Macro Social Work
Naturally there are levels to social work. These include micro, mezzo, and the macro level social work. Micro is working with clients on an individual level and mezzo is working with groups. Macro social work involves working on a larger scale. This involves work that impacts communities at levels of city, state, and potentially even country. For many, if not all, MSW programs a bachelor’s in social work is not required. Depending on the concentration, your bachelor’s degree could be incredibly helpful. Of course, degrees in psychology or sociology are great, but a degree in political science is also potentially very helpful. At the macro level, you are working to influence policies at many different levels within organizations, communities and even governments. Your bachelor’s does not have to determine your concentration, but also consider how it might be beneficial.
Specializing in Macro Social Work
With a bachelor’s degree in social work, it isn’t necessary for every person pursuing a degree in social work to specialize in one of the three levels. In fact, whatever level a social worker does most they will still likely find themselves dealing with the other levels. Individuals are almost always likely to be a part of some group and are at least a part of a community where they live. A social worker dealing with an individual is likely to have to deal with their social groups. This of course differs for many, including blood relatives and friends.
A person pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) is going to focus their degree more than with a bachelor’s. Thus, this is where someone decides on a focus that deals with one of the three levels. Whatever level you are interested in, you should discuss your interests with any faculty and current or former students. Some schools might have better programs for different concentrations. For example, Walden University offers four concentrations and one of them is in Military Social Work. In contrast, Ottawa University has two concentrations in Communications and Management of Community-Based Organizations. Florida State University offers a dual program for an MSW and a degree in law. This a great opportunity for anyone particularly interested in directly dealing with laws in social work.
Perhaps you do know that you want to work in macro level social work, but hadn’t considered a specialization beyond that. Take the time to thoroughly research each program’s concentrations and talk to anyone you can. Someone might have been interested in working with military families and making changes within the armed forces without realizing there are programs to focus on that.
Jobs at the Macro Level
As with any level or degree, the type of jobs available for macro level social work will vary greatly. There are private clinics, government organizations, public and private schools, healthcare positions, and so much more. Certain positions are directly involved in advocating for policies formed by lawmakers. Some positions, like a Curriculum Developer, involve developing policy for other social workers at a hospital or organization you work at. There are many more similar positions that involve directing an organization or company’s efforts as far as social work is concerned.
Pay will vary by location and responsibilities. A quick glance through Indeed shows various positions fitting the macro level ranging from $60,000-$100,000. Again, this depends on location, level of responsibility, and experience. An internship is always a good idea, and often required for an MSW. When researching programs, look at what the school offers in terms of helping secure an internship.