Achieving a master’s degree in social work, often referred to as an MSW, from an accredited program enables graduates many opportunities to qualify for successful careers in the field. This is an amazing pathway for those who are interested in achieving a licensure in the profession. A master’s degree gives candidates a competitive edge to pursue avenues that leave room for advancement following the achievement of a bachelors.
Generally, when setting out to achieve a master’s in social work, plan on engaging in a two year academic trajectory. Some programs, however, enable students to finish in just one year. A Master’s in Social Work gives students the chance to specialize in a particular facet of the discipline. In many cases, students will participate in a practicum related to that particular specialization, or undergo extensive field work experiences. The same applies for the sites in which students are interested in working. They will often get a chance to try out spaces including education institutions, hospitals, medical facilities, hospice care facilities, mental health and substance abuse recovery spaces. In many cases they offer support for other social workers, therapists, and medical providers. The supervised hands on experience in a master’s of social work program can pave the way for a successful and lucrative career.
As aforementioned, there are many master’s in social work programs that will fit the bill for the career path that interests you. Some programs are designed to offer optimal flexibility and convenience with online teaching formats. Some programs can be completed in the comfort of your own home, while you still work a job full time in the same field or in a similar discipline. Let’s take a closer look at some of the jobs with a master’s in social work you can achieve if you complete the program.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Master’s in Social Work?
Jobs with a master’s in social work are expansive in reach. There are many that you may never have considered for which an MSW holds the key. Human services jobs are not going anywhere either. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Master’s in Social Work Jobs are projected to increase by 13 percent before 2029.
Gerontological Social Worker
The shorthand is, this is a social work that works with and advocates for the elderly. People now live older than they once did, which means there are more elders that can benefit from this position. Such social workers are responsible for supporting elders in family disputes, as well as ensuring they receive the medical care that they deserve. They often work in spaces such as hospitals, nursing homes, private practice, and rehab facilities.
Addictions/ Substance Abuse Counselors
These are professionals that work with people who are suffering from addictions of many kinds, including alcohol, prescription drugs, narcotics, among others. This is a demanding social work niche and there are always available positions. These professionals work in non-profit organizations, correctional facilities, child welfare centers, shelters, among other such spaces.
Child Welfare Social Worker
This is a very popular career path in terms of jobs with a master’s in social work. There are many places to work within this realm including government run agencies, including child protective services, that look at child neglect and abuse. They are also the ones who remove kids from abusive or unsafe households. They are often charged with placing children in foster care and/ or connecting children with services that will support their overall wellness. They are often therapists, child protective specialists, administrators, social workers who have gone into this form of social work.
School Social Worker
There are many master’s in social work jobs opportunities in schools. School social workers generally love children and are there to support them to build a social emotional learning tool kit that can support their education. They are often charged with creating anti-bullying campaigns and policies around harassment at schools. They help families who are facing adversity, including around issues like housing, economics, and food scarcity. They also support students with disabilities to develop individualized education programs (IEPs) and ensure that they are being enforced. Many times school guidance counselors have a background in social work. In some cases they are the ones that create sex and health education as well as crisis intervention plans for students. Many states have their own licensing procedures.
Master’s in Social Work Job Description
As you can see above, there are so many jobs for a master’s in social work that have unique descriptions. There is no job that is the same as another in this discipline, because helping people is not one size fits all. Some might be working towards an eventual doctorate. The commonality are the principles that guide the practice. Many of which will be fostered in the Master’s of Social Work Program.