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Why a Social Work Career?

The Canadian Association of Social Workers defines social work as “a profession concerned with helping individuals, families, groups and communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being. It aims to help people develop their skills and their ability to use their own resources and those of the community to resolve problems. Social work is concerned with individual and personal problems but also with broader social issues such as poverty, unemployment and domestic violence." 

The profession of Social Work is diverse and occurs in many settings. “Social Workers are usually employed in hospitals, community health centers, mental health clinics, schools, advocacy organizations, government departments, social service agencies, child welfare settings, family service agencies, correctional facilities, social housing organizations, family courts, employee assistance programs and private counselling, school boards, and consultation agencies” (Canadian Association of Social Workers). For information on Social Work practice in specialized areas, please visit the Canadian Association of Social Workers.

Social Work is unique from the other helping professions because of the focus on social change and a holistic approach to understanding individuals and families within the context of their environment.

For a quick guide to career options and workplace settings for social workers, review this document. For more detail information about career options related to Social Work, explore this link and complete the exploring career options handout. You can also check out this helpful page on the Library website.

Kelly Gallant is a Career Specialist dedicated to the Faculty of Social Work. She can be reached at kagallan@ucalgary.ca, and by telephone at (403) 220-2193. Use CareerLink to book an appointment with Kelly or to check out social work job postings.

Career Services provides extensive resources, career fairs and workshops throughout the year. You can even find online workshops and samples for your resume and cover letter. Check out all of the resources available to students and alumni here.