What do I need to study to become a social worker?

Written by earl moreland
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Many universities offer degree programs that focus specifically on the discipline of social work. However, you could reasonably find work in the social service field with at least a bachelor's degree from a university's liberal arts college. We look here at those courses that are essential to this kind of work.

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Social Work

The U.S. Department of Labor recommends a bachelor's degree that focuses specifically on social work (BSW) to enhance your chances of finding work in the field. A master's degree increases this likelihood.

Psychology and Counseling

Social work is a people-oriented vocation. Psychology and counselling studies can help you interact more effectively both with individual clients and groups.


Sociology courses focus on the bigger picture of those demographic dynamics that lead people to situations that require the assistance of helping agencies.

Child Development

Courses that focus on the nurture and development of children are helpful.


Even entry-level workers in programs such as food-stamp allocation must do some basic mathematical calculations. Some workers need to have algebra and statistics skills.

Political Science

Since many social workers are employed in government agencies, public administration courses can be helpful especially if you aspire to supervisory positions in the field.

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