With an ever increasing population and longer life expectancies, Britain’s social care sector is absolutely crucial for the health and wellbeing of our society as a whole. It provides essential help and support for the most vulnerable within our communities by offering a host of services from healthcare to counselling to everyday assistance for independent living.
In recent years and in efforts to create a multi-skilled and diverse workforce, it has been adapting and evolving to meet the growing demand for national care by opening its doors to graduates. This progressive move has meant many more graduates can now get a foot-in-the-door without necessarily having the “hands-on” experience that had previously been a major requirement for a career in social care.
Why choose graduates?
Many universities across the country provide well-rounded degree programmes that equip their students with a number of transferrable skills, subsequently making them ideal candidates for employment within the social care sector. For example, many leading charities and organisations within the industry are beginning to operate more like large-scale business; therefore, graduates who are proficient in IT and have experience in critical thinking, problem solving and research can be desirable assets. They can work to tight deadlines, manage database systems and implement budgets as well as working directly with people. As a result, prospective employers are now beginning to recognise that what graduates lack in practical experience, they make up for in innovation and enthusiasm. They can offer a bright future for the social care sector with a little bit of time and effort put towards reaching their potential.
What are some of the careers in the social care sector?
One thing that really stands out about the social care sector is the amount of varied opportunities available. For example, you could choose to work directly with people in a care role (e.g. working with children, older people and adults with disabilities or those with mental health issues), or perhaps you would prefer to work behind the scenes in a more administrative position.
Typical careers for graduates include things like youth work, social work, psychotherapy, care management, counselling and nursing to name but a few. However, before embarking on a course, it’s always advisable to make sure that your chosen field of study puts you on the right track for whatever career you wish to pursue.
For instance, not all roles within the industry are suitable for every graduate — professions including social work, counselling and careers guidance will require the relevant qualifications and experience no matter how transferrable your skills are!
Where can I study for a social care degree?
There are a lots of universities all over the UK which offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses catered for a career in social care. However, it’s important to remember that “social care” is an umbrella term which encompasses a wide variety of vocations. Indeed, there are a number of different programmes that come under the subject of “social care” including psychology, nursing, social work, healthcare, social sciences and public health. Therefore, pick a course that is applicable to what you want to do after you graduate. In terms of reputable universities, there are lots that all have good ratings in the league tables when it comes to health and social care. Moreover, Bolton University is another strong choice as it offers several different options that closely mirror the requirements of the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework.
No matter what path you choose to go down in your social care studies, it’s an area that promises endless possibilities and wide-ranging scope for a challenging yet hugely fulfilling career.