Social work is often thought of as a thankless job.  But an increased interest in social change has created new educational and employment opportunities for those who want to make a lasting difference in their communities.

As this infographic shows, social work is one of the fastest growing fields - with projected workplace needs increasing 25 percent between 2010 and 2020.  That's good news for the 100,000 students who are currently enrolled in social work degree programs.

Thinking about taking on a career that could really make a difference in the world you live in?  Get inspired by these seven leaders who are making a huge impact in their communities through social work:

Source: Case Western Reserve University Online 

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Social workers promote social justice, increased quality of life, and human rights for populations that need it most.