As a mother, you’re probably used to taking on a wide range of roles. You are there for your little ones in various ways including talking, listening, nurturing and supporting them. And naturally, many of the talents and skills that you develop as a mom are closely aligned with the requirements and tasks of a social worker. Maybe you have already considered pursuing a job in social work, but aren’t sure where to begin. A degree in social work can open the door to several opportunities in this field, and the good news is that it’s easier than ever for busy moms to get qualified. We’ve put together some of the top reasons to consider getting a degree in social work as a mom.
Getting Qualified Has Gotten Easier
When it comes to getting your degree, there are more options than ever before available to moms today. You can study at a traditional college and take regular classes, attend night schools, or even study online to fit your education around your busy life and schedule. Online learning is becoming more and more popular with moms these days because it is flexible, easy to fit around a busy child care schedule, and can be self-led. The online MSW degree from Florida State University is ideal for moms as you can study whenever is the most suitable for you – whether that means studying in the evening once the kids have gone to bed, at the weekends when you can drop them off with grandparents, or during the day when they are in nursery or school.
It Allows You to Make a Difference
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. – Helen Keller
Completing a degree in social work provides you with the necessary training to provide assistance in the lives of many people. Social work comes with many different areas of specialty, which provides you with the opportunity to connect with causes that are the most important to you. As a social worker, you will have the opportunity to make a difference whether you are working to help children, families, people who have suffered abuse, the elderly, or people living in poverty, a career in social work is one of the best if you want to really make a difference to others. The support that you provide will often be what it takes to change somebody’s life and offer them help in their time of need. And as a mom, you’re already providing this level of support to your kids – so why not use the skills that you’ve developed to help others?
You’ll Get a Broader Perspective on Life
When you’re a mom with a busy schedule that centers around caring for your children, it can be easy to lose perspective when it comes to the blessings and advantages in your life. Working in social work can often give you the chance to see life from a different perspective, because you’ll be able to see the struggles that other people deal with on a first-hand basis. And, watching other people and their ability to stay strong and persevere through difficult times can often be what it takes to change your perspective on life. It gives you the opportunity to look over your life and appreciate all the ups and downs that you may face with your family.
It’s a Field in High Demand
If you’ve decided to work while you raise your family, you’ll want to ensure that you’re spending your time preparing to work in a field that offers many opportunities. And, the demand for social workers has continued to rise with population growth – meaning that jobs for social workers are now more readily available than ever before. Once you’ve graduated with a degree in social work, you’re likely to land a job fairly quickly. And, as a mom, you have the added advantage of being able to leverage your skills and life experiences in raising your family to easily market yourself towards a career in social work.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 650,000 social workers in the US in 2016, with estimates that the number will grow by 16% by 2026.
And, the same trend can be noticed in Europe – it’s noted that jobs in the human and social work sector represent between 10-20% of total employment in countries such as Germany, Finland, Belgium, France and Denmark. And, social work was amongst the very few fields of work which have continued to grow despite the financial crisis of 2008 due to a range of reasons such as a growing aging population.
You Can Respond to a Calling
Many people who work in the field of social work describe their choice of career as responding to a calling. And, mothers tend to be natural caretakers, and they are able to easily transfer their skills over to social work. And, perhaps being able to raise happy and healthy children provides you with a sense of fulfillment that you’d like to extend to other areas of your life. Social work can be a very challenging field to work in, but if you feel a calling to help others more and do more, the job can be the one that’s incredibly rewarding. Pursuing your calling when it comes to your line of work can provide you with a deep sense of satisfaction.
It Can Build Family Relationships
In the same way that social work is able to shape your perspective on life, and help you appreciate your family even more, it can also help to build and improve your family relationships. As a social worker, you will be encouraging open communication and healthy problem-solving strategies to help maintain family relationships when it comes to the people that you work with. And, you can apply the strategies and lessons that you will learn as a social worker to your own family, to help improve relationships with your own family members, too. And, the social work field often lends itself to a more flexible schedule, so whether you’re working towards getting an online degree in social work or want to work independently once you start your career, you will have the time you need to nurture and maintain healthy relationships with your family.
You’ll Get a Unique Work Experience
There can be repetitive elements when it comes to every job, but social work is one that can provide many different unique experiences. As a social worker, you might see a range of very similar situations, but every person that’s involved in each situation that you deal with at work will have a different background and range of life experiences, which allows you to react or behave differently in the face of adversity – ultimately giving you a unique experience when it comes to helping them handle these problems. And, the ability to see each person that you work with as an individual can keep your day-to-day work different, distinct and challenging.
You’ll be Able to Offer Empathy
As a mom, you will often be able to offer a level of empathy as a social worker that others may not. Having your own children means that you will not only be able to better understand, relate to and connect with the children and young people that you work with in your career, but also the moms and dads who you come across in your line of work as well. Often, social workers can be seen as hard, cold people – you can help put an end to this by being an empathetic advocate for those who need it the most.
It is not your job to save everyone. Some people are not even ready to be helped. Focus on being of service to those who are and be wise and humble enough to know when the best service you can offer is to guide them toward help in another direction. – Anna Taylor
Earn a Decent Starting Salary
Money isn’t everything – especially for those who decide on a career in social work to meet a calling to help others – but when you’re a mom wanting to find a career that allows you to best support your family, then social work is a good option. If you want to become a social worker, then earning a degree will certainly put you in a better position for a stronger starting salary compared to without a degree.
You Can Gain Transferable Skills
In addition to gaining a career that allows you to follow your calling and make a difference to the lives of others, studying for a degree in social work also allows you to gain a range of transferable skills that you can use in other areas of your life along with your career. And, if after studying social work you decide that a profession directly related to the subject is not a good choice for you, you will have developed a range of skills that are valued by many employers in a range of different industries and sectors including communication and problem solving skills, strong time management and teamwork skills, and empathy.
Social Work is All About People
If you would truly describe yourself as a ‘people person’ then social work is a great career choice for you, as it focuses on helping people overcome any difficult challenges in their life. This could include issues such as addiction, poverty, disability, abuse, unemployment, mental illness and many more. And, social work places a strong emphasis on equality on social justice. It doesn’t just focus on giving people the support they need to get through tough times, but also on training them and working together with them in an effort to help change their environments, living conditions and situations. Social workers often work closely with members of the community to develop new skills or improve existing ones, which can change people’s mindsets and encourage them to embrace new, positive attitudes.
Tuition Fees are Affordable
Depending on how you plan to get your degree in social work, tuition fees can be quite affordable. This is especially true if you study online – online degrees tend to have much lower overheads and expenses in terms of providing the program to students, and passing those savings on to you in terms of tuition fees. In general, tuition fees for online programs tend to be around one-third cheaper compared to studying in a traditional campus setting.
You Don’t Always Need a Bachelor’s in Social Work to Apply for a Masters
You don’t need to hold a bachelor’s degree in social work to apply for a master’s in social work, so if you have already gained a bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher education institution, you should be able to apply for a master’s program in social work; either online or in a campus setting. If your undergraduate degree is unrelated to social work, you may still be able to get onto a master’s program if you are considering a career change. You can use the personal essay and spend some time finding relevant voluntary work experience, to demonstrate to the college why studying this field means so much to you and why it is a good fit for you. Each college or university will have their own individual admission requirements, but usually you will need to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum GPA that will be determined by the school, proof of proficiency in the English language, and personal and professional references.
You Can Graduate in Less Time
In the US, you’d normally take two years to graduate with a master’s in social work – however, you can do this in just one year if you already hold a bachelor’s degree in social work, which normally takes four years to complete. And, if you decide to study online, these self-led, flexible programs often mean that if you’re willing to put the extra work and dedication in, you could become a qualified social worker in even less time. Check out options for accelerated programs if you are interested in getting qualified as a social worker as quickly as possible.
As a mom, there are many reasons for you to consider a career in social work. Perhaps you love being there for your family and want to extend your empathy and kindness to others who need somebody to look out for and advocate for them.