case western reserve university



March 09, 2012

Want to be a Social Worker? Consider Your Options in 2012


When U.S. News & World Report wrote about the prospects of good and plentiful jobs in social work last month, the message became loud and clear: Social work is a top-notch career choice, especially for those who are passionate about social change and making a difference in their communities.

As social workers around the world celebrate a month in which their career is in the spotlight, the article on how social work is one of the Best Jobs to have in 2012 is good news for graduates who could see significant growth over the next decade.

For faculty at MSASS, it's also good news for prospects who want to follow their passion but are uncertain what the path to social works look like in the face of budget cuts and an uncertain economy.

"Social work is a rewarding career with many opportunities and these numbers just affirm what we've known all along," said Sharon Milligan, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Mandel School. "There are great job prospects for well-trained social workers in the U.S. and around the world, especially those who have professional graduate education and field experience behind them."

According to the 2012 outlook posted by U.S. News and World Report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a near 20 percent employment growth for social workers between 2010 and 2020. That could mean that more than 58,00 new social work positions would need to be filled. Favorable job opportunities also are helping the social worker profession rank in the top tier, not just by U.S. News, but by other news organizations. In 2011, a career in social work ranked No. 4 on the CNN list for top jobs.