While there are different types of social work, most agree that a social worker’s primary responsibility is advocacy. Professionals advocate for people including families and children in need of financial assistance, students facing bullying, and patients dealing with illnesses or addiction. Given the importance of their roles, many social workers consider pursuing a master’s degree to get specialized training in specific areas of the industry. Doing so, helps them move beyond the general grey areas of social work to better help those facing distinct challenges.
Students in a master’s program can choose from a variety of specializations — clinical social work, family services, or school counseling are only a few examples. No matter your choice, students also receive the latest training in communication, hands-on experience in their desired professional setting, and even advice for processing the emotional challenges of the industry. In short, programs ensure students are prepared to help people confront and surpass emerging hardships.
Yes. The Council on Social Work Education is the only trustworthy accrediting body for Master of Social Work programs.
The amount of time varies by school, but most can be completed in 2 to 4 years. Some schools offer Advanced Standing programs that can be completed in one year.
Yes, many programs offer a Master of Social Work online. The key is to find a program that suits your particular scheduling needs and to verify if the school has any proximity restrictions for admission.
Common requirements include a bachelor’s degree, completed coursework in liberal arts or social sciences, and at least one year of field experience. Students should check the specific application requirements for the schools they want to attend.
In addition, the world of social work is continuing to evolve. New positions and professionals are needed to face the challenges and financial hardships of modern society. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for social workers is growing at a rate of 16%, which is faster than the national average. More than ever, degree holders have the unique opportunity to positively influence the lives of others whether they are people in need or other social workers looking for their specialized calling.
For more more resources and career information related to this degree, please read our career guide here.