Using Your Degree

Social workers are employed at many levels to make our world a better place.  They work at the micro level with individuals and families to meet immediate needs; the mezzo level with groups and organizations to build stronger communities that will nurture individuals and families; and the macro level to advocate for policies regionally, nationally, and globally.  At all levels, social work is a licensed profession. Social workers work for human dignity and the common good. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for social workers is expected to grow by over 19% in the next decade. Job growth will be strong for those who work with the aging population, in health care, in mental health and substance abuse, and with children & families, to name a few.

Popular areas of generalist social work practice include:

  • Child, family and school social work
  • Social work in hospitals and clinics
  • Community organizing / work with social action organizations
  • Gerontological social work with senior citizens and their families
  • Hospice and palliative care
  • Justice / corrections
  • Community mental health
  • Social services administration
  • Work with military, veterans, their families, and their communities
  • Chemical dependency / substance abuse
  • Crisis intervention
  • Working in private industry

Learn more about Careers in Social Work

BSW majors may also be interested in exploring:

Graduate School

The master’s degree in social work prepares students for specialized practice and advanced licensure.  Students may select a clinical or non-clinical focus.  Students who earn an undergraduate BSW degree from a program accredited by CSWE may complete a Master of Social Work (MSW) in one calendar year of additional study.  They enter MSW programs as "Advanced Standing" students.  

Clinical Social Work

According to the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work:

“Clinical social work is a mental-health profession whose practitioners, educated in social-work graduate schools and trained under supervision, master a distinctive body of knowledge and skill in order to assess, diagnose, and ameliorate problems, disorders, and conditions that interfere with healthy bio-psychosocial functioning of people—individuals, couples, families, groups—of all ages and backgrounds.”

“The nation’s 200,000 Clinical Social Workers provide more mental healthcare, of more types and in more settings, than any other profession”…“Clinical Social Workers typically provide bio-psychosocial services, including diagnosis and clinical treatment (e.g. psychotherapy), that are reimbursable under health insurance programs and by every major self-insured company in America.”

All clinical social workers must have a Master of Social Work degree.  They must be licensed in the state in which they practice, although standards vary. 

The St. Kate's - St. Thomas MSW program focuses exclusively on clinical social work practice.  Junior BSW students who plan to go into clinical social work may wish to explore our Acclerated MSW Admissions Process.