More Than Just Social Work
Looking at what to major in to become a social worker shows students that they dont need to study social work to gain employment in this field. Even if they want to take a national licensing exam, they can do so as long as they have a social science degree. Psychology is the most popular option of those sciences. It looks at humans and how they develop as well as why they think and behave in the ways they do.
Sociology looks at how humans relate to their environments and society as a whole. Those enrolled in schools that do not offer a social work major can study some of the same subjects in a sociology program. Other social sciences that can prepare students for the social work field include political science, economics, history and anthropology.
Choosing to embark on a career in social work and choosing which educational path to pursue are major decisions, but social workers find the career fulfilling. Like other graduates of the social sciences, they can expect to earn $2.5 million over the course of their work-life. They also enjoy the chance to make a real difference in the lives of their clients.
The University Of Buffalo
The University of Buffalo only offers their online program part time, which is great regarding flexibility for working individuals but may not be a great option for those who are looking to finish the program as soon as possible. The 60 credit program starts ever fall and is completed in three years of nine semesters, while the 35 credit advanced standing option starts every spring and is completed in five semesters over the course of 1.5 years.
You can learn more about the University of Buffalo Social Work programs here.
Jobs Available With An Associates Degree
Looking at what to major in to become a social worker helps you see the careers that are open to you when you complete a degree program. An associates degree prepares you for most entry-level positions. You can work as a community outreach worker and case management aid. A case management aid helps with the management of individual clients and their cases. They are responsible for finding resources for the client and handling other aspects of the case. A community outreach worker usually works with a larger group of people. They might host public forums and meetings to talk with locals about their medical options or to talk about an outbreak.
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Continuing Education For Social Workers
Not all social workers finish one degree and then never go back to school. Continuing education programs help professionals gain extra experience and keep up with changes in the field. The National Association of Social Workers offers several of these programs. Students can sign up for one or more of the classes available through the NASW Online Continuing Education Institute. The organization created the institute as a way to help social workers take classes without finding a nearby school. Students who belong to the organization or a regional chapter qualify for a discount on their classes.
Students have the option of attending traditional and online schools, too. Those with a BSW can enroll in a graduate program that features online classes and a summer residency. Though some classes run for a standard 16 weeks, others are shorter and more intensive. Students can finish those classes in as few as eight weeks as long as they can handle the rigorous schedule. Webinars and virtual events offered by the NASW can also help them continue their education.
University Of Illinois At Chicago
The Addams Social Work College at the University of Illinois at Chicago is ranked among the 10% best social work schools at the graduate level across the country. AS one of Chicagos best schools of social work is CSWE accredited and offers four academic tracks child/family, social work, mental health, and community practice. The Social Work Doctor of Philosophy degree program from one of the Midwests best schools for social work offers two research tracks -social work practice or social planning, policy, and administration.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is a dual campus school that was established in 1982. In addition, the University of Illinois at Chicago is a public Hispanic and Asian-serving institution of higher learning with a student enrollment that nears 33,450 students each year. The University of Illinois at Chicago is recognized to be the largest postsecondary school in the greater metro area of Chicago.
Programs: MSW, PhD
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Social Work And Social Services Jobs And Salaries
Many social service workers choose to specialize in child social services, in settings such as schools or youth homes. Others choose to work with adults in settings like correctional facilities or counselling centers. Career paths may include :
- Counselling services in schools, hospitals or group homes
- Community services with government agencies
- Continued education to become a social worker
Salaries in the field vary, depending on your position and level of experience. Average starting salaries are around $30,000 per year, with the potential to increase to $45,000 or more per year.
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill
The Social Work School at the UNC at Chapel Hill is among North Carolinas best social work schools. In addition, the University of North Carolinas social work school recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary. AS one of the southern United States best schools for social work, UNC offers a variety of MSW programs, dual degree programs, and doctoral programs in a variety of social work specialties. Field placement options are available in more than 50 counties in the state of North Carolina.
The University of North Carolina is the flagship campus of the University of North Carolina system and opened in 1789. As a recognized public ivy school, UNC-Chapel Hill serves more than 29,950 students each year. In addition, UNC-Chapel Hill boasts of being the only public school to have graduated students in the 18th century.
Programs: MSW, PhD
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Clinical Vs Direct Contact Vs Macro
Clinical Social Workers
Clinical social workers deal with the ADT of client care. They Assess, Diagnose and Treat clients with emotional and mental health problems. Because clinical social workers often deal with complex psychological issues and vulnerable patients, most State Social Work Regulatory Boards require these professionals to complete an MSW and supervised clinical work experience. Anyone who wishes to use the title of clinical social worker must be licensed by the state.
Direct Contact/Service/Care Social Workers
Unlike clinical social workers, direct contact social workers do not provide mental treatment. Instead, they may work as case managers with children and families, act as mediators or counsel mentally healthy individuals. Their jobs are often focused on helping clients with everyday problems.
Some states may not require licensure or registration for direct contact social workers. However, we recommend you check with your individual State Social Work Regulatory Board. A BSW is generally expected.
Macro Social Workers
And they work in places like universities, non-profit institutions and government think tanks.
Texas State University San Marcos
The online program at Texas State offers the same curriculum and faculty as the on-campus program, so you dont have to feel like you are missing out on anything by choosing the online option! There is a foundation track and an advanced track. Students in the advanced track have the choice to concentrate in either administrative leadership or direct practice. MSW students are expected to complete either 360 or 540 field practicum hours depending on the track they are in. The field practicum office will assist you in getting a professional internship at a community agency.
You can learn more about the Texas State University Social Work programs here.
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How Much Can I Make With A Bachelors In Social Work
According to PayScale, on average, graduates with a bachelor in social work can make up to $50,244 per year working as a social worker. The range is wide, as a licensed social worker can around $57,000 and it goes up and down from there. Case managers within family services at government agencies generally make in the high thirty thousand. This is one of the professions that give professionals the opportunity to gain pay increases based on experience. The executive directors in the field of social work have often paid their dues in entry-level positions prior to achieving their high-ranking job that makes close to $80,000 per year.
Online Social Work Degrees 2021
To become a licensed social worker, learners first pursue a bachelor’s degree, which typically takes four years. Online courses offer greater flexibility.
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Best Colleges For Social Work
One of the helping professions that allows undergraduate degree holders an opportunity to directly impact the lives of human beings in need, social work is an excellent major to pursue for young people committed to social justice and helping their fellow man. While not a high-paying profession, there is plenty of opportunity in this field in the coming yearsthe Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 12% job growth through 2024. Commonly entered jobs for newly-minted graduates include rehabilitation counselor, probation officer, behavioral management aide, and human services specialist. Many BSW degree holders go on to pursue masters in social work degrees and will often enter such programs in advanced standing, only needing to complete half as many credits as those new to the discipline. The institutions that grace our Best Colleges for Social Work list do an exceptional job preparing students for this challenging but highly-rewarding career.
Click the links below for more information about each college’s social work program. to read our methodology.
What Can You Do With A Degree In Social Work
Social workers enjoy stable jobs and satisfying professional activities as they help people understand their rights, provide diagnoses for people experiencing mental, behavioral, and social instability, and manage cases to assist people in accessing charitable and healthcare benefits.
Social workers often exist in nonprofit organizations, private for-profit companies, and government agencies to provide care and support for people stuck in cycles of exploitation, like substance or physical abuse, as well as work with couples and families to provide therapy services.
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University Of New Hampshire
Durham, New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire offers a 28-29 month long MSW program, with a requirement of 62 credit hours to completion. Each credit hour comes at a cost of $770 to $845 per hour.
The degree can be completed through online courses and two required nine-month field internships, which can be within your geographical area. Most of the courses offered can be completed at your own pace, but some of the courses are offered as a live class, which would require virtual attendance at a certain time each week. The UNH degree offers four fields of practice:
- Health and Mental Health
- Children, Youth and Families
No campus visits are required at any time, and MSW students may concurrently earn a certificate in Intellectual and Development Disabilities.
UNH is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the UNH MSW is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education .
University Of New Hampshire Main Campus
Bachelor of Science in Social Work
The University of New Hampshire’s College of Health and Human Services maintains a top-ranked Social Work program. With an impressive 95 percent graduate placement rate, UNH’s program provides a solid return on investment. Students complete 40 hours of volunteer work and 450 hours of internship, and they also have the opportunity to participate in faculty research. Study abroad opportunities are available for Ireland and the Dominican Republic.
Coursework includes Social Welfare in a Global Context, Research Methods in Social Work, and Social Welfare Policy: History of Social and Economic Justice. Students also take four liberal arts courses which can cover topics such as anthropology, zoology, and diversity. Uniquely, UNH offers the only dual-degree adventure-based therapy program.
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Why Should I Get My Bachelors In Social Work Online
This important field began in the U.S. in the 19th century when benevolent societies and organizations began to address social problems being ignored by the government. These societies worked with the impoverished living in urban settings, immigrants, orphans, widows, recently emancipated enslaved people, and other groups. In 1898, New Yorks Columbia University began interventions in poor urban conditions which eventually lead to the first research and national association education of trained social workers utilizing evidence based research.
The National Association of Social Workers defines social work as a profession devoted to helping people function the best they can in their environment. Not everyone is equal when it comes to society and it can be impossible for segments of our population to access help or cope with complex situations.
University Of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Campus
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
The University of Pittsburgh offers a BA in Social work that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1973, and this program is consistently ranked highly at the national level. Aside from the major, this program also features the Child Welfare Education for Baccalaureates and the Child Welfare Education for Leadership Programs both of which can help prepare undergraduates for employment in public child welfare agencies.
On the other end of the age spectrum, the university offers Aging Initiatives and Programs. These prepare students to develop and support agencies focused on older adults in society. Other coursework focuses on areas such as African-American Health Issues, Global Perspectives in Social Work, Economics and Social Work, Ethnicity and Social Welfare, and Policy Analysis. In addition, the University of Pittsburgh is a productive research institution. Undergraduates are highly encouraged to participate in the novel work taking place.
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What Kind Of Social Work Degree Should You Get
Social workers divide their time between counseling, research, education, and policy making as they work to secure provisions for people from all different walks of life.
At College Choice, were committed to providing you with up-to-date, easy-to-understand information concerning Social Work education. Below, you will find our rankings for the best Bachelors in Social Work, complete with information about tuition, scholarships, and other necessary facts to help you make an informed decision about your future career. And if you’re thinking online, we’ve got you covered there too with our Best Online BSW Degrees.
Metropolitan State University Of Denver
The Metropolitan State University of Denver offers an online Bachelor of Science in Social Work. It prepares students to work within social and human services. Distance learners gain valuable skills and techniques to create change and make a difference through their work. Specializations within the bachelors degree in social work include:
- Case workers
- Program coordinators
- Community organizers
The online program prepares students for work within a variety of settings. Graduates work with diverse populations on numerous personal, interpersonal, and societal problems. Students learn from diverse and experienced professors who are dedicated to helping them learn and succeed. They receive dedicated student support from admission through graduation and beyond via the Office of Social Work Student Services. Qualified students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.
- Accreditation: Council on Social Work Education Higher Learning Commission
Tuition per credit: $370
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Is An Online Bsw Program Worth It
A bachelor’s degree is a major commitment of time, money, and effort, so it’s natural to wonder whether the outcome will be worth the cost. No answer suits everybody’s financial, family, and work circumstances. Some social work alumni have fulfilling careers in the field while others have had difficulty finding satisfying jobs. You might consider the following factors as you weigh the decision to enroll.
Why Are Internships Important
Many students rely on internships to give them workplace experience. Pursuing internships early in their undergraduate careers can help students decide if they would like a career in social work. Internships in social work are often challenging and provide an opportunity for students to make a real impact on the lives of individuals and communities.
Colleges with internship mentoring programs provide support for students who feel overwhelmed. Internships give students exposure to working professionals. By observing and relating to practicing social workers, interns can determine whether social work is the right career for them. Also, some students leverage unpaid internships into full-time jobs.
University Of Texas Arlington
Like many of the programs in our list, the University of Texas-Arlington offers both a general track and an advanced standing track, as well as part-time and full-time options. Students in both tracks can choose to specialize in either mental health and substance abuse or children and families. You do have to be a Texas resident to apply and enroll in this program.
You can learn more about the University of Texas at Arlington Social Work programs here.
Bachelor’s In Social Work Curriculum
- Social Work Practice: This course covers common social work environments, the skills required for specialist and generalist social work, and the core values of the field. Students explore the modern social service system and different models for providing social work services. The course also covers topics like levels of intervention, theoretical social work foundations, and client services.
- Social Service Delivery Systems: This course introduces social work majors to U.S. social policy and service delivery systems. Students learn about social services, mental health, and healthcare systems, with an emphasis on the historical development of these systems and their current challenges. The course also addresses specialized social services for distinct populations, such as the elderly and children.
- Human Behavior in the Social Environment: This course covers the development of social environments and human behavior within those environments. Students examine the role of culture in shaping individual values, worldviews, and beliefs with a focus on the way society shapes personal identity. The course also explores human development across the lifespan.
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