Just as English majors must endure the expectation of teaching following the completion of their degree, those with degrees in social work may be left wanting for versatility in their field. While some choices are more obvious expressions of this educational path, the fact is that social work prepares people for a host of situations and can be applied in nearly all employment sectors.

Those Who Can’t, Teach

Many school districts employ social workers to implement plans for students and assess and provide services to keep a student’s education on track. A social worker in this field may facilitate an outreach program that targets real issues like drug use, homelessness or problems at home. The people in this sector work to eliminate hurdles that interrupt a student’s education and encourage those students to seek alternative outlets for any problems that arise.

Those possessing a master’s in social work may opt to teach as well. The next generation of social workers are only a classroom away, and these teachers can assist this new generation on the path to licensure. Even those who would prefer to not teach their trade can find a lot to love in education. Requirements vary by state, but a master’s in social work may open the door to teaching in the local school district or teaching abroad. Even if the subject is different, the skills learned in a social work program can bring a lot to the table.

A Shoulder to Cry On

Hospitals frequently employ social workers to counsel those who are going through a traumatic period of time. A social worker may be called on to lend an ear to a depressed patient or to provide assistance to the bereaved. Social workers can also assist those transitioning through significant life events like the loss of a limb or rehabilitation from alcohol. Hospitals aren’t the only setting for this kind of work; many prisons also employ social workers to help rehabilitate offenders.

It Takes a Village

Community service is often its own reward, but getting paid for it is always a plus. Community planning requires someone in tune with the needs of the people, and social workers may be called on to help plan and develop community improvements. A social worker may serve as an advocate through political processes or work at a community center or government site. Social workers have a knack for enhancing a person’s quality of life, which makes them ideally suited for this career path.

Speak Softly, and Carry a Big Briefcase

While the business sector may seem better suited to those with MBAs or degrees in economics and marketing, social workers can lend a lot to an office environment. Social workers may also work in employee counseling or in developing programs to improve employee satisfaction. Whether it’s working with a labor union or helping a business hire and retain employees, human resources often plays out a lot like social work and can be immensely satisfying to those looking to break into corporate culture.