Career Opportunities with a Social Work Degree

As this is a vocational degree course the majority of Social Work graduates go on to become social workers. However, there are a number of career paths you could choose after graduation.

As a Social Work graduate you’ll have a number of highly transferrable skills that will put you in good stead for any career.

Transferable skills gained during your Social Work degree include:

  • Communication skills
  • Analysing a situation
  • Problem solving
  • Managing conflict
  • Advocacy
  • Negotiating plans and goals
  • Time management
  • Team work

All of these skills are prized by employers in any industry so there are plenty of career opportunities with a Social Work degree.

Here’s a closer look at some of your job options after graduation.

Jobs directly related to your degree

Here are some jobs that are directly related to your Social Work degree:

Social Worker

As a social worker you’ll be dealing with people, both children and adults, from many different backgrounds. Typically social workers deal with:

  • The elderly particularly those who are becoming vulnerable through dementia or frailty
  • Vulnerable children/children at risk
  • Children with disabilities and adults with learning disabilities
  • Teenagers with mental health problems
  • Young offenders
  • People with alcohol or other addictions
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Socially excluded people


You would normally specialise and deal with one of the sectors of society listed above. However, regardless of your area of specialism your daily tasks will be fairly similar.

Here are some of the tasks you’ll carry out as a social worker:

  • Assessing and reviewing a client's situation
  • Protecting adults and/or children from harm
  • Building trusting relationships with service users and their families
  • Responding to requests for help
  • Agreeing what practical support someone needs (or making decisions for them when necessary, such as in child protection cases)
  • Acting as a key worker, co-ordinating other professionals involved in providing support
  • Offering information, counselling and advocacy
  • Organising and managing support plans
  • Taking part in team meetings and case conferences
  • Supervising team members and volunteers
  • Keeping records and writing reports
  • Giving evidence at court hearings

This means that you’ll need excellent communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team, strong organisation and time management skills – as well as all of the industry specific skills related to being a social worker.

Jobs not directly related to your degree

Being a social worker isn’t the only thing you can do with a Social Work degree. here are just some of the roles you can do where a Social Work degree would be helpful to your job but not essential in getting the job.

Youth Worker

If your area of specialism is children and young people then you may find a career as a Youth Worker appealing. On a daily basis you’ll be facilitating personal, social and educational growth in the young people you work with to help them reach their full potential in society.

Generally you’ll be working with young people from secondary school age (11+) up to the age of 25. A core part of your work is building a strong relationship with the young people on your case load.

You could work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Youth centres
  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Faith groups
  • Charity organisations
  • Work could also be street based due to its outreach nature

Community Development Worker

A community development worker often acts as a link between communities and a range of other local authority and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers and teachers.

This could be on an individual basis, with families, or as a representative of a certain group of people within a community. Alternatively it may be for the community as a whole.

Community development workers help communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area.

There are plenty of opportunities to specialise in this role, although you may prefer to work with the community in general. Specialisms include:

  • Homelessness
  • Families with young children
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Long term unemployed

You could also specialise on groups of people who are facing certain issues such as mental health problems, substance abuse, or alcohol dependency.

Some other career opportunities not obviously related to a Social Work degree include:

  • Adult guidance worker
  • Advice worker
  • Careers adviser
  • Charity officer
  • Counsellor
  • Volunteer coordinator