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Debunking macro myths: findings from recent graduates about jobs, salaries and skills

de Saxe Zerden, Lisa, Sheely, Amanda ORCID: 0000-0002-1733-6059 and Despard, Mathieu R. (2016) Debunking macro myths: findings from recent graduates about jobs, salaries and skills. Social Work Education. pp. 1-15. ISSN 0261-5479

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Identification Number: 10.1080/02615479.2016.1188915


Research suggests that interest in macro social work practice is declining, a trend that has been well documented in the United States. Studies find that social work educators and practitioners may foster beliefs among MSW students that discredit macro practice and associated skills while asserting macro graduates are likely to face poorer employment prospects and lower salaries than micro counterparts as they start their careers. This study builds on and extends this literature by examining 27 skills in their current job using a 5-point Likert-type scale among the early career trajectory of MSW alumni (N=182) who graduated between 2008--2012 from a public social work institution in the southeastern United States. The skills included in the survey, as well as decisions about how to group them into scales, were made based on theoretical links between the skills by macro faculty members. Findings highlight the use of macro practice skills regardless of concentration focus, no differences in salary, or the time it takes to find employment between micro and macro alumni. Implications for social work education are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2016 10:25
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:24

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