Facts About the Profession

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) predicts that employment for social workers "is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations." Job prospects are expected to be especially favorable for those specializing in work in rural areas or with aging populations.

Dr. Heydt visits Claire O'Connor at her poster presentation about foster care which Claire presented at the BPD annual meeting in 2011

According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW):

  • Social workers have the right education, experience, and dedication to help people help themselves whenever and wherever they need it. It takes a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral social work degree ? with a minimum number of hours in supervised fieldwork ? to become a social worker.
  • Social workers help people in all stages of life, from children to the elderly, and from all situations from adoption to hospice care.
  • You can find social workers in hospitals, police departments, mental health clinics, military facilities, and even corporations.
  • Professional social workers are the nation's largest providers of mental health services. According to government sources, more than 60 percent of mental health treatment is delivered by social workers.
  • More than 600,000 people in the United States hold social work degrees.
  • The Veteran's Administration employs more than 3,800 MSWs to assist veterans and their families with individual and family counseling, patient education, end of life planning, substance abuse treatment, crisis intervention, and other services.
  • Forty percent of mental health professionals working with the Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources system are social workers.
  • There are more than 170 social workers in national, state, and local elected office, including two U.S. Senators and four U.S. Representatives.

Students graduating in social work apply for licensure and are prepared to practice social work in a number of different settings. Xavier has been very successful in placing our social work graduates. Graduates in social work have secured positions in many areas, including:

  • Child/Adult protective services
  • Homeless populations
  • Community organizers
  • Medical social work
  • School social work
  • Forensic social work 
  • Sexual assault & family violence 
  • Mental Health/Mental Illness
  • Addictions
  • Policy development & legislation
  • Disaster & trauma relief
  • Family social services
  • Case managers

Students wishing to advance within the field of social work usually pursue a Master in Social Work (M.S.W.) degree. Although the M.S.W. is a two-year degree program, students graduating from an accredited program like Xavier's may be eligible for advanced standing and complete the Master's in one year. The M.S.W. opens up countless opportunities in the field and enables students to maximize their knowledge base and income potential.

Recent BSW graduates have also been accepted into graduate programs at the following prestigious institutions:

  • Adler School of Professional Psychology
  • Boston College
  • Case Western Reserve
  • Columbia University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • New York University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Michigan
  • Washington University in St. Louis

Xavier's Career Services Center assists students in their search for employment by offering individual career counseling sessions, by conducting an annual workshop series on interviewing and résumé writing techniques, and by maintaining an educational, vocational, and employer information resource center.