Social care careers that can help you change the world
Social care is a satisfying career because it enables you to help people meet their psychosocial needs on a daily basis. Increased mental and social health awareness means that the demand for careers in social care will increase. Careers in social care are also interesting because they often have to do with dealing with healthcare, education, and criminal justice agencies. Pursuing a career in social work can help you learn more about the world and make the world a better place simultaneously.
Career options in social care
Social worker is the broad label for professionals who advocate for people to get their needs met. There are many times of social workers, including healthcare social workers, clinical social workers, child welfare social workers, geriatric social workers, substance abuse social workers, and school social workers. An example of their daily tasks is a child welfare social worker assess the fitness of their home environment that may have had a history of irregularities due to parental mental illness. Social workers may work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, government agencies, prisons, educational settings, etc. The projected job growth is 12 per cent, which is above average.
Mental health counsellor
Mental health counsellors or therapists help people work through mental, social, and emotional problems through talking and using evidence-based therapy methods. They may work with individuals and families to solve a particular problem or set of problems. Knowledge of psychology and applying it in clinical settings is a major part of this job. They may work in inpatient or outpatient settings. The projected job growth is 19 per cent.
Addictions counsellors are a type of mental health counsellor that specializes in treating addicted populations and their families. They may deal with substance addictions and/or behavioural addictions. Addictions counsellors may also work with the families of their addicted clients to educate them about the disease and the resources available to them. They may work in inpatient rehab centres, outpatient rehab centres, counselling centres, jails, hospitals, or universities. The projected job growth is 22 per cent.
Community outreach worker
Community outreach workers promote an agency and their mission by reaching out to members of the community and other organizations. They may speak to groups of people, organize events, create marketing and educational materials, and make contacts with other organizations. The projected job growth is 16 per cent.
Public health workers
Public health workers include epidemiologists (researchers on diseases in populations), health educators, community health workers, public health nurses, policy makers, etc. They perform a variety of tasks, including research, educating the public, and coming up with and implementing public health policies. Their goal is to help promote the health and safety of the public. The average projected job growth rate for all public health careers is around 15 per cent.
Case managers are people who write up, maintain and review clients’ cases and make sure that clients are getting their needs met within a social work agency. They work in a variety of social service agencies. The projected job growth rate is 16 per cent.
Psychologists are people who possess a doctorate degree in psychology and use their knowledge for research and/or treatment of patients. Psychologists who have a PhD often do psychological research. Psychologists with a PsyD mostly practice clinically. Psychologists can also teach psychology at a college or university. The projected job growth rate is 14 per cent.
Education options to pursue a career in social care
Some careers simply require short-term certification. For example, an entry-level addictions counsellor can just attend a six-month to one-year certificate program to start practising in some regions. However, in most cases, a certificate is required to supplement a degree to narrow a person’s career focus. For example, addictions counsellors have the best job outlook if they attend an addiction counsellor certificate program after earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology or sociology to increase their knowledge about addictions and practising addictions counselling.
An associate’s degree opens up the door for entry-level positions (e.g. social work assistants). An associate’s degree is often earned at a community college as a halfway point to a bachelor’s degree, and some or all of the credits earned are usually transferable to bachelor’s degree program at a 4-year college or university. Starting at the associate’s level is ideal for older working adults who have been out of school for a long time.
A bachelor’s degree opens up a decent number of doors to a career in social care. A bachelor’s degree program will include general education classes (e.g. math, language arts, science, social studies, etc.) along with social care courses.
Master’s degrees open up most of the doors for careers in social care and offer more well-paying opportunities and opportunities for advancement. Unlike bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degree programs are strictly career focused and involve research and practicums. Master’s degrees are the minimum requirement for social work or mental health counselling licensure.
Doctorate degrees are not seen as nearly as often as master’s degrees. Doctorate degree programs are heavily research-based. They open the door to extremely high-level and well-paying positions (e.g. college dean or president, researcher, tenured professor, etc.).
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