other career fields similar to social work?

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Emmanuel S. in Liberia

35 months ago

Whoa,whoa... I can't believe I'm not the only person feeling remorsefulabout the social work profession! It is ofcourse the very reason why I find myself on this page. I typed this phrase into google search engine:"fields semilar to social work".I am in my final semester of the social work bachelor degree program- that is a few months to graduation. But I strongly feel I am about to earn nothing. This had never appeared to me for the past three and a half years. I am frantically struggling to decide whether I should persue a master's in the field to feel more secure, or to take up another bachelor's in a completely different area of studies which does not bear such labels as female-dominated or low-paid. But Tiffany we can move on, however your case is a bit different-- career options in my country are very limitted, and I took social work because of its uniqueness, thus playing down the employment or income-earning implications. You are in the US! Interestingly though, is the fact that I see a number of other guys leaving from nursing to social work! Can some one help? ..development studies, public health policy/management, environmental health...?

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Stella in Oak Forest, Illinois

35 months ago

I want to know if anyone who earned a degree in social work (BSW,MSW) used their degree in another field without going back to school for another degree? People say social work degrees are flexible...but in what other industries?

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mrsmcleaver218 in Salt Lake City, Utah

34 months ago

socialwkr in Jefferson City, Missouri said: I have seen individuals with a MSW as Administrators in Health Care entities, such as long-term care, to include nursing homes, assisted living and residential care facilities. I have seen individuals with a degree in social work who work for the state in public/social policy, rules/regulaltions for Departments in state government, such as Social Services, Department of Aging, etc.

The job market is tough for all fields...the difference in my view is what you can get a job in while looking for your "dream job".!

I agree. Social Workers can do a variety of things depending on their background. I know of several people with a MSW working in assisted living or senior care facilities. They are often helpful in dealing with difficult families. Consider all the options the above poster gave. It is hard to find a jobs in healthcare right now but, think about what makes you passionate and begin a rewarding career.

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socialwkr in Missouri

34 months ago

mrsmcleaver218 in Salt Lake City, Utah said: I agree. Social Workers can do a variety of things depending on their background. I know of several people with a MSW working in assisted living or senior care facilities. They are often helpful in dealing with difficult families. Consider all the options the above poster gave. It is hard to find a jobs in healthcare right now but, think about what makes you passionate and begin a rewarding career.

I think one of the reasons it is difficult all around for employment without relocating is the fact that more people now have advanced college degrees. And with social work jobs, when social workers like and enjoy their job they stay, which doesn't yield open job opportunities too often in certain agencies.

Also, since there are more people to compete with for jobs nowadays, agencies/organizations can be more choosy. Supply and demand.

And jobs are definitely harder to find for new college graduates when there are Universities that offer the same major all within close proximity. Therefore, for students who want to stay....they have more competition for open jobs with no experience.

Today's job market has definitely changed, and relocating for some is the only way they can find employment. Some people endure long commutes due to job availability as well. It is just the nature of today's employment "beast".

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Anna in London, United Kingdom

33 months ago

I’ve been in social work for 2 years now I don’t regret any of my discussions, however its hard work. Its changed me as a person and ruin my relationship. It’s so emotionally draining that looking back I used to give my partner such a hard time when I came home from work without even realising it. The system is corrupt and you find you can’t help as efficiently and you would like. This website has helped me realise that I am not alone so thank you all. If you can help one person it’s worth it right?!

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Danielle in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

33 months ago

Get a trade. When you have a craft you are more likely to have flexibility and versatility. With the influx of these business school, private colleges and colleges online, EVERYONE has a degree which makes them useless. Meanwhile, those getting experience as paralegals, in banking or construction are making money and will be in better position to find work. I left the corporate world because I was bored and hated working with spoiled backstabbing brats for a field I thought was moral and ethical. I rather work for the spoiled capitalist, at least they are honest about their greed. These agencies and even the State are still only concerned about the bottom line. The people you work with/for will stab you in the back because it's all about staying in the budget. They don't care what you have accomplished with the families as long as at the end of the day you made money. Employment is difficult to find unless you get the MSW which doesn't necessarily mean more pay. Where I work now they pay MSWs $500 more a YEAR. Why would I go back to school for that and the therapist only make 4 to 6k more but when I make enough to possibly qualify for gov. assistance, $500.00 a month which would take 2-3 more years of school, internships and clinicals doesn't make sense. Plus, to move to another agency is just the frying pan into the fire. It will be low pay, lots of travel, I avg aprrox 50k miles a year with gas at $4 a gal, and you have to be willing to be in some horrendous settings and it can be very dangerous. That trailer in the back of the woods where there's no cell phone reception and looks abandoned and can't believe someone actually lives in, that's where you are going to go spend 3 hours a week sitting knocking roaches off your legs wondering what in God's name is that smell! I've been in more jails than your average and I have NEVER been arrested. I could keep going but I will say help the people you know in your free time and find a better option. Get a trade.

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socialwkr in Missouri

33 months ago

Danielle in Oak Ridge, Tennessee said: Get a trade. When you have a craft you are more likely to have flexibility and versatility. With the influx of these business school, private colleges and colleges online, EVERYONE has a degree which makes them useless. Meanwhile, those getting experience as paralegals, in banking or construction are making money and will be in better position to find work. I left the corporate world because I was bored and hated working with spoiled backstabbing brats for a field I thought was moral and ethical. I rather work for the spoiled capitalist, at least they are honest about their greed. These agencies and even the State are still only concerned about the bottom line. The people you work with/for will stab you in the back because it's all about staying in the budget.

Have you visited the paralegal boards right here on Indeed where paralegals are saying they cannot find employment, and if they do have employment they make very little money for the demands of their job? Banking industry is the same way.....there are individuals on these jobs boards complaining about working at banks and financial institutions, and there are not a lot of jobs open. And as far as construction, some construction companies hire workers from job to job and there is no guarantee for the workers of a consistent salary. Some of their work is only seasonal, thus less work opportunities. Maybe the construction business is booming where you reside, but that is not the case in all states in the U.S.

And people are people, I don't concern myself with back stabbers....because back stabbers are in all environments to include the home, church and friends. Doesn't mean I isolate myself and don't make friends or live my life.

Every social worker isn't working for Social Services. Sorry you had a bad experience, but we choose the environment in which we seek to work. As someone wise told me, if it isn't working for us then move on.

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Jade in Leicester, United Kingdom

33 months ago

I'm so glad I'm not alone. SW is not what I thought it would be when I went to study the BSc 8 years ago and now I just can't wait to get out. I really thought I'd be helping people but what I'm actually doing now is pushing paper and for this really I'm seriously on a look out for s change in career even if I have to go back to uni.

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Mitsy in Rensselaer, New York

32 months ago

Social work will make you crazy... do something to earn a living and volunteer if you have to make yourself feel good.

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Burned Out in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

31 months ago

I am a social worker just 5 years out of school. I have my LCSW and I screaming to find another profession. While I am very good at what I do.... I drive 45 miles one way to work and work for a state who has not given raises in 3 years. By the time I pay my student loan, put gas in my car, and pay off my other living expenses- I have nothing left. I live at home with my mom. While I believe that the profession needs good people, we are not well respected and are certainly not paid what we are worth. We go through a lot of training in school, we work long days, we are exposed to harsh mental and physical conditions, but yet we are rarely financially or even verbally commended for all that we do. I say that if it is in your heart to work hard for your community and give back- then follow your heart to be a social worker, but if you really need to provide a comfortable living for yourself and your family- please consider another profession, and volunteer in the community. My intentions were honorable when I entered this profession, but after only 5 years in, I see that this profession will not afford me the lifestyle that I wish to live. The conditions out in the world are getting harder and harder and the need for good social workers in at the greatest it has ever been. I commend anyone who want to take on the challenge of being a social worker in this day.... I just ask that you really research what you are getting into before actually doing so. Best of luck to those of you considering this field of study....

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unemployedgrad in Detroit, Michigan

31 months ago

I am a social worker (macro practice) who is trying to break into academic and student services with no luck. Social work and education are related fields; in education, your "clients" are students. I enjoy working in university settings and have the work experience and transferable skills in higher education. Unfortunately, I may have to return to school for a master's degree in education if I cannot find work this year.

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Unhappy LSW in Portsmouth, Ohio

30 months ago

I graduated in 2002 with a MSW. I've been working in long-term care /rehab settings for the last 9 years. I located back to Ohio from another state and it's the same...disrespect for the SW profession, long hours, low pay, etc. I'm considering a RN or BSN degree. Which would be the best degree to pursue in terms of time and tuition? I have to work until I can actually become licensed as a nurse. Any ideas? Thanks!!

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Cindy in Toronto, Ontario

30 months ago

I just started working in the social work field, the pay is low and I am already feeling burn out mainly beacause of home visits that I have to make. I was thinking of International Development if anyone is familiar with this field please advice.

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futuregradstudent in Detroit, Michigan

30 months ago

I am a social worker pursuing a master's degree in higher education. I haven't been away from school too long, but I feel like this is the right path for me because I enjoy working in higher education. Even if my employment situation remains unchanged, I won't have any regrets because I could look back and still say I studied my passion.

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socialwkr in Missouri

30 months ago

futuregradstudent in Detroit, Michigan said: I am a social worker pursuing a master's degree in higher education. I haven't been away from school too long, but I feel like this is the right path for me because I enjoy working in higher education. Even if my employment situation remains unchanged, I won't have any regrets because I could look back and still say I studied my passion.

Ultimately as you said, individuals should pursue what they feel passionate about! As my dad reminds me, tomorrow isn't promised to any of us and we should enjoy life.

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socialwkr in Missouri

30 months ago

Unhappy LSW in Portsmouth, Ohio said: I graduated in 2002 with a MSW. I've been working in long-term care /rehab settings for the last 9 years. I located back to Ohio from another state and it's the same...disrespect for the SW profession, long hours, low pay, etc. I'm considering a RN or BSN degree. Which would be the best degree to pursue in terms of time and tuition? I have to work until I can actually become licensed as a nurse. Any ideas? Thanks!!

Since you already have an advanced degree, you should try and look for accelerated BSN programs. I know a MSW student who attended a University that offered an accelerated BSN program. If I can recall it was 12-15 months full time straight through. It was definitely intense and tough, but for her it worked out well due to scheduling and less tuition costs. Once you finish the BSN program, then you can apply through the state board of nursing and take the NCLEX exam and get your Registered Nurse license through the state board of nursing. Also, depending on the nursing program, some have waiting lists. Whereas just like your MSW program, it had set scheduling on what classes you took and when. Even the part-time program was laid out. The nursing programs where I reside are all full-time once you get into the official nursing program itself.

I don't know if you are interested, but you have a lot of great experience in long-term care, have you considered becoming a Nursing Home Administrator???? Think about all the changes you could transmit top down. I met a great nursing home Administrator who had a MSW. The facility was great, and the Administrator made all the difference. Just a thought too on the changes that we as individuals can make in leadership positions.

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pulane chipa in Pretoria, South Africa

29 months ago

i am currently working for correctional services and considering resgning at my job to go study social work full time for the comming years, but now after going through all the comments i am so confused that i dont know what to do! and problem is i am not good in maths.

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jslinfla2 in Delray Beach, Florida

28 months ago

Danielle in Oak Ridge, Tennessee said: Get a trade. When you have a craft you are more likely to have flexibility and versatility. With the influx of these business school, private colleges and colleges online, EVERYONE has a degree which makes them useless. Meanwhile, those getting experience as paralegals, in banking or construction are making money and will be in better position to find work. I left the corporate world because I was bored and hated working with spoiled backstabbing brats for a field I thought was moral and ethical. I rather work for the spoiled capitalist, at least they are honest about their greed. These agencies and even the State are still only concerned about the bottom line. The people you work with/for will stab you in the back because it's all about staying in the budget. They don't care what you have accomplished with the families as long as at the end of the day you made money. Employment is difficult to find unless you get the MSW which doesn't necessarily mean more pay.
*********************************************************************************
It can mean more pay if you go into private practice as a psychotherapist or even share an office with a psychiatrist! Also, you could open a career counseling agency.
Just food for thought!

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jslinfla2 in Delray Beach, Florida

28 months ago

socialwkr in Missouri said: Since you already have an advanced degree, you should try and look for accelerated BSN programs. I know a MSW student who attended a University that offered an accelerated BSN program. If I can recall it was 12-15 months full time straight through. It was definitely intense and tough, but for her it worked out well due to scheduling and less tuition costs. Once you finish the BSN program, then you can apply through the state board of nursing and take the NCLEX exam and get your Registered Nurse license through the state board of nursing. Also, depending on the nursing program, some have waiting lists. Whereas just like your MSW program, it had set scheduling on what classes you took and when. Even the part-time program was laid out. The nursing programs where I reside are all full-time once you get into the official nursing program itself.

I don't know if you are interested, but you have a lot of great experience in long-term care, have you considered becoming a Nursing Home Administrator ???? Think about all the changes you could transmit top down. I met a great nursing home Administrator who had a MSW. The facility was great, and the Administrator made all the difference. Just a thought too on the changes that we as individuals can make in leadership positions.

There are online nursing programs. Make sure they are accepted with your state Board of Nursing. Indiana State University has an online LPN-BSN program. So, make sure to get the LPN first through a community college.

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LOST in New Rochelle, New York

28 months ago

Tiffany in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: Thanks so much for your reply. I was recently doing research in a lot of the areas you have suggested and it's so frustrating because people in guidance counseling are saying they wasted all their time and money because only an extremely tiny percentage can get any job upon graduation (they're throwing away their certificates); people in HR with 10+ yrs of experience cannot land any job and I guess HR functions are also getting outsourced; in the past I heard psychologists say not to get into that field because all the jobs had gone to social workers instead; nurses are also unhappy campers. Sigh.... I have no idea anymore. I'm not a young kid anymore and I really wanted to finally have some sort of a career and not just a job.

I am in this same boat!!! I have been on these forums for months now, looking through career after career only to find out not to get into it! I myself am 24 and 2 years out of college with a Business degree! I am working retail, and I have no idea what I want to do. I can't keep working for low page with no beenfits. I HATE school, I always have since I was young but I realized if I have to go back in order to make a living, I may have to bite the bullet.

I also want to help people and looked at many similiar careers as you! You sound exactly like me! I looked into guidance counselor, and after reading the indeed job forums about how 1 opening gets 400+ applications I decided that wasn't a good decision. I looked into education, and there has been hiring freezes and it seems as if no childhood ed. teachers are getting jobs, so I said no to that. I looked into being an X-Ray tech, but like the other careers I have read that the market is absolotely flooded. I looked into nursing, but that would mean going back to school for another 3-4 years, and im HORRIBLE at math and science. They are my worst subjects. Jeez, I reemeber struggling with earth science back in high school !

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LOST in New Rochelle, New York

28 months ago

Contined-

I looked into getting my MSW like you, but after reading this and hearing about the low pay, and high stress, ive decided ehh maybe this isnt for me either. PLUS, with every career I named pretty much would require student loans at anywhere from 35-45,000! With interested on a Stafford loan thats a ALOT of money to pay back- it makes me not want to even consider getting my masters.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place and I have absoletely NO IDEA what to do at this point. If anyone could give me ANY direction or advice, please do so. Whats a good career to go into with job satisfaction and a LIVABLE income? I also HATE coporate america and don't want to be stuck in a cubicble or behind a desk all day!

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jslinfla2 in Delray Beach, Florida

27 months ago

unemployedgrad in Detroit, Michigan said: I am a social worker (macro practice) who is trying to break into academic and student services with no luck. Social work and education are related fields; in education, your "clients" are students. I enjoy working in university settings and have the work experience and transferable skills in higher education. Unfortunately, I may have to return to school for a master's degree in education if I cannot find work this year.

Not necessarily. With an MSW, you can work in a college/university in the Department for Students with Disabilities. And think of this, with the LCSW you can supervise undergraduate student interns that are going for the BS in Social Work.

Something to ponder.

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Donna in London, United Kingdom

26 months ago

Tanni in Birmingham, United Kingdom said: I graduated with a BA Social Work degree and let me tell you, i regret this so bad it hurts. When I finished my degree I realised that you still need to gain atleast 1 years 'post qualifing experience', so what was the degree used for. I have 1 year experience which I gained before my degree, 5 interviews last year and all of them said "you dont have enough experience".
I am now working for an Insurance company which i love. After i finished Uni I got a temp job as Ressetlement worker, it was boring, repetitive, depressing and eventhough I love helping people, I realised that Social Work wasnt for me. So yeap I used my degree to do something completely different Lol.

Hi Tanni i honestly thought i was the only one going through this,since finishing my course in 2010 I am not only unemployed but in depths to my head. i have been looking for a job for the past 2 years and all i can hear is that i need post qualifying experience i keep asking how can i get that if some one dont give me a job. Why were we sent out to do placements if that would not be counted as experience. I honestly
regret the day i decided to study for this qualification. Right now i am in the process of going back into health care work as i also have my Health and social care qualification. If any one should ask my advice about this course i would definitely tell them not to go into i at all.

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KaskaT in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

18 months ago

I have been a social worker for almost a decade, and I am trying very hard to get out of the field. The job is emotionally exhausting, there is little to no support, the pay is abysmal, and the hours are long. The education and experience you are expected to have for the money that is offered is just...terrible. I know very few social workers who are not burnt out and jaded after only a few years. I always recommend that people looking to go in to this field find anything else they are interested in and do that instead. It just isn't worth it.

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lorna in South Africa

17 months ago

Need help am real clueless.i am an undergradute at unisa,applied for social but they said i must first complete my higher certificate inoder to qualify a bachelor as i have passed my matric with diploma....now my question is will i still complete my degree in 4years or now its gonna be 5 because of this higher certificate...

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JoeB in Millersville, Maryland

16 months ago

A lot of you think going into nursing or healthcare is a better option. It's not... you'll be dealing with the same issues you claim you have now. And as to the poster who said "I don't want to be stuck in a cubicle or behind a desk all day." - give me that job any day. Beats fast food, retail and hard labor. I really don't think some of you have done a hard day's work in your life.

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JoeB in Millersville, Maryland

16 months ago

LOST in New Rochelle, New York said: I am in this same boat!!! I have been on these forums for months now, looking through career after career only to find out not to get into it! I myself am 24 and 2 years out of college with a Business degree! I am working retail, and I have no idea what I want to do. I can't keep working for low page with no beenfits. I HATE school, I always have since I was young but I realized if I have to go back in order to make a living, I may have to bite the bullet.

I also want to help people and looked at many similiar careers as you! You sound exactly like me! I looked into guidance counselor , and after reading the indeed job forums about how 1 opening gets 400+ applications I decided that wasn't a good decision. I looked into education , and there has been hiring freezes and it seems as if no childhood ed. teachers are getting jobs, so I said no to that. I looked into being an X-Ray tech, but like the other careers I have read that the market is absolotely flooded. I looked into nursing, but that would mean going back to school for another 3-4 years, and im HORRIBLE at math and science. They are my worst subjects. Jeez, I reemeber struggling with earth science back in high school !

You hate school? Then why did you even go to college? I love school! Maybe higher education isn't for you and you should stay right in your retail position. I've done retail without a college degree so for you to be doing retail is laughable. Once I finish with my bachelors I'll be going right into a job of my choosing and if I don't I'll sit and wait until the job comes up. If I had to choose between homelessness and doing a job I hate I'll live on the street. Done it before and will do it again.

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JoeB in Millersville, Maryland

16 months ago

Also for anyone reading these forums about people who claim they're burnt out and hate their job - don't be discouraged. There's a lot of malcontents around these forums and overall downers. I've done my internships in the Human Services and it's great to work with people. I was a foster child myself so it's easy to relate to the kids and their parents. Life isn't perfect so if you're the entitled type who's never fallen on hard times you'll never be able to fully grasp what the people you work with in the Human Services field are going through. Social Work and Human Services are great fields if you want to help people. Best choice I made in my life was declaring Human Services as my major.

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Stephanie

15 months ago

I have been in the social work field for 5 years in a partial hospital program treating adults with mental illness and addictions. I received my MSW and LSW January 2013. I am currently a clinician making decent money but basically have a desk job. I have a caseload of 10 patients but I spend most of my time on the computer doing paperwork or on the phone in a dark room all day because there are no windows in the facility. I feel very used and taken advantage of at my current company. I come home emotionally drained and am so unhappy that my own mental health is affected. Any suggestions for other opportunities where I will be more active with the patients? I was thinking about starting my own business but am kind of scared as I don't know the first thing about starting or running a Business. I know one thing that I do not want to go back to school. Any help or suggestions is much appreciated. Thanks!!!

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ninjasii in Albuquerque, New Mexico

14 months ago

OMG I'm just going to finish my BSW and going to get my license afterwards, I'm now terrified at the what people have been saying about Social Work. I can't go for my Masters now because I don't have the money. I'm just scared guys :( and I don't know what to do.

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Stephanie in Jersey City, New Jersey

14 months ago

I would suggest getting a job in the field if you don't have one already.

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Social Worker 2013 in Warrensburg, Missouri

14 months ago

ninjasii in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: OMG I'm just going to finish my BSW and going to get my license afterwards, I'm now terrified at the what people have been saying about Social Work. I can't go for my Masters now because I don't have the money. I'm just scared guys :( and I don't know what to do.

The reality is there are pros and cons in every career, every job, and every "degree". The other reality is that more and more individuals are getting college degrees, (not just isolated to the field of social work), and in some geographic areas you may just need to relocate to find jobs. That is the new norm of the future for many different careers, especially in areas where there are several Universities close to each other. Networking and establishing professional ties is also essential in today's job market.

Also, if you want to at some point go for your MSW, you can apply for advanced standing which will save you one year if accepted. You can also look at graduate fellowships, scholarships, and teaching/research assistantships to help fund your MSW. The other reality is that the level of education requirements will continue to increase (for several careers), so it is sometimes better to go for the MSW sooner than "later" (in my opinion). Always apply to several schools to see which ones offer you the best financial package.

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backagainstthewall in Illinois

14 months ago

I wanted to enter this field after taking some 101 courses and doing some volunteering @ SW agencies, but I have been discouraged to go into this field from a retired SW and even my professors who all got burned out and decided to teach. Many agencies, in my area, have lost their funding. Opps. seem scarce and have stringent hiring practices even for so-called entry level positions.

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