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Career Opportunities with a Major in Social Work

The focus of the MSU Denver Social Work Program is on urban problems that often affect oppressed minorities representing people of color (African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American) and other diverse populations (women and children, gays and lesbians, the developmentally delayed and the aging). The program is committed to helping those individuals in need and working toward changing the social, economic, and political context that often fosters painful and socially unjust human conditions. 

Some of the primary program goals are to prepare students for generalist social work practice with diverse, urban populations at risk including individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and larger systems and to provide students with the knowledge and skills for understanding the dynamic nature of social problems, social policies, social agencies, and social change in the context of the urban environment as an evolving ecological system. As social workers, graduates may work to provide services to children and youth, the elderly, minorities, or women. Such services are provided in social service departments, nursing homes, residential facilities, mental health centers, schools, and health-care facilities.

Questions about how Social Work differs from Human Services and Psychology? Check out this document:

Human Services? Psychology? Social Work? What’s the difference?!?



MSU Denver Social Work Department Website

Skills Related to Social Work

  • Ability to work well under pressure

  • Proficient in interpersonal communication

  • Thorough knowledge of community resources

  • Ability to maintain composure in stressful or hostile situations

  • Familiarity of social work theories, practices, and trends

  • Above average ability to learn and understand theories and ideas; to gather, analyze, and interpret data and then take effective action

  • Above average to high ability to communicate and relate to people of many economic, social and cultural backgrounds

  • Ability to listen and understand clients

  • Good writing skills for reports, case notes, letters, and sometimes grant proposals

  • Ability to take responsibility for activities or work of others

  • Willing to participate in team efforts

  • Ability to get along well with people and have a genuine interest in helping them solve their problems

  • Ability to be non-judgmental in regards to others and their values

  • Ability to inspire and motivate others

  • Knowledge of computer use

  • Knowledge of the principles of human behavior

  • Communication skills and the ability to listen

  • Ability to make quick decisions

  • Knowledge of social welfare policies

  • Knowledge of community resources and services

  • Ability to collect and analyze pertinent facts

  • Knowledge of sociology, psychology, economics, and current social trends

  • Knowledge of guidance and counseling methods

  • Ability to maintain accurate case records and prepare clear reports

Potential Careers in Social Work

Download Social Work PDF

The following list is a representative sample of job titles for individuals with a Social Work major. The list represents some, but certainly not all, careers which Social Work majors may consider.

Some of these jobs also require education beyond a bachelor's degree.

Case Worker Child or Adult Protective Service Child Welfare Worker
Community Liaison Correctional Specialist Counselor
Criminal Justice Administrators   Family Services Caseworker
Gerontology Social Worker Government Worker Health Care Social Worker
Homeless Shelter Volunteer Human Service Worker Marriage Counselor
Medical/Clinical Worker Mental Health Social Worker Occupational Social Worker
Patient Advocate Parole Officer Police Officer
Probation Officer Rehabilitation Counselor Research Analyst
School Social Worker Shelter Coordinator Social Work Planner and Policy Maker
Social Recreation Director Social Work Administrator Social Worker
Sociologist Treatment Specialist Writer

Employers in Social Work

  • Clinics/Hospitals

  • Colleges/Universities

  • Community Organizations

  • Courts/Correctional Institutions

  • Day Care Centers

  • Elementary/Secondary Schools

  • Employment Agencies

  • Government Agencies

  • Hospitals

  • Market Research Firms

  • Medical Schools

  • Mental Health Centers

  • Private Industries

  • Psychiatric Hospitals

  • Senior Citizen Centers

  • Social Service Agencies

  • Youth Organizations

Web Sites Related to Social Work

Professional Organizations in this Field


The above information is collected from alumni surveys of numerous colleges, professional associations, and multiple print and online resources.

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