Were You Adequately Prepared for A Career After Social Work School?



  • Introduction to Social Science
  • Social Welfare As A Social Institution I and II
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment I and II
  • Principles of Psychology I
  • Approaches to Interviewing
  • Research in Social Welfare
  • Children and Youth in Urban Schools
  • Personal and Community Health
  • Introduction to Anthropology

I recently ordered all of my college transcripts. These are the required courses in my major that I passed in pursuit of my bachelor of social work degree before transferring to a new institution and graduating with a bachelor of art degree in sociology.

Seven years before enrolling in my Master of Social Work program I completed and passed coursework for the following courses required for my sociology major.

  • Family and Society
  • Personality and Psychopathology
  • Human Relations
  • Sociological Theory
  • Women, Work, and Family
  • Race and Racism
  • Understanding AIDS
  • Theological Ethics
  • Intercultural Communications
  • American Political Processes
  • The American Presidency
  • Internship (In a crisis pregnancy center, but I’ll save that story for another day.)

These are not exhaustive lists. Of course, I also took required general college courses and electives. Honestly, I believe the combination of social work and sociology coursework made me a more well-rounded student and emerging professional. Later as a working professional attending graduate school part-time, the lowest grade I received in my program was a B.

Here is the hard truth!

None of these academic programs specifically prepared me for a long, successful, sustainable career helping others.

The amount of money I owed in student loans after earning my bachelor’s degree was pretty close to my first full-time salary. Passion doesn’t pay the bills. It’s hard to help others when you are struggling to help yourself, yet many social workers are struggling financially. Too many social workers are overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated. This no longer needs to be our norm.

We deserve to feel energized, be paid well, and receive appreciation for our work. Together we can change the future, but the first step is an individual one. Make an investment in yourself and your career first. We have to help ourselves before we can truly help others.  Once you change the trajectory of your own social work career you can then positively impact other social workers and social work students.

It’s time to social work differently in 2023!

JOIN ME for two power-packed virtual career advancement workshops that focus on your needs as a thriving social worker. REGISTER on Eventbrite today for the early bird rates.

  1. Are You Really Saying YES To Your Social Work Career Success? 1/17/23
  2. Social Work Your Social Work Career  1/19/23

Both virtual workshops will be held from 6:30pm-8:00pm.

It’s Our Time!


Nicki Sanders, MSW, supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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