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There is projected to be a  growing demand for social workers in coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030.” What’s more, this growth is “expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.” 

Social workers are motivated by a desire to make an impact, to improve the lives of those less fortunate such as foster children, women suffering from domestic abuse or the homeless population. This career path can be ideal for someone who is empathetic, caring and interested in human behavior.

Social workers are on the frontlines of nearly every crisis that is making headlines, and that is especially true with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has led to a rise in mental health problems like depression, anxiety and suicide. They also assist those addicted to drugs and alcohol, problems that are also increasing in light of the pandemic and which often happen in parallel with mental health struggles. Studies have found that incidents of domestic violence have risen with the ongoing pandemic, particularly in response to quarantine requirements as well as to layoffs and loss of income.

But even as demand is increasing, there are not nearly enough social workers to meet the needs of those struggling with mental health problems, addiction and domestic violence. A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projected that the need for mental health and substance abuse social workers will fall short by more than 10,000 full-time employees by 2025.

Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from University of Phoenix

Becoming a social worker begins with an educational foundation such as a Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree program with University of Phoenix. This degree program is ideal for the adult learner who is looking to transition into a new career or to expand their career options. Students are able to choose from flexible start times, and online courses that are taken one at a time over five weeks. As part of the program, students have supervised field education so they gain real-world experience in social work.

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work from University of Phoenix prepares graduates for a number of fulfilling job opportunities in social work including as a caseworker, child protective services social worker, family protection specialist, family service worker, foster care social worker or youth services specialist.

Coursework provides students with the foundational knowledge they need to understand and influence policies that affect the most vulnerable. They also help prepare students to work with individuals, families, organizations and communities to advance treatments and policies and to understand and navigate social welfare policies and laws. Courses include Professional and Ethical Behaviors for Social Work Practice, Social Advocacy: Child Endangerment and Global Factors and Social Welfare Policy and the Law. Classes are designed to provide insights into the work and a better understanding of the larger social context in which the work takes place.

As with most University of Phoenix bachelor’s degree programs, students also take 18 General Education courses that lay the foundation for all degree programs as well as two elective courses in topics outside their focus area that may be of interest. As part of the 20 core classes in the Social Work degree program, students take two Field Education courses that include 400 hours of field education experience over two 15-week sessions. This is when students begin to put what they’ve learned into practice.

Social workers are in great need, and the work can be highly rewarding. A Bachelor of Science in Social Work from University of Phoenix can make it possible to pursue opportunities in one of many careers helping others in a flexible, online format that is compatible with the busy lives of working adults.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is committed to advancing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners, and to helping students navigate career options and degree programs. The University’s degree programs are aligned with numerous career paths including social work, and they provide flexible start dates, online classes, and scholarship opportunities. In addition, the University’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides resources that can help them in the workforce for no additional charge. These services include resume and interview support, career guidance, education and networking opportunities. For more information, visit


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