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Social Work Career Opportunites

Rebecca Bittala, Social Work '13 from Ursuline College on Vimeo.



Program Goals

Professional Readiness

  • to prepare competent and effective entry-level social work professionals for generalist social work practice at the baccalaureate level of a liberal arts education
  • to prepare students for graduate education in social work
  • to offer the knowledge, skills and values relevant to ethical practice and practice with diverse populations as a foundation for social work licensure in the state of Ohio
  • to develop leadership within their professional area of generalist practice at all systems levels
These goals are consistent with employment projections:
Assuring the Sufficiency of a Frontline Workforce: A National Study of Licensed Social Workers (2006) predicted changes in the country's demographics landscape over the next several decades which are expected to increase the need for social work services. Prior to this project, Barth (2003) stated: "available data resources are inadequate to reliably gauge the sufficiency of the current workforce or to project future needs for the profession.

Using the results of the Workforce Study of licensed social workers, employment projections and strategies were identified by the National Association of Social Workers at their Congress to discuss the implications of the research. In NASW News of April, 2006, the national social workers responded with strategies "structured around the four major areas of social work practice: aging, behavioral health, children and families and health and health disparities." The strategies were broken down into steps to be accomplished by 2007 and by 2010. Stoesen (2006) reported the following relevant to baccalaureate education as well as graduate:

  • assure excellence in aging knowledge, skills and competencies at all levels of social work education, practice and research; continue to infuse gerontology education into the social work curriculum
  • assure a qualified social work labor force to serve children; advocate for loan forgiveness and other financial incentives; integrate evidence-based child and family practice competencies in social work education. (Only one-quarter of all child welfare cases are handled by professional social workers.)
  • address the impact of racism, other forms of oppression, social injustice and other human rights violations through social work education and practice
  • promote culturally competent social work interventions and research methodologies

Assuring the Sufficiency of a Frontline Workforce: A National Study of Licensed Social Workers. National Association of Social Workers Center for Workforce Studies. March 2006. Website: www.socialworkers.org. Source: Lyn Stoesen, Social Work Congress Report Issued, NASW News, April, 2006, 1, 6.

Our Graduates
Employment, Graduate Education, Social Work Licensure and Leadership, General Picture: Of Social Work Program graduates responding to the alumnae survey for the 2007 reaffirmation self study for the Council on Social Work Education:

  • 91% are employed in social work
  • 83% have obtained their LSW
  • 10.8% have obtained their LISW
  • 59.4% go on to pursue a master's degree
  • 54% have membership in a professional organization
  • 16.2% are employed as program or project directors
Salary Range for Employment in the Social Work Field
$26,000- $28,000/year - "BSWs earn the highest average salaries in the practice areas of adolescents and school social work and the lowest in developmental disabilities and child welfare/families." (Workforce, 28)

The master's degree in social work is the predominant professional degree for social work practitioners. This advanced degree increases the opportunity for higher salaries. Graduates of Ursuline College are encouraged to advance their professional education and move toward the Licensed Independent Social Worker credential, eventually adding the "S" for supervision qualifications.