What Can You Do With a MSW Degree?
A Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program provides students with advanced critical analysis, problem-solving and research skills, in preparation for various types of social work. MSW programs are generally intended for graduates with a bachelor's degree in social work, sociology or a related field.
Social Worker Career Options
Graduates with an MSW are trained to help people cope with and overcome problems in their lives. They are prepared for social work positions in local, state or national government, as well as non-profit and private organizations. A master's degree is often required for supervisory positions within these organizations.
Social workers often provide counseling within a clinical specialty or to a specific community. Social workers may also work as administrators, researchers, policymakers and planners. Policymakers and policy advocates work directly with the local and national government to set up publicly funded programs that address child abuse, poverty, homelessness, violence, mental health and other issues.
Salary and Employment Information
Social workers generally enter this field not for the money, but because they have a desire to help people. As of May 2012, the median annual earnings of child, family and school social workers were $41,530, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). At the same time, mental health and substance abuse social workers earned a median annual salary of $39,980.
MSW Degree: Overview
An MSW degree program typically takes two years to complete, though accelerated and part-time programs are also available. Students gain a background in social theory, in addition to studying public policy, social programs and organizational structures. Most programs also engage students in clinical practice and research fieldwork, allowing students to acquire experience providing social services and critically examining a particular social issue or problem.
At the master's degree level, students are generally required to take courses that cover a range of social work topics, including social justice, social welfare policy, mental health practice, human behavior and research technology. Most MSW programs offer a variety of concentrations in which students may focus, to better prepare them for the social work career they desire.
These may include a clinical specialty, such as child and family social services, mental health or substance abuse, as well as a practice method specialty, including community organization, public policy, social service administration or interpersonal practice.
Related to What Can You Do With a MSW Degree?
- Recently Updated
Social work caseworkers help clients cope with a variety of problems they may face from financial trouble to terminal diseases....
Social workers help individuals and families deal with a variety of issues, including social, personal, medical and mental...
Social workers help people by giving them access to resources like healthcare facilities and counseling services. These...
Have you ever thought about a career in social work? If you like helping others in need, you might consider the field. Here are...
- List of Top Colleges with Master of Social Work Degrees
- Foster Care Social Worker: Career Information and Requirements
- MSW Hospice Specialty Degree Programs
- Associate Degree in Computer Technology: Program Summary
- Online Schools with Undergraduate Nursing Programs: How to Choose
- Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania Education and City Information
- Doctoral Degree in Complementary Medicine