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A career in Social Services and Advocacy can be a rewarding path to follow if you
want to use your skills to help others. This field is growing at a steady pace
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with an estimated
projected to be created over the next decade. Students looking to enter this career
path can expect to enter a healthy job market with positive projections for the
It is important to decide what type of social service career is right for you before
pursuing a degree. Speaking with trained counselors can be a stepping stone to
clarify what kind of advocacy you are most passionate about.
Advocates work within the Social Services sector and fight for the needs and rights
of other people. This can include jobs such as lawyers, mental health counselors,
and patients’ rights advocates in the medical field. Often social workers are
advocates for people with psychological, legal, or addiction issues. Depending on
where someone is employed, advocacy may be a primary part of the job. However,
advocacy could be a small part of your job if you are simply providing services to
help lower-income families access programs and benefits.
As an advocate, knowledge of the system you are working in will increase the
likelihood of favorable outcomes for clients. Social workers are often advocates,
but some tasks in social service careers can be more administrative. In any
position, you will need to work well with teams and individual clients to accomplish
your tasks. If you are looking to move into a managerial position, you must also be
able to delegate and lead others in their role.
There are a multitude of workplaces that social service workers and advocates may
find themselves. Since clients consistently need help with legal, medical,
financial, and psychological issues, there are many different fields a graduate can
gain employment to advocate for clients' rights and needs.
Typically, advocates will work in offices spaces with other social service workers
where they interact with clients and personnel.
largest employers for advocates
of this type of work are individual and family services, local and state government,
ambulatory healthcare services, and hospitals according to the BLS. Some common
places of employment are:
Advocates can fight for patients' rights in clinical settings, help clients navigate
the legal system, and assist those with psychological issues to find the help they
need. Another area of advocacy is legislative where advocates can work towards
changing laws in favor of their clients' needs.
To find success as an advocate, you need to understand what your responsibilities
could be. While your tasks may differ depending on the industry you’re in and type
of company you work for, the core duties are universally the same:
Knowing that advocates work so closely with clients and staff members, there are a
number of qualities that are necessary to become a successful advocate. Since
advocates work with a wide range of people who come from different backgrounds,
interpersonal skills such as communication and empathy are necessary to build a
strong relationship with your client. Analytical skills such as research and
critical thinking are also helpful when finding solutions and advising clients on
By 2026, an expected
109,700 new jobs
will be added to the social worker field according to BLS. There is a growing need
for Advocates and Social Workers as the population increases as well as other
factors, which makes growth in this field faster than average. Over the next decade,
child, family, and school social worker jobs are expected to add the majority of
45,000 new jobs
Many positions in this field occur through separations/positions opened up from
people retiring or leaving the profession. Since social workers and advocates often
deal with clients that suffer from psychological trauma and addiction, it can be a
taxing job. But, those with a passion for this type of work can find the challenges
help them grow on many levels.
After earning an associate degree, individuals are qualified for some entry-level
positions. It's possible to find positions as assistants in human services and other
entry-level jobs with an associate degree, though bachelor's and master's degrees
are required for the majority of careers in this field. Those who seek to further
their academic training and attain a bachelor's or master's degree will have more
options to get a career with increased responsibilities and pay, such as a case
manager or advocate. Choosing a school that offers a well-rounded program, with
educators that can guide students through their academic life, will give you a solid
foundation for your career goals.
It is possible that employers will provide advocate hires with some basic paid
training. For those with more experience, it is likely that the training will be
shorter than those with little to no experience. The training would likely cover
specific details about the company and their various processes, policies, and best
practices when addressing and resolving common client problems. Requirements and
training will vary per company and industry setting, as some companies may require
specific certifications upon hire.
With over 160 years of providing students with quality educational programs, Bryant
& Stratton seeks to guide students through their academic life and prepare them to
succeed in their chosen career fields. If you are interested in becoming an
begin a human and social service program today.
Job market data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook
Handbook is intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities and is not to
be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Bryant & Stratton College cannot