Is Social Work Really Being Recognized? Problems with Social Work Employment Opportunities in Mainland China

Shiyou Wu, Hui Huang, Fei Sun, Qiuling An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since social work education was reintroduced in Chinese universities in the 1980s, there are 303 bachelor of social work programs and 62 master of social work programs. Yet, the development of social work positions has lagged behind. This study aimed to study the current development of social work employment opportunities in Mainland China through an empirical lens. Data on social work positions were collected from three employment websites over a 30-day period. Data on 248 social work job postings were analyzed using content analysis and ArcGIS spatial distribution analysis. We identified three problems in the current development of social work profession in China: inconsistency between government policy, social work education, and available jobs; geographic disparities of the distribution of social work jobs; and mismatch between social work education and social work employment opportunities. We provided implications to address each problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-203
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Work Education
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016

Keywords

  • China
  • Employment
  • professionalization
  • social work jobs
  • social work profession

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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