Are you a person who really wants to serve the society or lend your service to the needy? Do you have enough compassion or consideration for the needy to put them first than your own lucrative development? If so, here is an apt career for you which is challenging and at the same time provides great mental satisfaction... It is the career in Social Service, in other words, pure charity work that has gradually grown into a profession. People who were involved in charity work understood the drawbacks of the lack of scientific approach to their work and so gradually it was developed into a profession scientifically by applying theoretical and practical knowledge. Social work is all about improving the lives of people by helping them to deal with their problems such as personal issues, diseases, unemployment etc. It is an exciting, demanding and immensely rewarding profession which requires exceptional dedication to strive for social reform. Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to improve people’s lives. Social workers are the helping hands for needy people who are suffering from homelessness, poverty, violence, abuses and diseases like cancer, AIDS etc. They work towards the solutions of people's social, economic and emotional problems through counseling, arranging conferences, increasing resources, spreading public awareness and starting social programs and health services. The area of service for a social worker is wide, which can range from working in various developmental projects of the government to working for NGOs. The work of a social worker can be related to an educational programme, health, environment or forest and water management. It is the duty of the social worker to answer their client's specific needs and to do the follow up for providing apt service to them. As a practical oriented course, Social Work deals with the study of methods and techniques used in developmental activities. Emerging in the 19th century, it has now become a major career choice with the increasing number of social organizations. Professional social work education began in India in 1936 with the establishment of TATA Institute of Social Sciences. Eligibility In earlier days social work has not demanded any professional qualification and several people have made a successful career in this field without any formal training. However the situation has changed and the career has now gained a status of a full fledged profession. Social Work as a discipline is available in many universities and institutes in India, both at the graduate and postgraduate levels. Some of these institutes offer postdoctoral research facilities also. Apart from the degree in social work, other educational qualifications in allied fields like criminology, anthropology, psychology, occupational therapy, sociology and health and hospital administration are also found equally suitable to work in this area. The minimum requirement for a professional position in this field is a bachelor's degree in Social work (B.S.W./ B.A). It is a three year course open for all those who have passed Plus 2 examination or its equivalent. A graduate in any discipline can join for the Masters degree course in Social work (M.S.W./ M.A) which is of 2 year duration. But students with a background in social work, psychology, social science, sociology or any other related fields will get preference. Specialization in MSW includes Human resource management, Criminology and correctional administration, medical and psychiatric social work, family and child welfare, rural and urban community development, and schools social work. A masters degree in Social work is necessary for positions in the mental health field and general supervisory positions. For higher studies in this field, one could do the doctoral and research programs like M.Phil. and Ph.D. These higher degrees are usually required for teaching and some research and administrative jobs. Apart from these, several diploma and certificate courses are also available in the field of Social work. Some universities conduct entrance examination for entry to their courses in Social work, but some institutes offer admission on the basis of marks obtained in the last qualifying exam. Community organization, social policy and planning, ecology and social work, political science, health, social problems and women's studies, child care and family services, labour welfare and industrial relations, problems of marginalized groups, rural studies, medical and psychiatric social work etc. are some of the subjects taught in the courses of Social Work. Personal skills Social Work is a job with high responsibilities which require good inter personal communication skill, emotional stability, objectivity and sensitivity. Besides educational qualifications, a social worker requires certain personality traits like compassion for the underprivileged and a genuine urge or interest to help them, capacity to work hard under far-from-perfect working conditions, patience and dedication. A social worker should be a good listener, be supportive, know how to comfort people and be ready to work under any circumstances with out any time schedule. They should not have judgmental approach but should have a flexible outlook. They must be able to understand human psychology, should posses the ability to analyze an issue and take decisions apt to the situation.