Broad Opportunities For Chicago Students With Advanced Degrees

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects psychologist employment growth to remain equal with all other occupations from 2012 to 2022, it also states that prospects should be best for those with advanced degrees. Those with furthered education have a broader range of job opportunities in their field.

(Photo Courtesy of Anna Volk)

(Photo Courtesy of Anna Volk)

Anna Volk, Nephrology Social Worker for DaVita Renal Center New Lenox, achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Master of Social Work with post-graduate coursework experience in addictions counseling. Volk can offer some insight into how education can help further a career.

How does your education relate to your current role?

“My formal education has been key to my success as a clinical social worker. While in graduate school, I had the opportunity to work with juvenile delinquents at the school level in special education. This served as the foundation for my clinical therapy skills, and my field practicum/internship experiences allowed me to practice these skills and further develop them. I use my clinical skills on a daily basis in my role as a social worker for my patients and teammates.”

How has your education helped to further your career?

“Licensed social workers in Illinois are required to further educate themselves in order to maintain licenses. At DaVita Kidney Care, my role is to take everything in consideration when working with patients and caring for them not only on the clinical level, but the financial and mental aspects in treating the patient. My diverse education has helped me serve patients in the best way possible. It helped me learn the basic foundation for being an effective practitioner, and my continuing education allows me to be an effective social worker in our ever-changing society.”

What advice can you offer others going into this field?

“There is a reason why most social science programs require fieldwork. While coursework is equally important, fieldwork really brings out your skills. I recommend trying to work with as many populations as possible. Volunteering is a great option for educational programs that don’t include fieldwork. Finding a population you’re passionate about working with is the key to being a successful and fulfilled professional.”

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her master’s. Her work can be found on

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