For those who are pursuing an online masters in social work, it’s only natural to start thinking about the job market, and what areas of social work are in demand. One area you may want to consider is social work with seniors. This specialization is not only rewarding as a social worker, but it is also an area that is showing growth, especially as the baby boomers continue to age.
A Growing Field
While fields such as technology, IT, and security are growing, there is another field that isn’t as talked about, but that is experiencing growth all of its own. The US Department of Labor shows social work is showing an increase in numbers. Over the course of the next eight years social work is expected to grow faster than the national job growth average.
By having a masters in social work you are ensuring that you are ready for this growth and able to embrace the many available opportunities.
The Baby Boomers Will Create an Influx of Seniors
There are a wide variety of avenues you can take in social work, and while they are all expected to be in demand, some are in higher demand. Choosing to specialize in Gerontology (working with seniors) is a sound decision it seems. The baby boomers are continuing to age, and with that said they will need more and more assistance. It is expected that by the year 2030 there will be about 72 million people living in the United States who are age 65 and older. That’s a fairly large amount of people.
It’s not just medical assistance they will need, either; they will also need other services that social workers provide, such as counseling. Social workers are able to provide in-home visits, visits to a senior residence, and visits in hospitals. Social workers will become imperative in allowing seniors to continue a sense of normalcy as they age, as this will help them to keep their independence.
Taking it one step further, it may also be wise to set down roots in small cities and towns. The large cities tend to be better equipped to handle the aging population, whereas small cities and towns will be in need of more social workers to handle the influx of clients.
Look for Specialized Programs
While a masters in social work will be enough to allow you to work with seniors, it would be of great help to explore graduate programs that deal specifically with gerontology and geriatric social work. This will provide you with that extra bit of knowledge that will help in the field.
A Solid Future Ahead
For those who are considering social work with seniors, the numbers don’t lie. It appears as though it will be a strong and solid career choice with plenty of rewarding opportunities. Making sure you have the proper education and specialize whenever possible, as this will help to ensure you are able to get a job as soon as possible after finishing your degree.