Roughly speaking, the broad field of social and pedagogical work encompasses all activities related to the individual education and development of people, regardless of their age, health status, living situation, etc.
Thus, it includes various specialized jobs such as coaching or counseling, teaching, antidiscriminatory or educational work. In contrast to more theoretical or organizational fields such as the management of social or educational institutions or educational and sociological research, social and pedagogical work primarily involves direct interaction with clients.
Tasks can range from the regular education of children, adolescents, and adults to working with those who are living in difficult situations and confronted with social discrimination, disabilities, illnesses, etc. The specific daily tasks and required qualifications vary depending on the unique work context. Social workers and pedagogues not only support their clients, offer counseling sessions, conceptualize support plans or educational concepts or implement qualification measures, but also guide and support their clients in the completion of their basic daily routines (from helping at mealtimes or taking care of personal hygiene all the way to official appointments, administrative tasks or accounting).
Enabling clients to participate in social life
The goal of social and pedagogical work is the support, preparation and rehabilitation (in case of addictions or disabilities) of clients in order for them to independently take part in public and social life.
In addition to classic apprenticeship jobs, such as kindergarten teacher, nurse or senior care worker, academic contexts normally require a degree in social work or social pedagogy in order to work in this field. Many social jobs are also accessible for those with a degree in education. Due to the high demand for specialized workers in the area of social work, the field is open to many graduates of other studies as well, especially those with relevant practical experience (such as internships, volunteering or part-time jobs). Any missing qualifications can then frequently be acquired part-time alongside a social job.
Anyone who realizes that they are interested in this field throughout the course of their Bachelor‘s degree can consider pursuing an additional Master’s degree, where options range from counseling to dance pedagogy to healing and inclusionary pegadogy or geriatrics.
Those interested in a job in a social or pedagogical field should be aware of which target groups, methods and institutions are suitable for them and then research appropriate (further) qualifications. Gaining practical experience alongside academic studies is also a must.