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What You Can Do With a Social Work Degree

Your Path to Making a Difference

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Choosing a career path that allows you to make a positive impact on society is extremely rewarding. If you're considering pursuing a degree in social work, you're on the right track to a fulfilling and rewarding journey. Social work degrees, such as a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or a Master of Social Work (MSW), open up a world of possibilities.

A BSW opens doors to becoming a skilled case manager, while an MSW paves the way to becoming a clinical therapist, aligning with the majority of mental health practitioners in Michigan. You can also be licensed at both levels (BSW and MSW) to practice.

With either a BSW or MSW, you can pursue careers as a social worker in child protection, therapy, education, mental health, criminal justice, hospice care, higher education, and government with either of .

9 Careers You Can Pursue as a Social Worker

Child Protective Services/Foster Care

Working in Child Protective Services (CPS) or foster care is a crucial role that social work graduates find extremely rewarding. These professionals advocate for and protect the well-being of vulnerable children, ensuring they are placed in safe and nurturing environments.

School System

Social workers in the education system play a pivotal role in addressing the needs of students. Opportunities exist in roles such as school social workers, special education support, and general education support. These professionals help students overcome barriers to learning and emotional well-being. 


Social work degrees also pave the way for careers as therapists. You can help people with different life challenges by doing individual, family, or group therapy and giving them guidance and support.

Infant Mental Health

Specialists help babies and young kids with developmental, emotional, or behavioral issues through early intervention and support. These specialists work closely with families to ensure the best possible start in life.

Prison System

Social workers in the prison system assist inmates in addressing their emotional and social needs. They provide counseling, rehabilitation programs, and reentry support, helping improve the outcomes for those incarcerated.

Hospice/Nursing Homes

Hospice and nursing home social workers offer care to individuals and families facing end-of-life challenges. They provide emotional support, connect patients with necessary resources, and help families navigate difficult decisions.

Higher Education

Many universities and colleges employ social workers in roles like student counseling, career advising, and wellness support. Some continue to teach as professors or instructors, using their previous and real-life experiences to help future social workers. 

Legislative Advocacy

If you want to make big changes and influence laws, a social work degree can help you get jobs in politics. Social workers help shape laws and policies that promote social justice and improved well-being. Some even become public officials and use their experience as social workers to instill change. 

Police Social Worker

Police social workers collaborate with law enforcement agencies to address the social and mental health aspects of policing. They assist in de-escalation, crisis intervention, and connecting individuals with appropriate community resources.

A social work degree, whether it is a BSW or MSW, provides numerous career opportunities. The main objective of these careers is to make a positive impact on individuals and communities. Your social work education will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to address social challenges. It will also enable you to make a positive impact, no matter the type of social work you pursue. 

Explore the Social Work Degrees at Ferris

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At Ferris, we're your launchpad for a fulfilling career in Social Work. Ferris' social work program, including our BSW degree and MSW degree, focuses on trauma response. You also have the flexibility to attend hands-on classes on our main campus in Big Rapids, in Traverse City, or online.

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Our faculty members aren't just educators; they're experienced practitioners, bringing real-world insights to your education. Their training and knowledge can help you land an array of social work jobs.

Take your social work career to the next level. It's not just about getting a degree; it's about making a real impact on people's lives. Make your move forward and start changing lives today.

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