5 answers

is social work worth it?

Asked Boothwyn, Pennsylvania

Im currently a junior in high school and i want a career in Mental Heath social work for kids specifically but any age is fine. I curious how i should go about it with colleges. Also if its worth it, i understand that the pay isnt he best but is the personal satisfaction enough? Im thinking od majoring in social work and minoring in psychology. #college #social-work #social #mental-health #mental-health-counseling

5 answers

Aparna’s Answer

Updated California, California

First of all congrats for planning your major in Junior year! Beyond the degree, the kind of work you are looking into requires patience, empathy and people skills. If you are planning on developing these personal skills, you are going to enjoy this field. In order to work as a mental health professional or a social worker you would need a bachelor's / master's degree in the related field. Majoring in Psychology or Social Work should be fine. It's difficult to find a decent paying job if you just have a bachelor's degree. Most jobs in these fields look for advanced degrees and training. If you major in Psych you can do your master's in Counseling Psych or School Psychology too. The scope is border when you do your master's.

Judith-Ann’s Answer

Updated Grapevine, Texas

Actually, sometimes mental health counselors and social workers are two different paths of career choices unless you choose the right courses. For instance an MSW_LPC is a master's in social work with a licensure in professional counseling. You can be a mental health counselor with a master's degree in Social Work or Counseling or Psychology. If you are thinking social worker, are you thinking working with Child Protective Services or a Probation Officer. If you are thinking more in the lines of being a therapist, that would be someone who can have their own private practice or work in a mental health facility. Both career paths are callings and very worth the time and effort, and both can lead to medium incomes to upper medium incomes. If you are a real entrepreneur, the sky is the limit on income but that involves promoting yourself, taking on extra skills of administrative leadership, etc. So ask: what really do I enjoy, and how much money would make me happy? Whichever path you choose, I always recommend not stopping until you get your doctorate.

Yameen’s Answer

Updated Indiana, Indiana

Mental health work in any of the fields such as mental health counseling, social work or marriage and family therapy are important and worth it now more than ever. It's an honorable field to work within but the satisfaction is up to you. Be sure you are entering the field for the right reasons and the pay won't be an issue. Much like being an educator, good teachers don't get into the field because of high wages, they do it because they're passionate. There's many settings to work within which keeps it exciting.

Dr. Ray’s Answer

Updated Fort Worth, Texas

Dear Shakera,

You have already received some excellent responses to your question so I will only add a few comments. My perspective is that of a psychologist who worked in the field for about 40 years. Whether you would find a career in the mental health field rewarding depends on your personality and values. If you are interested in other people, able to really listen to them and able to communicate, both verbally and in writing, then the odds are you would enjoy working as a helper. Career opportunities in mental health are likely to grow in the next 20 years due to America's increasing population and people's greater willingness to seek help for emotional problems.

Unfortunately job opportunities for people with only a bachelor's degree are limited and don't pay very well. You will need a master's degree at a minimum and some fields, like psychology, require a Ph.D. I certainly did not get rich as a psychologist but made a comfortable living, and I found my work to be highly satisfying and rewarding.

I don't think you have to choose a college major at this point as long as you have a general idea of what your goals are. I suggest you research colleges you are interested in on line and find out more about what the course requirements are for various majors.

Whatever your eventual decisions I wish you the best in your educational and occupational pursuits.

Yours truly, Ray Finn, Ph.D.

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Shakera!

You asked a good question. A career is something that is supposed to be rewarding and fulfilling. Many find social work to be just that.

Here is a site that you might find to be helpful: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marjorie-hansen-shaevitz/post_9154_b_6865002.html

Let me know if and how this is helpful. Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.