have marketable skills and a supportive community, they might lack the language capabilities necessary to find a job or a place to live, or they might fear interacting with the government in any way. By studying a foreign language and becoming fluent, you can serve these groups and ensure they adapt better to their new lives in the U.S.

Spanish is perhaps the most useful language to learn because the Latinx population is most underserved and is growing swiftly. However, you can also study French, Romanian, Hebrew, Portuguese, Russian or similar tongues spoken by oft-overlooked immigrants to America.

Business Administration

No matter where you work – no matter what you do – you will be part of an organization, which means knowledge and skill in business administration will be useful. With a business administration degree, you will be better prepared to communicate with colleagues and clients, balance budgets, improve efficiency and manage your time. Undoubtedly, these skills are useful in social work.

Many social workers pivot their careers toward entrepreneurship later in life. Because they see the struggles and challenges of large swaths of the population, social workers are well-positioned to generate solutions prime for the market. If you suspect you might follow this path, a business administration degree would again be useful in the management of your own business.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
Your support means the world!
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better