The current study sought to examine the differences between retraining programme (RP) students in social work (SW) and mainstream programme (MP) students regarding career considerations, factors influencing the decision to study SW and professional preferences. RPs are similar to fast-track training programmes known in the UK, as they offer graduates from other disciplines a qualification in SW. This study was conducted among 125 SW students in Israel: 56 in the RP, where studying SW was their secondary choice (after graduating in a different academic discipline) and 69 MP students for whom SW was their first choice for a profession. Both groups were examined in their final year of studies. When choosing their profession, RP students attributed greater importance to considerations such as personal development, satisfaction and interest in treating people, while for MP students, working conditions were more important. In addition, RP students also preferred to engage in individual therapy and policy practice. Furthermore, there were several differences between the groups’ preferences regarding types of populations, services and sectors. Correlations were found between various preferences of populations, services and fieldwork training. Lastly, a higher percentage of RP students compared to MP students had expressed their intention to work as social workers once they complete their studies.
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- Retraining programme in social work
- career considerations
- fast-track training in social work
- field work training
- professional preferences