Social workers use their training and experience to help people overcome all kinds of social problems. The demand for trained and licensed social workers is expected to grow through 2018, and social work is a popular option for adults seeking a new career. For the convenience of these adult learners, a variety of colleges and universities offer accredited social work degree programs online. The best online degrees in social work prepare students for jobs in social service agencies, nonprofit organizations and even hospitals and clinics. Top online social work degree programs offer academic and clinical training in a variety of social work subspecialties.
Top Featured Social Work Programs
About the Best Online Degrees in Social Work
Social work degree programs can have a variety of names, such as Human Services, Social Science, and Social Work. Graduates can work in direct social service, in programs for populations such as the homeless, seniors or children. With higher degrees, social service specialists can also provide clinical social work services and work with local and national government entities to set social service policies to solve specific social and community problems. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for 2010, social work professionals earned an average of $45,000.
Online Undergraduate Degrees in Social Work
A career in social work can begin with a two year Associate’s degree, available online from numerous two year colleges and vocational schools. But a Bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field paves the way to higher earnings and work in clinical social work. An online bachelor’s in social work program typically includes coursework in the theory of social work, but online programs lack the field placement phase for clinical training. Courses typically offered for a social work major include topics in social policy, family behavior, ethics, abnormal psychology and crisis intervention. The best online undergraduate degrees in social work offer courses in specialized areas of social service as well, such as working with substance abusers or children.
Online Master’s in Social Work Programs
While many social work positions in direct services require only an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, the path to a career in clinical social work, administration and social policymaking begins with a Master of Science degree. An MS degree opens doors to work in clinics, hospitals and rehab centers, as well as nursing homes and educational settings. The best online master’s degrees in social work offer coursework in selected topics as well as social policy, psychology and clinical care. Online master’s in social work programs prepare students for licensure or certification if applicable in their state. The MS degree can also lead to further study at the doctoral level.
Choosing the Best Online Social Work Degree Program
Social work offers opportunities to help people and the world in many ways. Social workers set policies, design programs and work in direct services to solve problems. The best online degrees in social work are offered by a number reputable, accredited institutions in the USA and abroad. Choosing good schools for online study in social work depends on a variety of factors, including the type of social work specialty desired and the reputation of the institution. Social work degree rankings available online emphasize the importance of a comprehensive program that includes a thorough grounding in the field along with options for specialization in one or more of the many areas in which social workers are needed.