In the 21st century economy, many people are beginning to realise that their current lines of work offer little in the way of job security. Among the job options that look to be strong in the long run, however, are careers in social care.  

The ageing of the British population all but guarantees that care workers will be in high demand for many years to come, but even when demographics are taken out of the equation, prospects for social care jobs still look highly positive. This is because individuals in need of assistance exist in all age ranges.

transitioning careers in social care.

The social care sector offers a powerful advantage to those considering a career move. Because of its varied nature, it is possible to obtain an entry-level job prior to obtaining the qualifications that will allow progression to more senior/specialist positions. This approach means prospective candidates can gain genuine experience of the work that goes on in social care settings and quickly establish whether it is work they find interesting and fulfilling.

In order to progress in a social care career and assume more responsibilities in the field, however, qualifications are necessary.  

diplomas in health and social care.

Until recently, careers in social care could be obtained based on NVQs, or National Vocational Qualifications. Now, however, those interested in higher-level social care jobs should plan to pursue a diploma in the subject.  

There are several levels of diploma available, including some specifically targeted at pre-employment so that new entrants to the field can acquire some basic information prior to beginning work. Level 2 and 3 diplomas consist of both mandatory units based on the common induction standards for the profession as well as optional units that allow job seekers to tailor their training more closely to their areas of interest, such as dementia or learning disabilities.  

An honours degree focusing on social work or social care will also open up additional career opportunities.

skill sets that transfer well to careers in social care.

Good communication skills and empathy are two of the most important skills for a social care worker to possess, but many investigating the field are surprised to learn that technical and managerial skills may also be of great use.  This is because the social care field encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, some of which do not even involve direct contact with patients or clients.  

An individual with a degree in social care, for example, may well end up managing a care home, a job which requires the ability to work effectively with staff and efficiently use information systems relating to the on-going needs of staff as well as patients.

on-the-job training.

Careers in social care often provide ample on-the-job training even though new employees often arrive at work already in possession of qualifications. This is another way in which such jobs can be ideal, since once employed, moving up the career ladder without taking significant unpaid time to pursue additional formal training opportunities is a distinct possibility.