Doctoral education in social work is said to be in crisis. While there is a glut of available programs, there is a shortage of doctoral graduates for faculty positions in social work education requiring that the field prepare more high-quality graduates for these positions. There is also an increasing need for doctoral-level social workers in leadership roles outside of schools of social work, such as in think tanks, professional associations, public and organizational administration, and practice. Based on findings from a national survey of doctoral students in social work, this volume discusses the purpose of doctoral education in a practice profession, as well as past and current controversies about what that should be. Survey findings about student demographics and their reasons for seeking the doctoral degree are discussed in comparison to national data from related fields. In addition, their program experiences are considered and parsed, including specifics on what they like and do not like, such as the dissertation research and writing experience and preparation for the PhD job market.
While most programs are designed to prepare stewards of the discipline, it turns out that the resources available in social work doctoral programs, including student aid, are quite variable. The book identifies a variety of recommendations that can enhance the profession's ability to prepare the next generation of intellectual leadership. This is essential reading for anyone interested in or already working towards a social work doctorate, and for faculty and directors of schools of social work determined to understand and shape the future of doctoral education in social work.