Graduate careers advice: you and your social work degree

Last updated: 22 Jun 2023, 13:20

A social work degree equips you for a career in social work while also developing skills relevant to a variety of social care roles.

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Read our graduate career advice on where your social work degree can take you.

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Work experience

If you want a career in social work, having experience in a related area is essential. Paid or voluntary work can be found in community care centres, or working with children or vulnerable adults.

Seek out roles that allow you to demonstrate your empathy and desire to help improve the lives of others.

More information on work experience can be found here .

What sectors?

Social workers are chiefly employed by local authority children’s or adult services. Opportunities also exist with charities and voluntary organisations.

You can also find work in the HSE in mental health trusts, prisons or community settings. Private fostering agencies and social work staffing agencies are other sources of opportunities for employment.

Your social work CV

Your degree will give you practical skills through placements where you work alongside professionals in areas like the HSE, police, housing and schools.

You will also learn to be accountable and develop judgement skills, along with an understanding of ethics, including promoting social justice and respecting diversity.

Transferable skills include:

  • communication;
  • problem-solving;
  • conflict management;
  • advocacy;
  • time management;
  • negotiation.

Postgraduate study

It’s possible to move straight into social work after your degree, but if you choose a different route you can pursue a postgraduate qualification in a related area like professional education and training. This will enhance your skills like mentoring, educating and support of others.

If you want to become a teacher you could take a vocational course like the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Postgraduate qualifications can also be acquired in areas like social policy, community justice, counselling and social research.

More information can be found in our Further Study section.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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