Growth Trends for Related Jobs

What Are the Benefits of a Degree in Nursing and Social Work?

A career in healthcare is a big commitment. Healthcare professionals, such as nurses, often work irregular hours and must make fast, important decisions in a stressful work environment. Because of the demanding nature of the profession, educational programs in nursing and social work are frequently challenging to complete. Fortunately, earning a degree in this field can provide you with a number of rewards.

More Employment Possibilities

Furthering your education after high school is rewarding both intellectually and financially. The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published a graph that demonstrates that people who earn a bachelor's degree are, for the most part, subject to a lower unemployment rate and higher earning potential than a person without a college degree. Similarly, because the healthcare field is consistently growing (as people will always require medical care), a person with a degree in nursing or social work would enjoy an even higher chance at find employment than a person with an unrelated degree. In fact, in the Fall 2007 edition of Occupational Outlook Quarterly, a study showed that the largest number of new jobs being created were for registered nurses. Similarly, combining a degree in social work with a degree in nursing would make you even more multiskilled and desirable as a job candidate.

Complementary Degrees

The United States Bureau of Labor asserts that 54 percent of social workers are employed in a healthcare facility, which suggests that combining degrees in social work and nursing is a smart move. Similarly, both careers are expected to grow at a faster than average rate over the next several years, and often demand the same kinds of skills--helping people in abusive relationships or treating health problems (like substance abuse), for example.

Emotionally Rewarding Careers

Though demanding and sometimes emotionally draining, a career in the fields of nursing or social work is certainly rewarding. Every day, a social worker or a nurse helps a client or patient to combat a difficult situation. The nature of the work you could do with these degrees, then, would be highly rewarding in the long run.

Social Workers salary

  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $85,820 ($41.26/hour)
  • Median Annual Salary: $51,760 ($24.88/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $33,020 ($15.88/hour)

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.