Social Work

Job Pressure
Academic Pressure
2-3 L
Early Salary
5-6 L
Mid Level Salary
9-10 L
Senior Salary
Social work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and enhance well-being of individuals, families, couples, groups, and communities through research, policy planning, community development, direct practice, crisis intervention, ensuring social welfare and security for those affected by social disadvantages such as poverty, psychosocial care to mentally and physically disabled, and raising voices against social injustice for social reforms, including social actions against violations of civil liberties and human rights.

The International Federation of Social Workers states, of social work today, "social work bases its methodology on a systematic body of evidence-based knowledge derived from research and practice evaluation, including local and indigenous knowledge specific to its context. It recognizes the complexity of interactions between human beings and their environment, and the capacity of people both to be affected by and to alter the multiple influences upon them including bio-psychosocial factors. The social work profession draws on theories of human development and behaviour and social systems to analyze complex situations and to facilitate individual, organizational, social and cultural changes."

What do they do?

Research and the practice of social work focuses on areas such as: mental health and addictions, assessment and diagnosis, human development, sociolegal, psychosocial, issues related to diversity, marginalization and oppression; psychotherapy, counselling, social policy, public administration, social program evaluation, social policy analysis and development, social planning, family and child welfare, and social and community development. Social workers are organized into local, national, continental, and international professional bodies. It is an interdisciplinary field that incorporates theoretical bases from economics, education, sociology, law, medicine, philosophy, ecology, politics, anthropology, and psychology.

Social workers help individuals, families, and groups restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning, and work to create societal conditions that support communities in need.

The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior, of social, economic and cultural institutions, and of the interaction of all these factors.

Social workers help people of all backgrounds address their own needs through psychosocial services and advocacy.

Social workers help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability, and mental illness. They help prevent crises and counsel individuals, families, and communities to cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life.

Typical day in the life of a Social Work

Social work is not easy work. You need to be willing to work odd hours, to work with people who are often deemed difficult, and to bear the burdens of the most vulnerable members of your community. Social work can take a toll, but it is deeply rewarding when you can see positive change in someone else’s life.

Pros about this career

Emotional Satisfaction Versatility Wide range of options

Cons about this career

Mentally and physically taxing, Stressful Working under pressure

Skills needed

  • Analytical Skills
  • Caring and Kindness
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Emotional Resilience
  • Self Awareness
  • Patience
  • Cooperation
  • Communication skills
  • Hardworking
  • Time Management

How do I get there

Professional social workers are generally considered those who hold a professional degree in social work and often also have a license or are professionally registered. Social workers have organized themselves into local, national, and international professional bodies to further the aims of the profession. 

The minimum educational qualification for a career in social work is Master in Social Work (MSW), which is a 2 years course open to all graduates from any stream. But candidates with Sociology background would get some preference. Many government colleges, universities and private educational institutions are offering this course throughout the country. There is also M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes in Social Work offered by many institutions. Besides educational qualification career in social work requires certain personality traits like compassion for the underprivileged and urge to help them, capacity to work hard under far-from-perfect working conditions, patience and dedication.

Several institutes and universities are offering Bachelor and Master Degree in Social Work in India. Some most important among them are Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta; Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; Institute of Social Sciences, Agra; University of Delhi, Delhi; Rajasthan University, M.S. University of Baroda, Bombay University, Aurangabad University, Mangalore University, Loyola College of Social Sciences, Trivandrum and Madras School of Social Work, Chennai.

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