If a person has a strong desire to help others and change their lives for the better, a career in social work or volunteerism may be a good option. An opportunity to improve communities and bring about positive change is a big plus for this career field. Hundreds of colleges and universities offer degrees in social work, many of which can be completed online. Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees are offered with Bachelor’s and Master’s the more common of the trio. Social work degrees place a strong emphasis on values and ethics and give students the necessary skills to properly intervene and assess a client’s needs.Click here to request free information about a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or Ph.D. in Social Work. Just fill out the form and you’ll hear from a school soon.
Social Work Bachelor’s Degree
This is the minimum requirement for most social worker positions and equips students to work with families, individuals, groups and organizations in a wide variety of settings. Social workers can be found in schools, prisons, hospitals, treatment centers, domestic violence shelters and many more places. Some of the topics covered in an undergraduate degree program include:
- Human Behavior Theories
- Social Policies and Programs
- Social Problems
- Addictions and Treatment
In addition to this many online programs require students to complete 400 hours of field experience to enable them to practice their skills in real-world settings. Some schools require completion of introductory social work, psychology and communications courses before acceptance into social work. A GPA of 2.0-2.5 is usually needed. Reliable internet access along with e-mail is needed to complete assignments and interact with students and professors.
Social Work Bachelor’s Degree Courses
Some core curriculum social work classes in this program include:
- Human Behavior in Social Environments
- Social Work Research
- Social Welfare Policy
- Addictive Behavior
Social Work Bachelor’s Degree Careers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports much faster than average growth for social workers with 22% job growth through 2016. Those who work with elderly or in rural areas will be in great demand. Salaries average $40,000 per year.
Social Work Master’s Degree
Students train to become clinical social workers and need a Master of Social Work (MSW) to do so. Employers prefer those with an MSW for management and supervisory positions. Master’s programs teach students how to conduct research, advocate for policy improvement and implementation and cope with emotional and practical issues. The degree can be completed in 2-3 years and a student will need a computer with high-speed internet, e-mail and word processing software to complete assignments, do online presentations and interact with students and professors.
Social Work Master’s Degree Courses
Master’s students take advanced psychology and sociology courses that focus on positive human social adjustment and development. Some of the more common courses taken include:
- Social Development from Birth to Adolescence
- Basics of Social Policy
- Assessment and Diagnostic Testing
These courses focus on human development from birth through adolescence and on eco-systems within the context of families and groups. They look at current policies passed with legislation and promote advocacy and social justice. Mental health disorders are studied and students learn how to analyze data from clients and understand their capabilities.
Social Work Master’s Degree Careers
Social workers with an MSW specialize in an area such as child protective services, homelessness, adoption, foster care or domestic violence. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports better than average growth for these jobs. 54% of social workers with an MSW work in healthcare and social welfare agencies while 31% are employed by the government. Median salaries average $54,200 per year. If you want to help others while having a high-paying career social work is the answer.