If you are about to choose a career path that is in any way related to Social Work or Psychology, it won’t be an exaggeration in saying that you are passionate about helping people. Not only helping people but making them live a better and happier life.
Now, helping people is not a problem, but helping people and making a career out of it can be. You might have heard people saying that there is no money in these fields, and believe it or not- the struggle is real.
However, if you genuinely want to help people, you will never be out of work and you will never feel a cash crunch!
How? By choosing what’s best for you.
Yes, an independent career path is like a marketing strategy. You should make a clear and concise plan. You need to compare a Psychologist and a Social Worker; What they do? How do they do it? How do they help people? How do they ensure steady work?
If you are still reading this, then it is clear that you might be facing some problems in choosing a career path and you might be asking yourself “Should I be a Psychologist or a Social Worker?
Let’s compare some statistics and information that might help you choose a role:
Psychologists v/s Social Workers:
What do they do?
If you are looking to choose from both of these roles chances are you already know what they do. However, there is more to it.
Apart from degrees and credits, being a psychologist requires an inherent interest in the nervous system, mental illnesses, neurobiology, and an eternal taste of everything related to the brain. If you do not have these interests, you might find psychology overwhelming and tough to pursue.
On the other hand, Social work is more about problem-solving and less about how the mind works. Even if you want to help people with mental illnesses through social work, you can always take help from psychologists and psychiatrists. You don’t always need a degree.
Bottom line- Choose psychology if the working mind fascinates you and choose Social Work if solving people’s problems, in any way, fascinates you and you’re good at it. This is the most important step, after this everything is relatively easy.
How do they do it?
Chose an academic curriculum.
For example in the UK, you will need a three-year undergraduate degree or a two-year post-graduate degree in Social work which is approved by the Health and Care Professionals Council.
Similarly, to be a Psychologist in the UK, you need a three-year graduate degree in psychology and a two-year postgraduate degree in any specialism (like sports psychology, forensic psychology, clinical psychology, etc) approved by The British Psychological Society and a chartered membership.
The Career Options
You can opt for many career options in both the streams:
In Psychology: You can be a Clinical, forensic, Sports, Counselling, Clinical, or Occupational Psychologist.
In Social Work: You can work as a Community development worker, Counsellor, Life Coach, and so on.
In conclusion, the average salary of a social worker in the UK is 24,000-30,000 GBP per annum while a master’s degree in Social Work costs about 17,000 to 39,000 GBP (for international students).
Similarly, a Psychologist earns 25,000-70,000 GBP per annum and a degree in psychology can cost up to 22,000 GBP/yr for international students.
However, it’s not about the money, it’s about your passion - Money comes second. So, give utmost thoughts to your choice.