|Majoring in social work helps students give back|
|Written by Davonte Longmire, Reporter|
|Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:41|
Can you imagine being in poverty? No chance of escaping your environment, wondering where the next meal will come from and hoping the person you may share a curbside bed with is a criminal or insane. This is just a glimpse in the lives of some people. Shockingly, this is also the reality for some children, and a majority of the time it is not something they have chosen. Fortunately, there are people who actually devote their lives to helping others through the field of social work.
“I chose to major in Social Work because it is a way for me to fight for those people that cannot fight for themselves,” Jasmine Phillips, sophomore social work major, said. “I want to be able to help those in need and make sure that all populations have equal opportunities.”
The social work field did not really emerge until the Industrial Revolution. Many American citizens during this time were left jobless due to mass migration in the 19th century and the competing job force. Jobless, many easily fell into poverty and desperate desolate situations.
“It is important to know that there are many more options for a career in social work than you may think,” Phillips said. “Also, studying social work is much more fun than it may sound.”
Historically, a complication facing the field of social work was the fact that only about 10 universities offered the major in 1929. Social work has also been competing with psychiatry and psychology, because at times, some of the information and practice has overlapped. Social work has overcome this by focusing on psychoanalytical ideas and decreasing its concern with living conditions and social health.
“Majoring in social work can lead to many different career paths such as working in gerontology, being a parole officer, school counselor, etc.,” Phillips said.
Depending upon what state you are living in, you can utilize a degree in social work for different professions. An interesting use of the degree is through community development. The degree is also useful for working with nonprofit organizations that offer a safe outlets for children in unfortunate circumstances.
“Advice I would give would be to make sure that you are ready to do tons of group work in your classes because when you step out into your careers you will more than likely be working with multiple clients or other colleagues,” Phillips said.
“I imagine myself using my social work degree to become an adoption counselor to help people like teen moms, parents looking to adopt and even parents looking to give their child up for adoption. I believe that studying this major would mostly help children, elderly and women because they are the most prone to be subjected to poverty. They are currently serving as two of the largest populations at risk,” Phillips added.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers are estimated to make around $20 an hour and on average $42,000 a year. In 2010, there were 650,000 available jobs. Many find this field of work enjoyable because of how many people you get to interact with and the sense of helping others.
At ISU, there is a list of courses that you have to take to graduate from this major. Among the list is a psychopathology course where you learn about different mental disorders, allowing you to deal with a wide variety of clients. Another course is a sociology course where you view how society affects clients.
Social work allows those who are passionate about others a gateway to help. This major matters because there are so many children, teens, women and elders who do not have a safe place to go.