Career Choices of BSW Graduates of an Older Adults Concentration: An Analysis of Twenty Cohorts

Itiya Schnall, Idit Weiss-Gal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Most of the studies exploring social work education’s impact on working with older adults (OA) examine intentions among students. This study goes beyond expressed intention and focuses upon the actual post-graduation career choices of 20 cohorts (1996–2016) of BSW graduates of an OA concentration at an Israeli school of social work. The 203 study participants comprise 60% of all the concentration`s graduates. Findings showed that 47% of the graduates never worked with OA after graduation, 25% reported that they had but this was no longer the case, and 28% are currently working with OA. Graduates distanced themselves from the aging field primarily because they found it uninteresting or unappealing and viewed social work with OA negatively. However, most of those currently working with older adults associated this work with positive feelings toward OA and work with them, favorable workplace conditions, and a commitment to advancing the field of social work with OA. Social work educators now need to rethink how to better expose students to work with OA during the concentration in ways that increase their positive experience and attitudes toward working with this population and that can increase the likelihood of a career choice to work with them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


FundersFunder number
Amerman Family Foundation


    • Concentration
    • Israel
    • employment
    • graduates
    • older adults


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