Title

Career Implications of Doctoral Social Work Student Debt Load

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

Although research has been conducted in other professional disciplines, social work has yet to explore how doctoral student debt load influences career development. This exploratory study surveyed 281 social work doctoral students and recent graduates, 75 BSW and MSW program leaders, and 24 doctoral program leaders about debt load, career choices, financial anxiety, and programmatic responses. Descriptive and qualitative results illustrate the complexity of doctoral students’ financial, family, and work circumstances, the role of debt load and moonlighting, the nascent nature of program responses to debt-related mentoring needs, and program ambivalence concerning the pros and cons of various debt load solutions. Exploratory factor analysis is presented for a financial anxiety instrument that may be useful in future research studies.

DOI

10.1080/10437797.2016.1243500

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