We are living in an era where social equity and rights have been termed as the ‘must haves’ to run any economy successfully today. So much so, those countries like Bhutan have started measuring the growth of their country not on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but the Happiness Index called the Gross National Happiness. This just goes to prove the importance that we as a society on the whole give to our social views and molding.
In earlier days where social work was considered as the work of the rich and economically feasible, has now become one of the most professional trades/career. Social Work as a discipline is available in many universities and institutes in India, both at the graduate and postgraduate levels.
This field like no other mostly depends on your aptitude and attitude and is suitable for those individuals who look in for a career with a greater meaning and satisfaction. A participant of the field can directly influence or assist in improving and improvising the social conditions on a whole. The main aim of the people of this field is to develop the society by providing assistance to deprived people and that in need. The field is professional and considered borderline noble and those who are a part of the field are in a constant attempt to improve the societal conditions by and large.
The minimum requirement for a professional position in this field is a Bachelor’s degree in Social work (B.S.W./ B.A) which is a three year course open for all those who have passed Class XII examination or its equivalent.
For applying to the Master’s degree course in Social work (M.S.W./ M.A), a graduate in any discipline can join. The time duration for the same is two years. Although students with a background in social work, psychology, social science, sociology or any other related fields get first preference.
Specialization in Master’s is also available in
- Human resource management
- Criminology and correctional administration
- Medical and psychiatric social work
- Family and child welfare
- Rural and urban community development
- Schools social work
Higher studies in this field can vary from doctoral and research programs like M.Phil. and Ph.D. These higher degrees are usually required for teaching and some research and administrative jobs. Apart from these, several diploma and certificate courses are also available in the field of Social work.
Certificate and Diploma Courses
- Certificate in Social Work
- Certificate in Rehabilitation Counselling
- Advanced Certificate in Social Welfare Administration
- Postgraduate Certificate in Social Welfare Administration
- Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodology
- Diploma in Personnel Management
- Diploma in Hospital Administration
Aptitude and attitude
The reason why the aptitude here is given so much importance is because of the nature of work which is required from students of this field. A great amount of altruism, empathy and patience is required from those wanting to be a part of this field. The willingness to be diligent and be able to participate even in adverse environment needs to be there. A great amount of communication skills are a requirement of the field along with the ability to interact with people from different strata of society and understanding their issues.
The career opportunities for the individuals wanting to be a part of this field are immense. Employment opportunities in various government and private institutions are available along with the opportunities in several developmental projects by the government for the following areas:
- Child, woman and tribal welfare
- Rural development
- Drugs abuse
- Inadequate education facility
- Inadequate health
A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an important segment of this field and constitutes a major chunk of jobs in the field both in urban and rural areas. Those who are equipped to be a part of social work as a career can get employed in welfare schemes in a way providing the education, health, medical and various other welfare schemes to the poor sections of the society.
The social work as a profession has tried to eliminate or improve problems and cut short the sufferings of many.
Governmental and non-governmental organizations appoint social workers as their employees. The remuneration in this field mostly depends upon the organization in which one works, their experience and the area of work. Though there is no fixed pay scale for this profession, one could get an initial pay of Rs 7,000 to 9,000 per month depending on the organization, initially. The pay package of corporate houses is more than that of government agencies. Those working with NGO’s and Government projects can stand to earn a monthly salary of Rs 8000 to Rs 10000.
Salaries and perks are higher in International NGOs.