By Roxy Simons, SocialWorkGuide.com
The social work licensing exam is the same across the United States; therefore, there is no reason to postpone taking the exam and obtaining your license. Regardless of where in the U.S. you want to live, your exam score will be transferred to that state, so even if you plan to move after completing your exam, be sure to check off that first notch on your license belt, so to speak. The sooner you are officially licensed, the better your chances will be of finding a job. Although social work is a necessary service all over the country, some of the best states to be a social worker, in terms of salary, include Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, and California. If you plan to eventually relocate internationally, be sure to research whether your license will be accepted in that specific country. More than likely, the most challenging aspect of transferring abroad will be obtaining a working Visa.
Choosing a Specialty & Finding a Job
Explore different areas of expertise as early as possible so that by the time you’re arranging your placements, you have an idea of where you hope to work after graduation. This way, you can be placed in an organization that might offer you a job after you graduate. Leaving school with a job already in place will alleviate the stress most graduates face. If you’re not sure in which field you want to work after getting your license, allow the employees at your placement to guide you in the right direction. Either it will be a good fit, or your employers can lead you in the right direction. You could also volunteer or work on a part time basis at different facilities while working towards your degree to see which area best suits your interests. There’s nothing wrong with doing a little research before deciding on a specific field. More than likely, throughout your career, you will choose to change fields in order to gain more experience.
If you’re having a hard time finding a job after graduation, sending out a mass email to everyone you know – and I literally mean everyone – can never hurt. You never know which family friend or old professor might have a connection for you. Keep up with job websites like Indeed.com and Monster.com, as well as social work focused job search websites, like SocialWorkers.org, CSWE.org, or SocialWorkJobBank.com. Keep a resume and cover letter handy on your phone and computer, so you can immediately send out your application upon receiving a job notification. Maintaining an active, professional social media presence can also be an excellent networking tool. Finally, possessing special skills, like being bilingual, will set you apart from other candidates and improve your chances of finding a job.
For more information about the social work licensing exam and study preparation materials, go to www.socialworkguide.com.