If you are considering a career in social work or are just at the start of your educational journey to become a social worker, an online master’s program in social work can be a beneficial or even vital, qualification to earn.
Perhaps you already hold your bachelor’s degree in social work, or you are planning your future career with every goal that you want to achieve in mind. This is a good place to start thinking about that next level, no matter where you currently are.
This masters level of education can help you stand out in a pool of job applicants, open further career options and give you valuable skills and experience. If you enjoy working with and helping others, becoming a social worker may be the perfect career for you.
It is varied and demanding, but also incredibly rewarding. You can help support people on an individual scale or even in whole communities. Whatever role you choose to take within the social work profession, here are just a few ways for an online master’s in social work to help boost your career.
What is it?
An online master’s in social work is one of the BSW to MSW programs that can help take your education and career prospects to the next level in the social work industry. It is an online course that can help prepare you to undertake your licensing exams and begin working as a social worker. The BSW to MSW programs are also part-time, which makes them perfect for those who are already working or have other commitments, such as a family.
BSW to MSW programs feature a combination of online learning and in-field placements, which allows you to put your new skills into practice in a workplace environment, gain valuable first-hand experiences, network, and make connections.
There is also the option to waive the GRE, which can make the course more affordable and cost-effective; another benefit of the online BSW to MSW programs. The course takes around two years to complete and will provide you with valuable skills and knowledge to help you succeed as a social worker in whichever field you decide to work in. You will also need to hold a bachelor’s degree in social work to qualify for this course.
What do social workers do?
Social workers are mental health professionals who help people in a variety of ways, with different elements of their lives. This can include financial, relationship, psychological, or substance abuse problems. There are different types of social workers and also different levels of social work.
In general, social workers are advocates for their clients. This means that they support vulnerable or disadvantaged people, making sure that their rights are being upheld, and offering a supportive voice when they are being unheard. You may also educate clients, teach them new skills, counsel them, protect their best interests and refer them to other services and community resources.
Becoming a social worker is an incredibly rigorous and demanding job, but it is also very rewarding, as you can help individuals and the community. You can also work in a variety of settings, including nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, private practices, or community health clinics, depending on the type of job you do and the level at which you work.
Who is it for?
The online BSW to MSW programs are for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree and wish to further their education to help them gain access to more specialized roles or help them in their academic journey. Once completing the program, you may decide to gain your license, seek work, or study for a DSW, a doctorate in social work.
There is a lot of studying required to become a social worker, and the online BSW to MSW programs is a very useful step to help you achieve your aims. As well as requiring the academic qualifications to apply for the BSW to MSW programs, certain characteristics and traits make a great social worker. These include:
• Communication– you will be working and interacting with many different people from various backgrounds and communities, so you need to be a great listener and communicator. You will have to understand how to adapt your communication techniques when working with different people to be an effective social worker.
• Collaboration- not only will you be working with a wide range of clients and patients, but you will also usually be part of a larger team of professionals. This can include probation officers or medical professionals. You will all have to client’s best interests at heart and need to work together to come up with the best solution.
• Empathy- this is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another. When you are a social worker, you will be helping a diverse range of people with many different problems and issues. It is unlikely that you will have the first-hand experience of every situation that a client comes to you with, so using empathy can help you put yourself in their place to understand their emotions and situation.
• Self-awareness- you will constantly be receiving feedback on your performance and work from various sources, but you also need to evaluate yourself to improve constantly. The ability to reflect on your work and implement constructive criticism from yourself and others is an incredibly important skill in general and social work.
Being a social worker is incredibly diverse, and you may find yourself performing different roles throughout the day, such as counselor, caretaker, clinician, or advisor. You need to have the technical knowledge and the personal skills to keep up with the demands of the job while still being able to have an empathetic approach to situations.
The online BSW to MSW programs can provide you with the technical knowledge and experiences required to become a successful social worker and opportunities to develop these valuable personal skills and assets.
What are the career options?
Within the social working profession, there are different roles and levels. You can choose to specialize in a certain area during your academic journey, tailoring your education and training to help you deliver the best possible care and support in your chosen field.
The three levels of social work are:
Micro- micro-level social work involves the one-to-one counseling of an individual. It is often seen in school counselors or during family therapy and can help support individuals with mental or behavioral conditions or personal or economic problems. Jobs at the micro-level are considered clinical, and therefore the BSW to MSW programs can help give you the further education necessary to work in these positions.
Mezzo- at this level, social workers work with small groups or an organization, and the aim is to focus on changing the group as a whole rather than the individuals within the group. For example, you may act as a mediator to help resolve a group conflict in the workplace.
Macro- macro-level social work involves working with whole communities. These can be defined by elements such as location, politics, or religion. You may be a lobbyist, professor, politician, attorney, and roles involving making or shaping policies or training others to do the same.
These roles and jobs will require you to hold different qualifications and licensure levels, so it is important to do your research and find out what your dream social work career requires. The online NSW to MSW programs can help prepare you to take your licensing exam and provide online and practical training and opportunities.
Why should you study online?
The online aspect of the BSW to MSW programs helps to make this an affordable, flexible, and accessible study option. Being a student can be very expensive, especially when it comes to master’s level education, and studying online can help reduce or remove some of these costs. For example, as you are working mostly from home, you will not have to be so concerned about commuting daily, and the incurs’ costs and time.
Additionally, you will not have to worry so much about rent and finding accommodation on or near a campus. You may also be entitled to financial support in a similar way to in-person students, so it is important to research this. The tuition fees for many online courses are also cheaper, which is another huge saving.
Another benefit of the online BSW to MSW programs is the ability to work from almost any location. As the majority of study is done online, you can work from wherever you are. If you study in person, you might be confined to the courses your local education institutions offer, which can result in disappointment if they do not run the courses you need.
This means you might have to change your plans or not pursue that area of study at all, which can seriously set you back in your journey to becoming a social worker. When you study online, more institutions and courses are open to you, and you can find one, like the BSW to MSW programs, that offer you exactly what you want and need.
Other benefits of online learning include the added flexibility and the ability to work at your own pace and have more control over your learning environment and experience. If you already have other commitments in your life, online learning can afford you the ability to continue with these and study alongside. This is particularly useful for those who already have other jobs and are using BSW to MSW programs to further their careers or raise a family.
Online study means that you can do all of these things simultaneously. Having more control over your learning environment can also help to improve your learning experience and make it more enjoyable and efficient. You may not be keen to go back to school or sit in a lecture theatre or classroom. Online courses mean that you can create your own workspace that fits your particular needs.
When you learn online, you can also develop incredibly useful personal skills. These are known as soft skills and are a set of personal, non-technical skills that are transferable and applicable in almost any workplace. You will likely already have some of them, but they can also be developed and worked on. Soft skills include things such as communication and teamwork, which are both important for a social worker.
Other skills such as time management, self-motivation, conflict resolution, creative thinking, and problem-solving are also soft skills that you can develop when learning online. Online courses like the BSW to MSW programs can give you practical examples of times when you have used these skills to provide to potential employers in an interview setting.
Organization is another soft skill that is essential for social workers and that you can develop during your online course. As a social worker, you will most likely have more than one client or project on the go at the same time, so you will need excellent time management, scheduling, and multitasking skills to make sure you treat each person and job with the same level of care and professionalism.
When you study online, you will also need to organize your time to ensure that you complete your work efficiently and to a high standard and keep up with your other life commitments. This is a perfect example of how the online BSW to MSW programs can help develop your soft skills that are useful and applicable to being a social worker.
Becoming a social worker is a brilliant way to turn your passion for helping others into a career. An online master’s in social work can provide you with the valuable knowledge and skills and the opportunities and practical work to help you become a great social worker.
The online BSW to MSW programs are particularly beneficial for those who cannot commit to full-time, in-person study for whatever reason, as they provide a cost-effective and flexible study option to help you reach your social work career goal.