Published July 2018
Social work is a broad area that could see you working with a diverse range of people, from the elderly and the sick to Indigenous and disenfranchised communities. If you’ve never thought about it as a career path, here are five reasons that might make you reconsider.
1. The job opportunities are widespread
There is demand for social workers broadly but especially in rural areas where there is a shortage of resources and personnel. While a graduate might have to relocate to a country town or remote area, they will likely be able to secure a role if they are willing to move away from home.
2. No day will be the same
If you are just looking for a role where you can clock in and out, this probably isn’t the path for you. Day-to-day operations can be unpredictable depending on the type of people you are working with and new situations arise, requiring a person who is adaptable, strong-willed and determined.
3. You can make a difference in people’s lives
Social workers deal with some challenging people and scenarios but there is a unique satisfaction that comes with knowing you’ve helped someone who really needs it. Whether you’re supporting someone struggling with mental health, a person dealing with addiction or a victim of domestic violence, you can rest assured you’re doing your best to improve their situation.
4. Graduate pay is good
In 2018, social work graduates earn a median salary of $60,000 – that’s a $2,000 improvement on last year. This wage is on par with what law and paralegal graduates earn on average, and ahead of nursing, architecture and business.
5. You develop transferrable skills
There is a significant emphasis on soft, enterprise or transferrable skills in the modern workforce and the relevance of these to social workers can’t be underestimated. Problem-solving, emotional intelligence, communication and critical thinking are all commonly used by social workers and can be utilised to obtain employment in other sectors.