Degree not required to be a social worker.
Social sector is opening up for students from across disciplines to work for the betterment of society.
Gone are the days when social work was considered to be a domain involving people with a philanthropic streak. However, over the years it has emerged as a stable career option. Youngsters from different academic backgrounds, ranging from Commerce to MBA, are opting to follow their passion of giving back to the society and at the same time earning a decent living.
"Indian youth is now looking at development sector as an opportunity, as compared to the decade old imagery of 'jhola clad' enthusiasts. Students from premiere institutes across the nation are making a mindful decision to take up job that solves country's problems causing large scale social and public systems change," said Aditya Natraj, CEO, Gandhi fellowship.
Students pursuing a bachelor's or Master's degree in Social Work (MSW) have an advantage of supporting their practical experience with theoretical knowledge. But, with opportunities like fellowships and government initiatives, students with practical knowledge and grassroot learning experience are equally valued. Students from all disciplines can begin their journey in the development sector.
"If it is not for degree, it is very important to have prior volunteering experience to work in social sector. Most students enter development sector without academic background and soon learn the essential elements needed in the profession. They can validate their experiences with domain centric theories and literature," said Pouvi K Shiva, who pursued MBA from Pondicherry University and is working as a teacher educator at Azim Premji Foundation, Pondicherry.
"The competition is increasing in this sector, which is no longer a voluntary job that once offered no salaries. Opportunities are increasing for students from different disciplines and is not just reserved for students with academic background in social work," said Ushvinder Kaur Popli, head, department of Social Work, Jamia Millia Islamia.
With the emerging markets, corporates are investing in philanthropy and building CSR , which offers sufficient opportunity to the youth to choose careers as social entrepreneurs, join CSR representative, NGOs, work as associates in good governance programmes by state governments, continue higher education or even bag government jobs.