Your degree in Social Work

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
  • Ability to show sensitivity to the beliefs and values of others and acknowledge one’s own identity, influences, social location, and values
  • Ability to support 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
  • Application of theoretical and practical frameworks to promote human rights and social justice
  • Analysis of social policies and identification of their implications for disadvantaged and oppressed groups at local, national, and international levels
  • Collaboration with other health professionals to promote environmental and social wellbeing for people 
  • Ability to support and enhance diversity in society through critical thinking and innovative problem solving, developed through hands-on practicum experience
  • Research used to explore issues of power and discrimination based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, class, culture, and others
  • Understanding of relevant social work codes of ethics and consistent application in any situation

Explore 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. See the job titles below for ideas, but note that 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 clarify understanding of your values and interests.

Field Education
Integrate theory, knowledge, and skills and apply them in an agency or in the community. 

International Field Education
Take courses offered in partnership with the Office of Regional and International Community Education (ORICE). 

Departmental events
Network with Social Work students and faculty members at a variety of events.

Departmental research opportunities
Reach out directly to faculty members to ask about potential research positions.

Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship
Focus on social policy and issues concerned with the full inclusion and citizenship of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia 
Connect with an interdisciplinary team of practice-based and applied researchers committed to improving support for people living with dementia, their families and communities. 

UBC Wellness Peers
Become a student leader and help support fellow students through proactive wellness-related conversations.

Vancouver Coastal Health volunteer opportunities
Find volunteer opportunities supporting children and families.

Fraser Health volunteer opportunities
Gain volunteer experience related to public health, hospice, community support, and others.

Charity Village
Browse work and volunteer opportunities to support community programs.

WorkBC career profile
Explore job requirements, relevant skills, salaries, and industry outlook for social workers in British Columbia.

BC 211
Connect with a variety of organizations from grassroots to government.

Make connections

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 exploring job and volunteer opportunities. Most have reduced membership rates for students and new grads.

Connect with alumni on LinkedIn

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.