About the Master’s of Social Work (MSW) Degree
The Master’s of Social Work degree is one of the most flexible and powerful degrees you can get if you wish to help your community with social work. Whether you want to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who helps their clients with therapy, or a Licensed Advanced Macro Social Worker (LAMSW) who specializes in research to effect policy change, the Master’s of Social Work will meet your educational needs. You will learn a wide variety of skills and a vast and deep knowledge base while studying for your Master’s of Social Work (MSW). Many MSW programs feature specializations such as clinical therapeutic practice for those interested in pursuing a license as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). You will also broaden your social work knowledge base with advanced deep dives into social work topics like cultural competency, dual-diagnosis mental health therapy techniques, equity and inclusion and macro level research in Social Work. The MSW has so many specializations that it’s really up to the student to discover what aspect of social work lights them up and to pursue their dreams.
Why become a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree holder?
The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree gives you so many tools and techniques that you can choose what form of licensure fits your dreams of how to impact your community in the best way possible. Many people feel most comfortable working in a large social work organization whether in the Public sector working with families and children or a private clinical setting, or even going into business for oneself with their own practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) providing therapy for their clients. The MSW opens many doors and is a requirement for a wide variety of Social Work licenses. It’s also a requirement for those seeking to attain the highest levels of social work education and licensure by going on to pursue their Doctorate in Social Work. If you have a desire to help your community, or even to help change society itself by studying and helping to implement social work policies, the Master of Social Work (MSW) is a great educational choice.
Steps to become a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree holder?
You will need to complete the following steps to become an MSW degree holder:
- You will need to apply for a Bachelor of Social Work program or a closely related degree such as a Bachelor’s of Sociology, Psychology or Counseling. It’s important to know that Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree holders, from a Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program are usually favored by Master of Social Work (MSW) programs.
- Explore various Master of Social Work (MSW) programs to find a degree concentration that suits your desired career for example: a focus on Policy, Research or Clinical Therapy.
- Bolster your credentials with volunteer work or by working in a state that allows a Licensed Social Worker Baccalaureate (LSWB) license.
- Apply to the program of your choice and then complete your program which can be over the usual 2 year pace, or some Universities and Colleges offer more concentrated accelerated programs.