Some careers, for whatever reason — a stereotype, for example, or a history of hiring one gender over the other — attract a significantly higher number of members of a certain gender. Many women have strived to break down the gender barrier in various careers, but it exists for men, too, in some occupations. Social work is one area where the women greatly outnumber the men, but men can make a major difference if they choose that path.
A Rewarding Career
Men and women attending college both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student look for career paths that are enjoyable, growing and financially stable. Social work is a rewarding career that allows students to make a living while getting involved in the community.
Social work is a field that will always exist, no matter the economy’s state. In fact, there’s even more need for social workers when the economy isn’t doing well. Social work provides a stable, well-paying job even in a poor economy. Click here to learn about the financial benefits of earning a masters of social work.
In a struggling economy, every open job has dozens or even hundreds of job applicants. It’s a struggle to find any job, let alone a rewarding one. However, men will face less competition for social work positions, particularly if an organization specifically wants a male worker to work with male clients. After investing time and money in an advanced degree, it’s important to know there will be jobs in your field after you graduate. Not every major can offer less job competition, meaning you may not be able to work in your chosen field unless you choose one that’s actively seeking people like you.
Empathy With Male Issues
Everyone brings their own experiences to a job, even if given equal training. Women do well in social work not only because of their individual talents in the field, but because they can empathize with women’s issues when helping female clients; however, the same can be said of men. There are many men and boys who require social work assistance, and a male social worker can empathize with some of the male clients’ issues more effectively because of his insight into the male mind.
While social workers of both genders can work with clients of both genders, the fact remains that male clients are less likely to seek the assistance they need because they mistakenly believe there are only women social workers available who may not understand them.
Helping Other Males
There are a large number of male clients who may feel more comfortable with a male worker. There’s a stigma attached to men seeking mental health and poverty counseling, a falsehood that it makes them “weak” or “non-masculine.” Male social workers help to dispel the notions that mental health counseling is offered only by women primarily for women.
The goal of social work is to help people live healthier and more productive lives. That means helping not only people with poverty issues, but also helping people with substance abuse problems and even physical abusers to lead more productive, stable lives. A large portion of substance abusers and physical abusers are male; they may not feel comfortable talking about their issues with a female social worker, especially if their victims were female. But both to save these clients and to save anyone affected by their actions, they need support. Having male social workers available can inspire men to come for help.
PolyMic reports almost 82 percent of social workers are female. To say there’s a gender gap in the field is an understatement. Men searching for a rewarding career that allows them to get involved in their community shoulder consider social work. There’s plenty of room for talented male social workers, and you’ll help organizations attract and retain male clients. Look into earning your degree in social work today.
About the Author: Daniel Soria is a social worker with a masters in the field.