Your degree in Social Work

Skills you’ll develop

While studying Social Work, you’ll develop important skills, values, and knowledge necessary for professional practice through a social justice lens.

These skills may include:

  • Excellent interpersonal, listening, and communication skills that demonstrate a genuine interest in people and their welfare
  • Showing sensitivity to the beliefs and values of others and acknowledge one’s own identity, influences, social location, and values
  • Supporting individuals, families, groups and communities using engagement, assessment, intervention, negotiation, mediation, advocacy, and evaluation
  • Familiarity with and ability to use critical social theories to analyze and address pressing social issues
  • Applying theoretical and practical frameworks to promote human rights and social justice
  • Analyzing social policies and identification of their implications for disadvantaged and oppressed groups at local, national, and international levels
  • Collaborating with other health professionals to promote environmental and social wellbeing for people 
  • Supporting and enhancing diversity in society through critical thinking and innovative problem solving, developed through hands-on practicum experience
  • Research used to study issues of power and discrimination based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, class, culture, and others
  • Understanding relevant social work codes of ethics and consistent application in any situation

Career possibilities

Career opportunities vary widely across a range of fields including government, schools, health care, community or residential settings, crisis centres, correctional services, shelters, immigration services, counselling agencies, and others.

There are many career paths that can combine your academics, skills, and experience with your different interests. Read through the job titles below for ideas. Some career options may require further education or training.

Visit the National Occupational Classification website to research basic requirements and responsibilities of jobs in your field.

  • Aboriginal outreach worker
  • Addiction social worker
  • Addictions counsellor
  • Art or music therapist
  • Case worker or manager
  • Child and youth counsellor
  • Child welfare policy analyst
  • Child welfare social worker
  • Clinical counsellor
  • Community development worker
  • Community organizer
  • Crisis counsellor
  • Detention home worker
  • Educational or Guidance counsellor
  • Employment counsellor
  • Employment initiatives coordinator
  • Family counsellor
  • Family social worker
  • Geriatric social worker
  • Group home counsellor
  • Group social worker
  • Human resources consultant
  • Human rights officer or spokesperson
  • Labour relations officer
  • Life skills instructor
  • Lobbyist or Activist
  • Medical social worker
  • Mental health counsellor
  • Parenting coach
  • Parole or Probation officer
  • Psychiatric social worker
  • Public relations coordinator
  • Research assistant
  • School liaison worker
  • Settlement worker
  • Sexual assault counsellor
  • Shelter supervisor
  • Social assistance officer
  • Social policy researcher or analyst
  • Veteran services officer
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Welfare organization counsellor
  • Women's shelter supervisor

Make the most of your program

Your experiences will open doors to new opportunities and help you understand your values and interests.

Build your network

Employers often hire people they know, so help them get to know you. You can build your network through clubs, classes, informational interviews, and more. There are so many ways to make connections and find mentors.

The professional associations below are also great resources for meeting people, learning about specific industries, and accessing job and volunteer opportunities. Most have reduced membership rates for students and new grads.

Connect with alumni on LinkedIn

Find UBC Social Work graduates on LinkedIn to learn about where they’re working, and their career and academic paths.

More information

From your Arts degree, you’ll develop skills and experiences that can translate into many career paths. Check out other things you can do with your Arts degree.