Make an impact: Social Work as a Career in India


In this century, most individuals are a part of the rat race. And the destination being handsome paycheque with the high designation, but does it bring happiness and fulfillment at the end of the day? There is a lot of rhetoric about true happiness with the least mention to the corporate ladder that many aspire to climb each day. However, there is a contrasting group of individuals, though few, thriving to live a simple yet fruitful life by striving to create a change in society. They behold a vision of the positive transformation of the society, after all, we are social animals and by giving ourselves, we truly receive..joy in abundance.

 

Working for the improvement of the community can be done in various ways. And the one that impacts other people's life the most is social work.

 

Are you someone who is motivated by impacting lives? Are you empathetic to the underprivileged groups in society? Then ‘Social Work’ might be the right career path for you…

 

What is social work?

 

Social work is the academic discipline that focuses on supporting the weak and less privileged individuals of society and reshapes the social structure. Social work is the profession of helping and improving the overall social well-being. Their job is considered similar to a teacher or a nurse or therapist for its ability to promote growth and betterment.

 

Social workers are also called ‘public servants’ and their services go beyond age groups and cultural boundaries. They work for infants, old people, orphans, homeless, deprived, abused, and more. Based on specialty, social workers can be a part of government agencies, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, mental hospitals, and several other institutions as such.


 

How to build a career in social work?

 

To start a career as a social worker, it is essential to have a bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) and a master's (MSW) later. One can join a bachelor's degree program right after completing the 12th standard.

 

Also, students who already completed a bachelor's degree in a different stream can join the MSW program.

 

Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW):

 

BSW is an undergraduate-level course for the duration of three years divided into six semesters. The course introduces candidates to Social Work, social stigmas prevalent in the society, research and analysis, and fieldwork.


It also imparts basic knowledge of sociology, development, human growth, and psychology. All these subjects educate social perspective with a holistic approach and help social workers uproot common issues.    

 

Eligibility Criteria: To join the bachelor’s degree program candidates must have completed 10+2 from a recognized board.

 

Required skills: Aspirants willing to pursue a Bachelor's degree program in Social Work must possess the following skills –

 

Listening skills Good communication
Social understanding Insight
Perseverance Critical thinking
Mindfulness Ethical understanding
Integrity Emotional Intelligence

 

A career aptitude test will help candidates determine whether or not they possess the required skills.

 

Top BSW colleges in India for a Bachelor’s degree program:

 

  1. National Institute of Social Work and Social Sciences, Bhubaneswar.
  2. Patna University, Patna.
  3. Madras School of Social Work, Chennai.
  4. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
  5. Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
  6. Amity University, Noida.
  7. IGNOU, Delhi.

 

Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW):

 

The postgraduate degree in Social Work is for a duration of two years divided into four semesters. Pursuing a master's degree would open doors to bigger organizations and imparts the necessary knowledge to handle fieldwork efficiently. 

 

Eligibility Criteria: To join the Master’s degree program candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Graduates from other disciplines like Humanities, Science, Social sciences, and Management are equally fit to apply.

 

Top MSW colleges in India for a Master’s degree program:

 

  1. Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
  2. Department of Social Work Delhi School of Social Work, University of Delhi, Delhi.
  3. Rajagiri College of Social Sciences (Autonomous), Kochi.
  4. Madras School of Social Work, Chennai.
  5. Loyola College (Autonomous), Chennai.
  6. Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
  7. Department of Social Work Christ, Bengaluru.

 

Career Scope in Social Work:

 

Social Work is no longer considered a philanthropist deed by the majority of society. It is successfully turning into an advanced in-demand profession in India. However, the opportunities in this career are not confined within India but are prevalent globally. Top organizations are thriving each day to change the social condition across continents, fight poverty and medical conditions, and promote education to the underprivileged and more. 

 

Social work is no longer limited to NGOs but also has access to various governmental departments and private companies. Candidates in this career have various sectors to apply based on their abilities.

 

  1. Medical Sector – Social Work majors can work in various medical institutions like counseling centers, old age homes, a mental hospital, and similar. They can ensure proper care of patients and communicate with their families post-surgical or medical treatment.
  2. NGOs – Non-governmental organizations aim at the overall development of societies, both urban and rural. Social workers can contribute to eliminating relevant issues like poverty, illiteracy, ill-sanitation and health, and much more.
  3. Governmental Departments – Candidates can apply for jobs as a development officer in juvenile to old-age homes and also in development projects. The primary jobs as development officers are managing administration and supervise day to day affairs. With an additional degree in Criminology, one can also work in prisons and correctional homes.

 

Some popular organization that must be known:

 

  • Non-profit practitioners like Pratham and SEWA.
  • Government practitioners like NITI Aayog.
  • Large investors like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tata Trusts.
  • Small investors like ATE Chandra Foundation.
  • Academia(s) like IDInsight and Centre for Early Childhood Development and Research.

 

When pursuing Social Work, what points to bear in mind?

 

  1. Money is essential but not at the entry-level as they end up being negligible. Appropriate earning is essential, but learning must be the priority.
  2. Once a candidate joins an organization, he or she must commit to the job for at least two years.
  3. In India, being young and looking forward to being a social worker may not be appreciated by your peers, parents, and close acquaintances.
  4. To be successful in this field certain skills and abilities are a must-have. It is, therefore, recommended to take an aptitude test for career selection before stepping forward to bring the next social change.

 

And a last piece of advice is not to stress. Everything might not go as planned or properly structured. There will be days of failure, learn from them; there will be successful days of impact, savor them.



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