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 journalArticlepeer-review

    19 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

    • Education
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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