Serving Others With Social Work Masters Programs

Serving with a Social Work Master Degree

Do you enjoy working with other people? Do you want to help others as a part of your career? If so, you may wish to consider a social work master’s program. Social work often focuses on helping people combat challenging situations in their lives. This help may include things like addiction, mental illness, unemployment, abuse, poverty, disability, and other significant challenges.

Some who work in this field may also focus on equality, creating community programs, or supporting those struggling with inequality challenges. Social justice may also be a big part of this educational track and career path. A social work program like this may help individuals gain skills to allow them to perform well in this challenging career. A master’s degree might help hone skills further or prepare students to work in the social work field if they obtained their education in a different area.

Take a look at what a Master in Social Work (MSW) may be able to offer to you. Here is what this type of program typically looks like.

Overview of an MSW degree program

An MSW is a graduate level program. Students in this field typically earn a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field first. After completing their degree, they may work in the field. To become a licensed social worker, it is often necessary to complete a master’s degree in the field. A master’s degree is a typical necessity to work as a clinical practitioner. It is possible to go further as well. Several PhD options may exist. Those who wish to teach in the field of work in research may wish to continue on to earn their doctoral degree.

Enrolling in an MSW often allows a student to gain access to new skills and insights into the field. This may include expanding knowledge of areas such as clinical practice, social policy, human behavior, and social justice. There may be some opportunities to focus on specific electives that interest you in terms of the field of work you hope to do. Those working towards their MSW often gain both non-clinical and clinical setting experience. Sometimes, this may include working with county, state, and local child welfare agencies and medical facilities, nonprofit organizations, or other programs.

What is a master’s degree in social work? This degree plan allows a person to gain additional skills and education in the field of social work. It’s often completed after earning a bachelor’s degree in the field or in a related field.

Degree concentrations

There are several degree concentrations in social work. Each needs varied skills and knowledge. Some of these areas may require or benefit from the clinical study as well as theory courses.

  • Direct Practice Social Work – Those who wish to work in direct practice social work often need a bachelor’s degree to do so. Individuals typically work with children, families, individuals, and communities as a whole in this area. They may work in areas such as healthcare, education, and child safety.
  • Clinical Social Work – Typically, a person needs to obtain an MSW in this field, and licensing is necessary in many states. Students typically learn techniques and skills related to providing therapy in a clinical setting. This may include learning to diagnose and treat mental illness. That may include areas such as substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and other areas. To do this type of work, many students need to also complete numerous hours of study in the field.
  • Macro Social Work – If you choose this path, you may collaborate with private and public institutions to transform policies and execute new programs within various locations and communities. This may include working with vulnerable people or in specific, focused areas.

Demand for social workers

The need for compassionate, kind, and skilled social workers is significant. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 700,000 social workers in the United States, and the number may increase by 12% by 2030.

Top States for Employment for Social Workers, All Other
StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
California10,600$67,130
New York7,940$64,170
Illinois4,940$69,390
Ohio3,420$45,250
South Carolina2,500$41,830

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Many people struggle with mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and other challenges that may be helped with the support of social workers. Those who wish to help and work in this field may be able to pursue an education through a social work master’s degree to help meet this demand.

Top colleges and universities providing social work degrees

Many people may wish to choose a path to become a social worker. To do so, it is often beneficial to seek out an educational program that offers the insights and skill training that interests you and prepares you for the specific area you wish to work in later. Finding a quality social work master’s program may mean comparing several colleges and universities to determine which may be beneficial to you.

Many colleges and universities in the U.S. offer master’s degrees in social work. Before making a decision in which to choose, take into consideration factors like alumni careers, graduation rates, and internships that may be available. Also, consider the specific curriculum that may be beneficial to you based on the type of work you wish to do down the road.

It is often very important to choose an educational track that prepares you for the demanding work that is so commonly found in social work. Look to the program to provide you with insights into how to do your job but also into innovative technology and resources that may be on the horizon as well.

Check out the available program options at GradSchools.com to find the opportunities that may meet your needs now and into the future. It’s easy enough to search by state, program, and other factors to find options available to you. You may also wish to use this tool to learn about tuition and scholarships that may be available.

Does a master’s degree application require a bachelor’s degree in social work?

Many times, colleges and universities require students applying for a master’s degree to have a bachelor’s degree already in place. You may be able to enroll in a program that allows you to complete the remainder of your bachelor’s degree if you did not finish and then places you into the master’s program. It is important to make sure you obtain your education from an accredited college or university if you hope to switch schools or meet licensing requirements in your state.

Some people may wish to complete a master’s degree in social work even if they have a bachelor’s degree in another field. That may be an option as well. Many college and universities aim to help students to create a pathway to obtaining the education they need. You may need to complete some initial courses to qualify if you did not earn your bachelor’s degree in the psychology field.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

What is required to enroll in a master’s degree in social work?

Every college and university may put forward its own admission requisites. However, typical requirements are listed below:

  • Application essay
  • Bachelor’s degree from an authorized institution
  • GRE scores
  • Minimum Grade Point Average independently determined by school
  • Professional and personal references
  • Proof of your command in English for non-native speakers (TOEFL, IELTS)

What possibilities does a Master’s in Social Work offer?

By getting an MSW, you may be able to work in a range of settings. This may include schools, private practices, mental health clinics, hospitals, government entities, community agencies, and others.

Within such a setting, social workers may service numerous types of people facing various challenges or needs. When you are a social worker, you may get the chance to help people solve several issues related to their psychological, behavioral, or mental health challenges.

Need for an MSW degree for becoming a social worker

Each state sets rules for who may work as a social worker in the state. This is often a necessity for obtaining a license to work in the state. Often, individuals may need to earn the necessary educational requirements and certificates, sit for a licensing exam, and then formally apply for the license.

Often, this means having a master’s degree, dependent on the type of work you plan to do. Some employers hope to hire individuals who have a doctoral degree. Others may allow those with a bachelor’s degree to apply for entry-level positions while they work to earn their master’s degree.

What types of social workers are there?

A range of specific fields of study may exist to prepare students to work in various fields in social work. This may include working as a family, school, or child social worker. Some people with this degree may work as a substance abuse or mental health therapist. Others work in healthcare, providing social work support to those who are in the hospital or need medical-related support.

In this field, individuals typically need to work to identify the needs of an individual, including their specific struggles, the cause of their challenges, and the tools they need to overcome or improve those situations. Providing support and service to individuals in underserved communities is also common.

Evaluating the larger needs of your client may also help them cope with challenging situations in their lives. You may be helping them solve ongoing day-to-day issues and encounter any kind of challenge with confidence.

Those working as social workers may need to have strong listening and communication skills. They may also need to be able to remain organized and diligent. Problem-solving, emotional strength and interpersonal skills may also be important in many areas of social work.

What is the curriculum in a master’s degree in social work?

The master’s degree program for social work curriculum may include identifying as a reflective professional social worker, developing leadership skills, critical thinking theory and research knowledge, and integrating cultural, economic, and global diversity into the field. Students may also take child and family policy and service delivery courses, problem identification and screening, diagnosing and assessment, and trauma-informed social work practices.

There may not be anything more beautiful and fulfilling than giving meaning to other peoples’ lives. This could also improve your life from several angles. Start your journey by enrolling in a university that may fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed social worker. Turn to GradSchools.com to find the problems and support you need.