While your degree sets you up with the knowledge for a career in social work, the skills you gain are also highly relevant for a range of related social care roles
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Adult guidance worker
- Advice worker
- Careers adviser
- Community development worker
- Education consultant
- Equality, diversity and inclusion officer
- Life coach
- Play therapist
- Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
- Volunteer coordinator
- Youth worker
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Previous experience in an area relating to social work is extremely important if you want to become a social worker. You could look for paid positions or voluntary work in places such as community care centres, charities that work with vulnerable adults or children, counselling settings or youth centres.
Any roles that show you can demonstrate empathy, along with a genuine desire to improve the quality of the lives of others, are helpful.
An interest or involvement in your local community is also useful. Relevant voluntary work may be found through Volunteering Matters.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Most social workers are employed by local authority children's or adult social services. Increasingly, however, opportunities are available within other settings such as:
- children's homes
- primary care trusts
- private fostering agencies or nursing homes
- voluntary organisations or charities.
It's possible to do freelance work for social work staffing agencies or to work as an independent practitioner within social enterprises.
Skills for your CV
A social work degree provides you with practical skills through placements carried out alongside professionals in, for example, the NHS, schools, police and housing.
Ethics, including respecting diversity and promoting social justice, is covered and you develop skills of judgement and become more accountable, reflective, critical and evaluative.
Transferable skills gained include:
- communication skills
- analysing a situation and problem solving
- managing conflict
- negotiating plans and goals
- effective time management.
You can become a social worker immediately after completing your degree but if you decide to take another route, you could study a postgraduate qualification in a related area such as professional education and training. This provides skills in educating, mentoring, supporting, assessing and managing others in social work education.
There is also the option to take other vocational courses, such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which allows you to work as a teacher.
If you're interested in related careers you could take postgraduate qualifications in areas such as community justice, social policy, social research or counselling.
What do social work graduates do?
Just under three quarters (74%) of social work graduates in employment in the UK are working as social workers 15 months after graduation.
Care workers and home carers, welfare and housing associate professionals, youth and community workers and nursery nurses and assistants are also among the top five most popular jobs held by social work graduates.
|Working and studying||8.3|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Legal, social and welfare||82.7|
|Childcare, health and education||8.6|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||1.6|
For a detailed breakdown of what social work graduates are doing after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.