Career Possibilities With a Masters in Social Work

Social work is a very rewarding field that allows you to help improve the lives of others. And while you can find jobs with a bachelor’s degree, most advanced positions in the field require you to have a master’s degree. In the United States, it takes two years in a master’s degree educational program plus 900 hours of fieldwork to complete a masters in social work. Let’s take a look at some career possibilities within social work.

Social Work Specialties

At the master’s degree level, many students opt to specialize in one area of social work. Some colleges offer tracks, tailored for people to pursue a specific specialization, but even if your school only has a general social work program, you can take classes and pursue an internship in the specialty that most interests you. Some of the most common specialties include:

  • Clinical/direct practice
  • Advocacy
  • Policy analysis
  • Human service management

When you graduate with a specialty, it is often easier to find a job in that field.

Working with Clients

The direction your career takes often depends on the type of clients with which you want to work. Some of your options include children, families, senior citizens, mental health patients, and veterans. Even in an educational, advocacy, policy analysis, management, or research position (rather than in a clinical role), you typically will work with a specific type of person or group of people. This is up to you and what type of position you are most interested in pursuing.

Combination Degrees

When you earn a master’s in social work, you also have the option to go through a dual degree program or combination degree program. In this option, you’ll be preparing for a broader range of career possibilities when you graduate. For example, you could double-major in social work and law, which better prepares you to work with policy or give legal advice when working with patients. The combination degree is also a good option if you’re coming to social work from another field, like business or non-profit management. With most dual degree programs, they allow you to complete two separate degrees simultaneously in less time than it would take you to complete them both independently. This is another way to make yourself stand out in the field as well as to qualify for a wider range of jobs.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to stop at just earning a master’s in social work. While this is considered a terminal degree for those who want to practice in the social work world, you can also earn a doctorate if you want to take on leadership position or are interested in a job in academia. Most students who pursue a doctorate in a particular area are interested in teaching at the collegiate level or to get into more in-depth research. This again depends on your career goals and interests.

Online MSW and MPA Degrees

Completing your Master's in social work or public administration can be very rewarding for getting ahead in the social work field. Online Master's degrees are perfect for working professionals or people with families to complete course work at their own convenience. Please see our colleges below that offer online class for MSW degrees.

Walden University — The Walden University Master of Social Work provides the chance to gain real world experience as a social worker. These experiences can be gained from a community agency, a healthcare setting, an educational agency, or a social services agency. Walden also offers several specializations for an MSW degree, like Military Social Work, as well as DSW programs.

Ashford University — A MBA in Public Administration from Ashford University teaches you the methods of public service. A MPA degree will contribute to your understanding of social initiative strategies. Additionally, the MAOM in Public Administration and MA in Education & Public Policy will improve your leadership and managerial skills. Ashford is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Ste 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 5107489001,

Rutgers University of New Jersey — The Master of Social Work at Rutgers University of New Jersey boasts a deep network of experienced professionals and faculty. These individuals prepare you for the rigors of a career in social work, public administration, and public management. Your dreams can be achieved at Rutgers.

Click here to learn about more Master of Social Work colleges.

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