Associate Degree in Social Work with Career Information
Social workers help families and children cope with serious issues, such as sexual assault, drug abuse, domestic violence and disease, in addition to overseeing child protective care cases. While a bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement to work in the position, students may begin their schooling by earning an associate's degree in pre-social work.
Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Pre-Social Work
The associate's degree program in pre-social work prepares students to transfer to 4-year universities, where they may earn a bachelor's degree in social work. The pre-social work program introduces students to the field of social work, behavioral issues, counseling methods and specialty areas of social work, such as the elderly or children.
Graduates of the 2-year degree program gain an understanding of today's sociological issues, develop a good idea of the role of a social worker and learn how cultural diversity factors into their position. Some programs may also cover research methods, social policy and the planning development conducted by social workers. Applicants entering the pre-social work degree program should be high school graduates.
The pre-social work program offers students introductory college courses, as well as sociology core classes. Sample courses include:
- Introduction to psychology
- English composition
- Social issues
- Cultural anthropology
- Human behavior and development
- Child development
Continuing Education Information
Associate of Arts graduates with pre-social work degrees often go on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at 4-year universities in order to qualify them for social worker positions.
Salary Info and Employment Outlook
Healthcare social workers earned a mean annual salary of $51,460 as of May 2012, while mental health and substance abuse social workers made $43,340 per year on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. Child, family and school social workers made an average of $45,300 the same year. Demand for social workers should increase due to retiring social workers and the increase in the elderly. The BLS stated that job opportunities were favorable for college graduates and that they may find work in social service agencies, governmental offices, mental health facilities and private practices.
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