Several traditional CSWE-accredited schools for social work offer online social work graduate programs. Accredited online social work degrees offer working professionals the opportunity to earn advanced credentials such as the Master of Social Work (MSW) without necessarily disrupting their schedules.
Online social work graduate programs may be available from the masters (MSW) to the doctorate (DSW and PhD), including post-graduate and post-masters certificate programs. Distance learning brings the classroom to you, so it may be more convenient to consider earning an online social work degree than attending class in person.
In 2014, 47,894 degrees were awarded in social work. The most common degree is the MSW with 52% share of all social work degrees granted.[i]
|Master of Social Work||Northcentral University||MSW|
|Master of Social Work Online (Bilingual)||Loyola University Chicago||MS|
|Advanced Standing Master of Social Work||Saint Ambrose University||N/A|
|MA in Social Work||Brandman University||N/A|
|Ph.D. in Social Work - Criminal Justice||Walden University||N/A|
|Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing||Sacred Heart University||N/A|
|Master of Social Work - Foundation||Campbellsville University||N/A|
|Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing||Widener University||MS|
|MSW: Advanced Clinical Practice (3 Year)||Saint Leo University||N/A|
|Dual Master of Social Work/ Master of Business Administration||Carlow University||N/A|
|Master of Social Work - Traditional Track||Winthrop University||MSW|
|Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing||Saint Mary's University of Minnesota||N/A|
If you are considering a career in social work, you should research how much education is required to address!-->
the types of problems and clients that you find most compelling. This may help you navigate the different graduate –level online social work degrees to see which one aligns with your goals.
Online social work graduate certificates offer shorter term programming through a few targeted courses. You might learn how to address specific populations (children or the terminally ill for instance) as part of continuing education or take online social work courses for credits toward a Masters in Social Work degree.
Masters degree in social work (MSW) programs are typically designed for students seeking to learn advanced skills for practicing and assuming leadership or clinical positions in the field. Online MSW programs involve fieldwork, as do their campus counterparts, although you may be able to fulfill these requirements in your local community. These internships enable students to prepare for state licensure examinations within their specialty. Current BSW level social workers might use the MSW degree to move from direct service and assistant positions into clinical roles. These students might enter an online MSW program as an advanced standing student and possibly complete their degree in less time (about one year). Students who have a Bachelors in sociology, human services, psychology, counseling or another discipline might use the master’s degree to initiate a social worker career. Time to completion is typically about two years although program duration is a variable.
Graduates of MSW programs who desire to conduct scholarly or evidence-based research about social work issues and public policy, write, or teach at the postsecondary level might consider working towards a PhD in social work or Doctor of Social Work - DSW online. Earning a doctoral degree in social work may take students from two to five years although the time to completion varies. Usually students must research, write and defend their dissertation to be awarded their degree.
Since many graduate schools for social work offer both campus and online programs the fact that you earned your MSW, DSW, PhD or graduate social work certificate online may not be noted on your transcripts. Earning a graduate degree in social work may lead to a variety of potential opportunities that might include;
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|Metro Area||Annual Mean Salary||Employment|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$89,150||Not Reported|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||$84,900||230|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||$82,900||1,190|
|Santa Rosa, CA||$82,830||250|
There is no ‘one’ format or structure for online social work graduate programs. Ultimately you need to evaluate your scheduling needs as well as whether you are looking for a full-time or part-time commitment. A few things to consider as you evaluate online social work degree programs:
Before enrolling in an online social work graduate program, students should verify that their online schools of choice are regionally accredited. In addition to regional accreditation, students should look for specialized programmatic accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the predominant accrediting agency for social work degree programs. CSWE accreditation is evidence of the relevance and educational standards of a school's social work program. Students who forgo this step, may find themselves unable to sit for their state licensure examinations. For an accurate database of accredited online social work programs, visit the CSWE website.
Sources[i] datausa.io/profile/cip/440701/ | onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1113.00