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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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If you’re thinking about a career in social care, you’ll want to know the advantages and disadvantages of this line of work, as well as how to get started.
We’ve put together this brief guide to help you find out if social work is the right career path for you.
Social work is an extremely rewarding career, as you get to make a real difference in people’s lives.
You could help families adopt and foster children. You could even help a homeless person find a home and a job, or help a visually impaired person get modifications made to their home so they can live independently.
Social workers are currently in high demand across local councils and other organisations. It’s estimated that demand for social workers will grow by 12% over the next ten years, making it easier to get a job.
The disadvantage of social work is that it can sometimes be frustrating and stressful. You can often work long, unsociable hours, and it can be disheartening when you have done all you can for someone, only to experience pushbacks and negativity.
There is a strong network in place that is there to support you in challenging times.
If you don’t want to be a generalist social worker, you can choose to work with a specific group of people. For example, you can work with people with mental health issues, asylum seekers, families, older people, people with disabilities or young offenders.
A social work degree also teaches you many soft skills including communication, empathy, problem-solving, time management, report writing and critical thinking. This can open doors to a wide range of different careers:
- Careers advisor
- Community development worker
- Life coach
- Youth worker
The honest answer is... it depends.
A career in social work is not suitable for everyone. You need to be patient, a good listener and potentially be able to work under pressure. If you have the right skills though, it can be an incredibly gratifying career as you are helping people live better lives.
If you’ve decided a career in social work is the right choice for you, the University of Bolton has a range of degrees to help you achieve your career goals.
We combine theory with work placements, meaning you graduate with practical experience that you can apply to your future career.
Based in Greater Manchester, the University of Bolton’s Social Work department was ranked No.1 in the North West for Course Satisfaction.*
Find out more about the social work degrees available, and how you can get started on the career path towards social care.
*The Guardian University Guide, 2022