Skip to Content

What Can You Do with a Social Work Degree?

There are two degrees in social work offered at TexasStateSchool of Social Work:
  • the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) prepares individuals for entry-level general practice;
  • the Master of Social Work (MSW) prepares people to do advanced specialized practice in direct practice or administration.
Both degrees involve course work and a substantial number of hours in a field practicum, doing actual social work under the supervision of licensed social workers.
Social work has a unique focus of looking at the individual within the social environment. At Texas State School of Social Work, we also have a mission of preparing leaders for public sector work.
Social workers work in….
Employed by…..
Accomplishing this…
Services to Children in Troubled Families
Intervention in troubled families
Foster care

  • Public child welfare agencies
  • Private agencies which serve children
  • Adoption agencies
  • Residential and foster care agencies
  • Child day care

Social workers who serve children in troubled families attempt to ensure that children are safe and well-cared-for, and that families function to protect their children.
Clinical Therapeutic Services
Counseling and therapy to resolve psycho-social and emotional problems
  • Community mental health centers
  • Psychiatric hospitals and day treatment hospitals
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Schools
  • Family service agencies
  • Jails and prisons

Clinical social workers deal with a broad scope of clients in a wide variety of settings. Many of these positions require a Master of Social Work degree, particularly if the clinician wants to pursue private independent practice.
Criminal Justice and Corrections

Counseling and therapy
Behavioral rehabilitation
Probation and parole services
Youth offender services
Victim assistance

  • Prisons and correctional facilities
  • Courts
  • Police departments
  • Probation offices
  • Victim services offices

Social workers in corrections focus on rehabilitating offenders, assisting victims of crime, or helping courts and attorneys establish truth in criminal matters.
Community Development
Planning and developing community programs to improve the lives of citizens
Educating about and advocating for community improvements
Engaging in politics

  • Advocacy organizations
  • Development corporations
  • Community centers
  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Community associations

Community developers work with organizations to improve community conditions for residents, enhancing the quality of life and involving citizens in the political process.
Employee Assistance
Promoting wellness in businesses
Counseling the work force
Developing and improving the work environment
Employee hiring, retention, and retirement or termination

  • Businesses
  • Corporations
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Labor unions
  • Drug and alcohol treatment programs

Social workers who do occupational social work or employee assistance help employees to be more productive and satisfied.
Developmental Disabilities
Intervening on behalf of individuals who are developmentally disabled
Case management
Developing policy and advocating for the disabled

  • Residential homes for the disabled
  • Local, state, and federal agencies
  • Medical facilities
  • Schools
  • Mental health facilities

Social workers help people with different abilities to adjust and lead productive lives.
Intervening in the lives and families of aging persons
Advocating for the elderly
Counseling elderly people and their families
Case management
Develop programs for the elderly

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Community centers

Social workers doing gerontological work deal with older adults and their families to improve mental and physical health, functioning, and living conditions.
Services to the Needy
Intervening in the lives of the poor
Advocating for the poor
Developing programs to improve conditions for the poor
  • Public welfare agencies
  • Private and sectarian agencies
  • Veteran’s agencies
  • Homeless agencies

Social workers engaged in services to the needy provide programs, support, and advocacy for needy disabled, ill, elderly, juvenile, and homeless clients.
School Social Work
Services to help children and juveniles cope with the pressures of growing up
Services to help school children overcome academic challenges
Advocacy for services in schools

  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • School districts
  • Head start clinics
  • Early intervention programs

Social workers who work in schools help students to cope with and resolve emotional, developmental, or educational challenges.
Mental Health Care
Counseling people who face disease
Developing programs which promote health
Intervening with persons who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction
Advocating for programs which promote health and healthy living

  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Public health centers and programs
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospice
  • Veteran’s Administration
  • Private and public drug and alcohol clinics and programs
  • Mental health clinics

Social workers facilitate the health care and healthy living of those suffering from disease or disability.
They also work to prevent physical and mental health problems.

For more information, contact:

School of Social Work ,
Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666-4616