Student Transition to Professional Practice

Social work education in Canada prepares students for practice in a variety of human services professions. Students participate in field placements to apply theory to practice and to prepare for successful careers as social workers. However, beyond hands-on practice experience gained during field placements, social work students also need concrete skills to navigate a dynamic job market and to support their transition to professional practice. As students approach the end of their educational journey, they face a plethora of challenges in finding gainful employment. A recurring challenge is a general need for more knowledge on landing productive roles and positioning for fulfilling careers. This training resource aims to increase students’ self-efficacy and confidence in transitioning to professional practice by providing practical information for bridging knowledge gaps. Additionally, for students who have spent much of their time in academic settings, finding their place in the professional world can seem daunting. This resource offers a guide for aligning job searches to individual strengths and values. A social worker’s first year of practice establishes a career framework and influences their long-term professional development and satisfaction (Glassburn, 2020). Equipping students with resources and skills that set them up for a successful transition to professional practice is crucial to entrance and longevity in the social service workforce.


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