An empirically-based study was conducted to determine how BSW and MSW social work students differentially assess the relative prestige and effectiveness of public welfare work in relation to the fifteen other social work methods and to ascertain what methods they would ideally like to enter upon graduation from their programs. The study findings point dramatically to a wide discrepancy between the BSW and MSW student's view of the public welfare worker. Not only was the average prestige and effectiveness of welfare work rated significantly higher by the BSW students, but more than five times as many BSW as MSW students indicated a desire to enter welfare work. The implications of these findings are discussed, with particular reference to social work education.

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