Careers in Social Work

Master's Program

SSA's Social Work and Social Welfare (SW) program prepares students for advanced professional practice in both clinical and administrative positions.

Careers in Clinical Social Work
Approximately 64% of a graduating class will pursue careers in direct practice as case managers, counselors, therapists, and clinicians.

You will have the necessary knowledge to pass the Licensed Social Work (LSW) exam when you graduate if you have taken the courses in the Clinical Practice concentration. After approximately two years of professional work and supervision, you will be eligible to sit for the exam to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). 

Careers in Social Administration
The other 36% of each graduating class will pursue administrative careers. This career path typically starts with positions as program managers, program directors, and program coordinators. Other popular fields include community, economic, and workforce development, policy advocacy and research, program evaluation, grant writing, and grant-management. 

For more detailed metrics on Social Work careers, visit our Career Statistics page. 

SSA's Master's Degree in Social Sector Leadership and Nonprofit Management (SSL) educates leaders focused on creating a more inclusive and just society by combining a deep understanding of the organizational and policy environments shaping social sector action with the most up-to-date skills in organizational management, governance, and analysis.

SSL gives students the necessary knowledge base and skills to lead social sector organizations, particularly those in the fields of health and human services, community organizing and development, policy implementation, and advocacy. Graduates will be able to provide the effective leadership needed to address some of society's most pressing social challenges. Detailed metrics are not yet available for this newly launched program but it has been designed in close consultation with Chicago-area social sector leaders to ensure graduates are armed with necessary tools for successful leadership.

Doctoral Program

Graduates of SSA's doctoral program go on to become leaders in the field of social work and social welfare scholarship. Our program is unique in that our students receive the theoretical training needed to become applied social scientists. Upon graduating, the majority of our students take faculty positions in universities. Some also take positions in research institutes or government agencies.