Use Technology to turn your passion for social causes into a career with an online Social Work Degree Program
Have you always dreamed of a career helping people? Are you a kind, compassionate individual with great interpersonal and problem solving skills? Are you passionate about social causes like child abuse and mental health? A career in Social Work may just be the right choice for you. Pursuing a career in Social Work is easier than ever with an online Human Services degree.
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Social Workers are important individuals in the functioning of several organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), Social workers held about 607,300 jobs in 2012. A social worker with a bachelor's degree may work in any field from hospitals and schools to government agencies. Additionally, an additional on-campus or online masters in social work can allow students to open their own private practices, go into management or specialize in unique fields of social work and counseling.
What do Social Workers do?
Social workers help people cope with challenges and problems in their everyday lives. Social Work is a very broad field that involves many different career paths. For example one group of social workers, clinical social workers, also diagnose and treat mental and behavioral issues. Some social workers collaborate with Government agencies to help individuals apply and receive financial services and support, while others respond to crisis situations such as child or domestic abuse. Social workers manage a diverse clientele, such as children and people with disabilities or addictions. They also help with adoptions and act as advocates to help their clients get the resources they need.
Students that thrive as social workers love interacting with diverse groups of people, like varied work responsibilities and are passionate about social causes.
What areas of Social Work can I specialize in?
Child and Family Social Work: These social workers assist families and children in need. They help families find assistance with childcare, locate foster homes for kids and help families and kids cope with changes in their lives.
Clinical Social Work: These workers are licensed to diagnose and treat mental and behavioral disorders. They can provide individual and group therapy. They also work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to treat the client.
School Social Work: This group of social workers work with teachers and school administrators to help a student's academic and social development. They also provide vital intervention for students who are in dangerous or negative situations or who need additional resources.
Geriatric Social Workers: These individuals help senior citizens and their families find programs for older adults like in home care and meals.
Hospice social workers: These social workers provide assistance to patients who are dying. They help the patients and families find support groups and grief counselors and help them cope with the illness
What are the working conditions of a Social Worker?
Although students pursuing a career in Social Work will find themselves working in an office setting, social workers also spend time visiting clients. Social workers perform their duties in places like hospitals, nursing homes, schools, correctional facilities, child welfare agencies, military bases and state and local government offices. Most Social workers generally work full time with some evening, weekend and holiday hours.
Since social workers interact with a variety of people and situations, they have to be great communicators with superb interpersonal skills and listening skills. Compassion, patience and problem solving skills are important qualities for a social worker. Social workers often have to deal with case overloads and challenging client situations. These can be very stressful at times. The ability to handle stress is a vital quality for a social worker
What is the typical pay and career outlook for a Social Worker?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average median wage for social workers was $44,200 in May 2012, with the top 10% making more than $70,000 per year. Employment in this field is expected to grow by 19% by 2022, which is much higher than the national average. Although this increase will be determined by increased need for healthcare services overall, specialty fields within social work will have different rates of growth. For example, while school social workers will only increase by 15%, healthcare social workers like hospice counselors, are expected to see growth of 27%.
As with other health care fields, the amount of education is directly proportional to the types of wages a person can receive. While a bachelor's degree in Social Work is the basic requirement for entry-level positions, all states require some type of licensure or certification for Social workers, which vary state by state. In addition, a masters in social work online or on-campus allows students to specialize in specific areas of social work, allowing them to command those upper-level salaries.
Why should I choose Online Courses?
Online social work programs give students the flexibility of earning a degree while managing a busy work and home schedule. Professionals already working in the field can choose to advance their careers with a Masters Degree in social work online, a very practical solution for a person with a full time job. Since the content is computer-based, it's easy to find an accredited institution with a social work degree online.
There are many accredited online Master of Social Work (MSW) programs currently available in the United States. The Council of Social Work Education (CWSE) has a partial list of other MSW online programs. Students have to be cautious of claims that they can practice Social Work with other degrees. Sometimes the school may be nationally accredited, but, unless the Social Work degree they are offering is accredited by the CSWE, you may not be able to practice social work or obtain a license.