Starting a career as a social worker can be rewarding for people who appreciate giving back to their communities as well as making an impact on humanity. A social worker is an experienced professional who deals with vulnerable people, organisations, and neighbourhoods to assist them in learning to live happier lives.


These professionals strive to effect transformation and strengthen the resilience of people, their families, and their communities. Pursuing a career as a social worker will enable you to work in sectors such as education, healthcare and government. This career is one of the most interesting careers in social science. However, this career integrates components and psychology as well as client-based management.


I will walk you through the different specialisations in this career and how to start a career as a social worker.


Steps to Becoming a Social Worker

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s degree

    Firstly, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree to pursue a career as a social worker. You can obtain degrees in areas such as social work, sociology or psychology. This degree will give you a good foundation in the knowledge, skills and ethics of this profession. Additionally, it will give you an in-depth knowledge of social issues and human behaviour.

  2. Gain Professional Experience

    You can gain these experiences through internships or volunteer roles. They will give you hands-on experience in social work. Additionally, these experiences will give you a chance to build your skills and learn the needs of clients and communities.

  3. Choose an Area of Specialisation

    There are various areas of specialisation in social work. These areas allow professionals to focus on a particular issue and dedicate their expertise to solving it. You can select areas such as child and family, school, community development, etc.

  4. Pursue a Master’s Degree

    You can consider pursuing a master’s degree after your bachelor’s degree. This will allow you to gain in-depth knowledge and skills about the area of specialisation of your interest. Additionally, you will have access to higher opportunities as well as high earning potential.

  5. Obtain a License

    Obtaining a license as a social worker is vital for career advancement and legitimacy. Additionally, it gives you the legal authority to work as a social worker. Most employers and clients prefer to hire social workers with a license.

  6. Join a Professional Association

    This is important for networking and building professional connections. You can attend events such as conferences, workshops and seminars. This will enable you to meet professionals in the field. Additionally, building professional relationships can give rise to employment recommendations, mentorship possibilities, and access to job markets.

Areas of Specialisation in Social Work

  1. Research: This field involves gathering data about social work techniques, connections and methodologies. Additionally, they use information gathered to predict the effectiveness of different social work initiatives.
  2. Public Welfare: This area of specialisation entails providing income and monetary assistance for people in need. Subsequently, they work with elderly people, kids, and persons who have impairments or chronic medical issues that hinder them from acquiring or maintaining a full-time job.
  3. Community Organization and Advocacy: Professionals in this field collaborate with communities to develop and execute programmes addressing local social challenges. Additionally, they work to improve the rights of individuals and groups within their community.
  4. Child and Family: This group of experts assist families and guarantees the well-being of vulnerable children.
  5. Mental Health and Substance Abuse: Social workers who focus on mental wellness and substance misuse offer patients support and tools to assist them in overcoming addiction to substances. Additionally, they deal with social conventions and mindsets, support structures within their neighbourhood or family, and city regulations to aid groups in coping with these behaviours.
  6. Healthcare: Social workers who specialise in health care help patients manage the psychological and particular factors that impact their physical and mental well-being.
  7. Aged and Elderly: Professionals in this sector who specialise in ageing and elderly care offer assistance and resources to help older people stay as self-sufficiently as possible and engage with their communities.
  8. International: Professionals in this field aid and assist communities in undeveloped countries or during catastrophic events. Additionally, collaborate with people or groups of people to help them explore new social networks, acquire new languages, and adapt to their environment.

Places to Work as a Social Worker

  1. Hospitals
  2. Mental Health Facilities
  3. Child Welfare Agencies
  4. Schools
  5. Private Practices


Universities in Africa that Offer Degrees in Social Work

  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Covenant University, Nigeria
  3. Federal University of Technology, Akure
  4. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  5. Cairo University, Egypt
  6. University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
  7. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  8. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  9. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  10. North-West University, South Africa
  11. Makerere University, Uganda
  12. University of Ghana, Ghana
  13. Tanta University, Egypt
  14. University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  15. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  16. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  17. Alexandria University, Egypt
  18. University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  19. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  20. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  21. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  22. Rhodes University, South Africa
  23. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  24. University of Botswana, Botswana
  25. Mansoura University, Egypt
  26. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  27. Tunis University, Tunisia
  28. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  29. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  30. University of Zambia, Zambia


In Conclusion, pursuing a career as a social worker plays a major role in impacting the lives of people. Therefore, you must acquire the relevant education and skills needed to carry out the responsibilities attached to the role. Additionally, you should ensure that you heed and pay attention to the ethical code of conduct while carrying out your responsibilities.


Good luck!


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