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Education in India, Career in India: Social Work

Looking for a Career Options in the Field of Social Work ? This section features Social Work as a career options, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.

Dont see us as paragons of virtue, distributing the milk of human kindness to one and all, see us as professionals doing our kind of work. Thats what Social Workers of today believe in, and want everybody to believe in, too. For, as they say, when people believe the former, they cease to take them and their work seriously.

Social work today has come far from the days when it used to be the prerogative of a few visionaries who believed they could make a difference to the way people lived, but didn't have adequate resources. True, even today, not just anybody can get into this field and hope to build conventionally "successful" careers.

True, you need to have genuine compassion for the underprivileged, a very real urge to help others make better lives for themselves and the capacity to work hard, and under far-from-perfect working conditions. But the emergence of a large number of Non Governmental Organisations (or NGOs as they are called in popular parlance), the sector has become much more organized than before.

With institutes like the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Delhi School of Social Work offering dynamic, job-oriented degrees in social work, it looks like this career choice, which was once considered unusual, is becoming not so unusual after all. And with organizations like CRY and Helpage India doing very commendable jobs of nurturing people and fulfilling dreams, there is no lack of precedence.

Personality Traits

Those of you to whom a career means more than just another way to earn money and lead comfortable, cushioned existences, who want their work to be an extension of what they are, think of social work as a career choice. You could hardly be doing anything more fulfilling than this.

A mature outlook, genuine liking for people, concern for their welfare, patience, no prejudices about class, culture, religion, and race make up a social workers personality. The ability to work in difficult conditions, accepting and tolerating problems is required of social workers. Majority of those engaged in social work are dedicated, conscientious people.


Masters in Social Work is a 2 year course open to graduates. This is a professional training course necessary for social workers though anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists are also found suitable for some of the work social workers do. While the course is open to all graduates, candidates with a sociology/social work/psychology background would get preference. Admission is made through a written test and interview. The test assesses mental ability and general awareness and the interview is aimed to identify candidates with genuine interest in social work.

Social Work Corses:

  1. Graduation & Post Graduate Courses BSW / MSW
  2. Graduation & Post Graduation in Social Work BA(SW) & MA (SW)
After Class XII (any subject), graduation in any subject, though preferably sociology or a social science discipline, followed by post graduation i.e. MSW MA in Social Work.


Please click here for the list of the Social Work Institutes in India.

Placements And Prospects

Almost 90 per cent of the students passing the Master's Course in Social Work find suitable employment. Social workers specialise in:

  1. Criminology and correctional work find jobs in prisons, and government departments
  2. Medical and psychiatric social work in clinics, hospitals, sanatoria, child guidance clinics, counselling centers, mental hospitals, medical colleges and community public health centers
  3. Community development are involved in field work with community groups, government and voluntary agencies. Several Non Governmental Agencies (NGO's) are engaged in welfare work
  4. Labour welfare and industrial relations work in personnel department of Industrial and Corporate sectors
  5. Child care and family services and work in family planning and Aids programmes
  6. Awareness campaigns of the government. World organisations such as the United Nations sponsor projects to facilitate developing countries in their social welfare and other developmental programmes.

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