Career in Social Work: Courses, Colleges and Scope

Akansha Sirohi

Updated On: July 15, 2022 11:31 am IST | TISSNET

  • Social work is considered amongst some of the noblest fields of education in the world.
  • You can pursue graduation from any field and then go on to pursue masters of social work.
  • Check out the details of courses, jobs and salaries below.
Career in Social Work: Courses, Colleges and Scope

Social work is considered amongst some of the noblest fields of education in the world. It is an ideal field for individuals who want to serve people or work for the benefit of the environment and ecosystem. Social work can be divided into various other fields varying from the economic conditions of a country to the climate and various other factors.

The best part about this field is that you don’t require formal education to become a social worker. You can pursue graduation from any field and then go on to pursue master's of social work. However, if you are interested in social work , you can start your education early with the following undergraduate courses.

Role of a Social Worker

The social worker helps the people who need help. They help their client by providing solutions to their client's problems. They deal with all types of issues for example., child abuse or any mental health issue. They provide psychotherapies to their clients. Some social workers work as an individual whereas some prefer working within a group. In brief, social worker deals with all types of problems or challenges faced by people in their lives, help them provide the best possible solution to their problems irrespective of the age of the client.

Types of Courses in the field of Social Work

Name of the Course

Type of Course


Certificate in Social Work


1 year

Certificate in Socially Useful Productive Work


2 years

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Undergraduate Degree

3 years

B.A. in Social Work

Undergraduate Degree

3 years

Diploma in Social Work


1 to 2 years

PG Diploma Corporate Social Responsibility

Postgraduate Diploma

1 year

M.A. or Master in Social Work (MSW)

Postgraduate Degree

2 years

M.Phil Social Work

Postgraduate Degree

1 years

Ph.D in Social Work

Doctoral Degree

2 years

Eligibility Criteria

Certificate Courses:

  • Certificate courses are designed for candidates who want to gain knowledge in the field of social work regardless of their educational qualification.
  • You can apply for these courses at any time during classes 10 to class 12 in school, alongside your graduation or post-graduation courses.
  • All you need is a willingness to devote your time and skills to services that aim to make the life of people better.

Diploma Courses:

  • Students can apply for diploma courses in the field of social work after passing class 12.
  • However, some institutes also offer these courses to students who have passed class 10 board exams successfully.

Undergraduate Degree Courses:

  • Admissions to BSW and other such courses are open to students who have passed class 12.
  • Admission is done based on marks scored in class 12 exams.

Postgraduate Degree and Diploma Courses:

  • You will be able to apply for these courses once you have completed your graduation with at least 45% to 50% marks.
  • Graduates from every field can apply for postgraduate courses in the field of social work.
  • Some colleges conduct entrance exams for admission to master courses in the field of social work such as TISS NET .

Top colleges in the field of Social Work

Here are some top colleges in the field of Social Work:

Job Opportunities in Social Work

Social work is a vast field and is the related benefit of the society, surroundings, nation, and the Earth. Although developed countries have already been inclined towards social work, various organizations have emerged in India in the past 20 years to maintain an economic as well as ecological balance.

With small as well as large NGOs and various government initiatives such as NABARD, Swach Bharat Abhiyaan, Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao, etc. there are a lot of job opportunities in the social sector. You can apply for government jobs as well as private jobs after obtaining a degree in this field.

There are a lot of options within international organizations as well. After graduating from reputed colleges like TISS, you can also apply for jobs at organizations like WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF, etc. Career opportunities are also available outside India.

Salary Scope in Social Work

The most important aspect of this field is to understand that social work is a service that you offer to the community. It is willingly done to help either to maintain environmental balance or for people who have been neglected by the system, have suffered due to extreme environmental or economic problems, etc.

Expecting to become rich in this field or expecting lucrative packages will not be appropriate at the beginning of your career. The maximum amount of money in this field is earned by individuals who raise funds at executive levels. These individuals can make up to Rs. 10 lakhs per annum after an experience of 2 to 3 years in this field.

However, those who work in the field can expect to earn Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 lac per annum at the beginning of their career. The salary increases with experience in the case of those who are working with the corporate sector or are employed at government offices.

Salary scope in the field of social work is excellent in countries like the USA. There the average salary of a Social worker is about $42k per annum depending on factors like education, the field of work, and experience.

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What are the Licensing Requirements for a Social Worker?

To become a licensed social worker in India mentioned steps are to be followed:

An individual must attain a Master's of Social Work Degree.
Must be working in a Supervised Position.
Must clear/pass the ASWB Social Work Licensing Exam.

Are Distance Learning Online Master’s in Social Work Programs Accredited?

Yes, now almost every university or institutes offers accredited distance learning online social work degrees/programs.

Does Master's in Social Work require GRE for the admission after bachelors?

Yes, after a bachelor's degree in a related field, some MSW Colleges will ask for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission. The GRE is a standardized test administered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service).

Does a master's degree in social work requires the submission of thesis or research work?

Yes, in Master's of Social Work many universities/institutes prefer the submission of thesis or research work as a part of their curriculum. 

Are there Distance learning online schools for social work?

Yes, there are many universities/institutions which offer online social learning degrees to candidates who wish to learn from home.

Which is the highest paid field in social work?

Here are some of the highest-paid fields in the social workstream:

  1. School Social Worker or Counselor
  2. Healthcare Social Worker
  3. Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  4. Case Manager
  5. Child and Family Social Worker
  6. Mental Health and Addiction Counselor
  7. Religious Activities and Education Director
  8. Rehabilitation Counselor

Apart from its social worker career field, what other careers a social worker can do?

Other alternative jobs which can be pursued by a social worker are:

  1. Career counselor
  2. Paralegal
  3. School teacher
  4. Project Coordinator
  5. Mediator / Facilitator
  6. Human resources Manager
  7. Educational Consultant
  8. Real Estate Agent

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