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Social Work is an in-demand 21st Century Career

Many young people today want careers that will empower them to make a positive difference

in the world. A wide range of socio-economic and political issues including social justice

issues, as well as the climate change related crises are top-of-mind on a daily basis,

compelling Millennial and Gen Z generations to want to roll up their sleeves and work to

bring about change. Such occurrences shine a spotlight on careers in the Social Sciences

fields where there are opportunities to improve the well-being of targeted groups such as

vulnerable individuals, families and communities. Amongst the brightest of these is Social

Work which holds much promise to bring about a more stable, just, healthy and resilient

world for all.

From its origins in the industrialised countries of the 19 th Century, Social Work has

developed substantially from giving a helping hand to the poor into a full-blown science-

based developmental profession. Today’s Social Work practitioners fulfil roles across

government, non-government, private sector and academic environments and there are a

wide range of leadership opportunities available, including in the policy-making arena.

Dr. Poppy Masinga, SACAP’s Head of Social Work and Community Development Faculty

says, “As an applied science, Social Work education is a particularly rewarding study path.

Social workers are trained to become agile, critical thinkers who can design and implement

diverse, context relevant and transformative interventions.” Dr. Masinga will be joined on the

webinar panel by SACAP’s International Visiting Scholar, Rahim Thawer, a social worker by

training and a leading activist in Canada’s LGBTQ+ community. Thawer will share his

motivations in choosing social work as a profession and the value of working in alignment

with the principles of anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practice. Thawer says, “Many

social workers are drawn to the profession by an urge to empower and support others who

face similar challenges that they themselves have overcome. It is therefore, an intensely

purpose-driven career choice.” Both presenters will relate their personal stories of the

fulfilment they find in a profession dedicated to enhancement of others’ safety, social

functioning and well-being.

SACAP offers a Bachelor of Social Work degree which places special focus on

environmental justice in line with Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the National

Development Plan 2030. Graduates can further their studies through SACAP’s Master of

Social Science in Community Mental Health Promotion post-graduate program. Both higher

education programs aim to develop highly effective, work-ready practitioners and change-

making leaders for careers both in South African and global contexts.

For young people who have not yet decided on their tertiary studies and their parents, as

well as Social Sciences under-graduates contemplating further studies, the webinar will

provide insights and context about Social Work as a dynamic, relevant, and highly sought-

after profession with a wide range of career path choices.


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