Accelerated master's programs in social work are generally geared towards persons who have been exposed to social work at an academic level previously, and a number of these courses are available online and so offer a certain amount of flexibility. With a Master's in Social Work, persons can be eligible for careers as a counselor, social worker or human resource-related positions. This article will present an overview of the online programs available as well as some of the professions associated with this degree program.
Overview of Online Accelerated Master's Degree Programs in Social Work
Online Master of Science in Social Administration
This program offers three specialization areas: Children, Youth and Families; Community Practice for Social Change; and Mental Health with Adults and takes two years to complete. Core courses include Research Methods in Social Work, Social Policy, and Human Development. When in the accelerated program, specialized courses include Family Systems Interventions, Social Work with Child Abuse & Family Violence and Mental Health Policy & Service Delivery. To be accepted into the accelerated master's program, a bachelor's degree in social work is required.
Online Master of Science in Social Work - one-year program
In the accelerated option of this online program, students complete an intensive summer program that allows them to start the fall semester as a second-year student. By doing this, the student can complete the master's program in a year. Courses include Human Behaviour and the Social Environment and Social Welfare Policy. For admission to the accelerated master's program, students must have earned a bachelor's degree in social work no more than five years before applying.
Master of Science in Social Work - eight months program (full-time)
This program offers an accelerated online option that allows students to bypass the foundation courses they would have already learned to focus only on advanced courses. In this way, students can complete the program in eight months if done full-time or sixteen months part-time. This program includes courses that specialize in Clinical Assessment, Research, and Integrated Practice. To be accepted into this program, students need a bachelor's in social work and a letter of recommendation. The student will also need an evaluation from their former school and an essay that meets the relevant requirements must be submitted.
Career Options for a Master of Social Work Degree
Human Resource Manager
Human resource managers are required to focus on the employment and job satisfaction of a company's staff complement. To accomplish this, they often conduct employee assessments and arrange social activities for the staff to maintain morale. When trained in social work, human resource managers are better able to assess the needs of the staff as well as provide advice where needed.
Substance Abuse and Recovery Counselor
Persons in this role work with individuals who have issues with substance abuse and help them in their recovery. Counselors may work with public or private entities that have drug treatment or rehabilitation programs. With a master's degree in social work, a counselor would have been trained to evaluate the individual needs and provide support. Since some of the programs offer specialization in substance abuse, this would be ideal for someone who wants to pursue this particular career.
Mental Health Counselor
As mental health counselors, persons work with individuals who struggle with the symptoms and consequences of mental illness. Counselors help them cope with the illness and provide aid where needed. Mental health counselors may work with companies that have an established mental health program or open their own offices. A master's degree in social work that specializes in mental health areas would be integral to this profession as it would give the counselor the skills needed to assist persons with mental illness.
Child or Family Therapist
In this role, persons focus on children and family interactions. They are required to assess children's needs especially if mental illness or a developmental delay is involved. With a master's degree in social work, a therapist would be trained to adequately evaluate children and recommend potential therapies. It would be helpful if the degree program chosen focused on children and families.
Social workers can work in a variety of environments, such as hospitals, clinics, schools, and the foster care system. In each of these environments, they would be required to assess the emotional, behavioral and educational states of children and at times, adults. Persons with a master's degree in social work will learn how to properly evaluate their charges and provide the necessary support.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2019)*||Job Growth (2019 - 2029)*|
|Human Resource Manager||$116,720||6%|
|Substance Abuse and Recovery Counselor||$46,240||25%|
|Mental Health Counselor||$46,240||25%|
|Child or Family Therapist||$49,610||22%|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The program options and career opportunities for a master's degree in social work are numerous. By attaining this degree, persons are able to play an essential role in their community through professions related to social work, human resources and counseling.