If you have a soft spot for people and are always looking for ways to help humanity, then getting a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) is a good idea. You can get your degree by attending a relevant college or getting an online masters in social work accredited. This way, you can study right from the comfort of your home. Before you get started, you need to know what an MSW is, why you should apply for it and what benefits you can enjoy by getting one. Keep reading to learn more about ecommerce business and humanity.
What Is an MSW Degree?
A Master of Social Work (MSW) graduate degree helps social workers attain the right education they need to obtain state licensure. An MSW degree largely focuses on clinical social work. The degree also has varying programs to cater to an array of students. Examples include an advanced standing MSW program or online programs.
Acquiring the degree requires completing two years of education which is then certified by the CSWE (Council on Social Work Education). This certification ensures the students are ready for state licensure and are ready to pursue a professional career.
- An MSW degree holder can work in multiple sectors, such as education, nonprofit administration, human resources, government, research, and health care.
- Individuals can also work in clinics, groups, and communities by becoming an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker).
- If you wish to pursue an independent career or need licensure, opting for an MSW program is the way to go.
Advantages of Obtaining an MSW Degree:
Now that you know what an MSW program is and why you should opt for one, it is time to look at some advantages you can enjoy:
1. Social Practice Diversity
Social work has three main categories, each requiring different skills and degrees. These include:
- Clinical Social Work
This requires social workers to have an MSW degree, as it allows workers to be aware of advanced methods and information. Clinical social workers are responsible for treating and diagnosing mental health problems, plus dealing with patients who have an addiction or are involved in substance abuse. Thousands of hours of supervised experience is the only way to obtain a license if you wish to work at a clinic.
- Direct Practice Social Work
For this type of work, you only need a BSW (Bachelor’s degree in Social Work) and having an MSW is a benefit. Direct practice social workers cater to kids, families, and communities. They work in fields like education, healthcare, and child safety.
- Macro Social Work
Macro social workers do not work with vulnerable individuals. Instead, they work with public or private organizations and governments to devise new programs and update policies.
2. Appreciates Humanity
Social work is entirely dependent on catering to people and loving humanity. A social worker helps individuals overcome difficult life phases like:
- Mental health problems
Social workers also place a lot of focus on equality, justice, and peace. A degree further aids this by helping students learn how they can cooperate with humans and what they can do to establish improved living conditions. They also learn how they can help individuals improve existing skills, develop new ones and adopt a positive mindset.
3. Great Demand
Increasing demand for social workers means that landing a great job is fairly simple. The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) estimated that nearly 680k social workers were working in the United States in 2016. This number is estimated to grow by nearly 16% until 2026.
A similar trend was noticed throughout Europe in countries like France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, and Denmark. Social Services Europe estimates that the total number of jobs in the social work sector is nearly 10% to 19% of the total employment. Social work is one of the only fields that remained unaffected during the 2008 financial crisis. Reasons behind expansion include:
- Increased life expectancy
- Increased number of diseases that especially inflict aged people
- An increase in the aging population
- Health awareness
4. Affordable Degree
Not only is a social work degree offered by many top institutions, but it is also quite affordable. The best part is you can complete your studies right from the comfort of your home by opting for an online program.
Most programs range from 1,000 euros to 20,000 euros per year. You can easily opt for one that is affordable and less of a burden on your pocket, but make sure that you do not compromise on education quality.
- An MSW degree can easily be completed in two years in the United States. This can be reduced to one year if you apply for advanced standing, given that you already have a BSW degree (four-year program).
- A BSW degree in Europe takes three years to complete, while an MSW can be acquired in two years.
5. A BSW Is Not Necessary
Having a BSW degree is not a requirement for getting an MSW. Any Bachelor’s degree will suffice to be eligible for MSW admission. You can make use of any undergraduate degree, a personal essay/motivation letter, and volunteering experience to apply for an MSW. This will ensure you can portray what a social worker career means to you. Some common admission requirements include the following:
- Minimum GPA
- TOEFL/IELTS certification to prove you can speak/understand English if you are a non-native applicant
- Professional and personal references
- Any Bachelor’s degree
- GRE scores
- Application essay
6. Multiple Career Options
Not only can social workers choose from three main types of working categories, but they can also opt for very specific careers. Social workers work at an array of institutions like private companies or NGOs, government departments, and even state institutions. Lets us look at a few great career options below:
- Patient care coordinators ($82,720 to $102,340) work in medical facilities to help provide high quality care to patients. They work alongside other staff and administration individuals. Some may be registered nurses, but this is not necessary.
- Case managers ($81,203 to $97,926) help individuals by offering advice and treatment to help them overcome specific obstacles. They track patients’ progress and devise recovery plans.
- Community health workers ($34,029 to $46,012) help communities and social services coordinate. They help individuals access these services to improve their quality of life and create health program awareness.
With numerous benefits that an MSW program brings in, there is no wonder that many students are quickly gaining interest in acquiring the degree.