by Meghan Stone, July 2014
Many people from a variety of different backgrounds consider going back to school to earn their master’s degree in social work (MSW). If this is a path you’re contemplating, there are several factors you may want to consider to help you decide if a graduate degree in social work is right for you.
1. You work in social work and you want to enhance your career
The social work field is not known for its high salaries, but if you are already working in the social work field and enjoy it, getting your master’s degree may help expand your potential career opportunities. It will also open you up to another level of work within the social work field. You may be interested in pursuing a career as a clinical therapist, an administrator, in a healthcare setting, or as a school social worker. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of the time, these types of social work jobs require an MSW degree.
2. You’re interested in enhancing your knowledge of social work and being able to better serve your clients
A bachelor’s degree in social work and working in the field can teach you a lot of information and skills that you can use to help your clients, but a master’s in social work may help you take your knowledge to the next level. In an MSW program you have the opportunity to learn about research, theories, and approaches that could potentially enhance your ability to work in the field.
3. You’re looking for a career change and you think social work might be a good fit
Many people who are interested in creating positive changes in individuals, families, and communities are drawn to the social work field. You likely already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and your past education and work experience may even help you in your new social work career, but earning your MSW may give you the specific knowledge you may need about social work in order to pursue success in the field.