How University of Phoenix Can Help Prepare You for a Career in Social Work

Social work promotes positive change, development, cohesion and empowerment for people and communities. Roles in this field require individuals with an understanding of the many different factors that affect the overall well-being of individuals, families and groups. These can span health, behavioral, social, economic and cultural aspects of how individuals, families, communities and institutions interact.

Social workers gain employment in a wide range of fields such as civil rights, financial security, mental health, education and childcare. They also work with many different populations and people from all backgrounds but often focus on the poor, vulnerable and oppressed.

Depending on your specific field as a social worker, you may be required to participate in the legislative processes that drive policy making. You may also perform research on important issues that affect populations such as poverty, unemployment, discrimination, food insecurity, housing insecurity and inequitable access to healthcare services.

Social work can be stressful but very rewarding. The field is also experiencing growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2019 to 2029.”

Is a Career in Social Work Right for You?

Consider your personal interests, abilities and goals before deciding the career path you want to take. The following questions can help you learn more about your interests and compatible career paths:

  • What drives you? Is it your diversity? Does your cultural competence factor into your goals?
  • What social issues matter to you?
  • Do you want to bring about meaningful change for others?
  • Do your patience and people skills set you apart?

Depending on your honest answers, you might want to explore the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) degree program at University of Phoenix. With flexible scheduling that allows students to complete coursework while working full time, a BSSW can help you take the next step toward your personal and professional goals.

There are many different career paths you can take after completing a BSSW program. Here is a brief overview of a few popular choices.

Child Protective Services

Social workers in child protective services typically work in child welfare and behavioral health organizations. They help keep track of at-risk kids, and they also provide counseling to ensure that children stay in school, have the nutrition they need, are safe at home, and are protected physically and mentally from danger and abuse.

Family Protection

Family protection workers help parents adopt children, and they help match children without guardians with appropriate foster families. As such, family protection workers play important roles in ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of children. They may also speak to older students and work on programs aimed at addressing issues such as food insecurity, mental health, teen pregnancy, juvenile crime and poor academic performance.

Medical and Public Health

Social workers also help people access public resources for health services such as Medicare and Medicaid. They support people who need help navigating the many disparate yet interconnected public service systems that make up our healthcare system.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Many social workers specialize in helping those with mental health or substance abuse issues. From helping with therapy and helping people find affordable rehabilitative programs to participating in outreach and preventative programs, mental health and substance abuse social workers try to address mental health and abuse problems before they spiral out of control.

Other popular careers for social workers include roles in foster care, schools, and the military, as well as work as a caseworker. A lot of a social worker’s work is in-office, although a substantial amount of fieldwork may also be required.

Skills To Develop

Social workers require a diverse set of skills to be successful in their careers. These skills include:

  • Empathy and the ability to understand the issues that their clients face
  • Organization and the ability to multitask
  • Communication and the ability to speak and write clearly and effectively
  • Patience and the ability to persevere while working with people with different backgrounds, education levels and personal challenges

Bachelor of Science in Social Work Degree Program at University of Phoenix

The social work degree program at University of Phoenix is taught online, but two 15-week field courses are held are in person. This program prepares graduates for licensure as a bachelor’s degree-level social worker in the jurisdictions where it is offered.

The BSSW degree program teaches students how to strengthen communities, how to address social problems, how to advocate for social justice and how to work and collaborate with individuals, families and organizations. The program also instructs enrollees regarding social welfare policy and the many laws that social workers must be familiar with to do their jobs effectively.

University of Phoenix designed the program for busy, working adults. Students learn industry-relevant skills that can help them embark on a rewarding social work career.

About University of Phoenix

Courses at University of Phoenix are developed by faculty who are active practitioners in their field. All curricula integrate academic theory and lifelong learning with professional practice. The University’s courses are designed to support the needs of adult learners and help them develop relevant skills that can be easily applied to their current work and life experiences. Convenient classes make going back to school a real option for working adults. Students access classes online, study on their own schedule and complete a program when it is convenient for them. Learn more by visiting