Social work is a challenging as well as rewarding field. Most people enter this field because they desire to help others. They want to make life easier for people and make them more hopeful.
The scope of this field extends far and beyond to accommodate anything from addiction and mental health problems to volunteering for a simple community cleanup.
Due to such a wide scope of operation, social workers can be found in hospitals, schools, private clinics, and even government institutions. A great demand exists for adept social workers in the job market.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the overall rate of employment of social workers is to grow by approximately 12% by 2030.
You can work as a social worker with a bachelor’s degree and help people. However, you’ll be able to further specialize your scope of operations if you apply for a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) degree.
It will help further your career, and you’ll be eligible for a much higher salary package. In addition, you will be better able to support and provide services to your clientele, tap opportunities and have greater job security.
Some benefits of pursuing a social work degree are:
- Greater Opportunity To Serve Others In Need
A social worker’s primary function and motive are to help others in need. They believe in social justice and can have a huge impact on society. A master’s in Social Work will help them better assess a situation and develop a plan to help the person in need.
People who pursue a master’s in this domain have access to various social work settings as part of their academic and practical courses, so they can learn to work adeptly in them. They also have access to resources to help people that are a vulnerable part of society, like immigrants, the homeless, the victims of domestic and sexual abuse, etc.
Social workers are generally caring, empathetic, compassionate, generous, and extremely kind-hearted. These traits help them navigate the path to changing other people’s lives.
- Advanced Training And Education Opportunities
Masters in Social Work programs are based on practical learning and training. Hence, most of the academic model incorporates practical work in the courses. You can demonstrate your ability to handle simple and complex problems through them and get trained for on-the-job problems.
Moreover, as part of this program, you are taught statistics, research, social welfare policies and regulations, and even psychotherapy. Therefore, you can learn a lot through this program.
An MSW degree is mandatory if you plan on pursuing any one of the following things in the future:
- If you plan on specializing in any specific branch of social work like mental health counseling and consultation.
- If you want to work in the administrative, healthcare, or education sector.
- If you want to open your clinic or practice.
- Managerial And Leadership Opportunities
Social workers often pursue a master’s degree to develop themselves for organizational and managerial roles better. A bachelor’s degree can get you an entry-level position in a good organization; however, you will not be eligible for higher positions with this qualification. Once you’ve done an MSW, you can transition into a more supervisory role.
Moreover, clinical training in MSW eventually helps them better analyze the people around them, and they are much better decision-makers than they were in the past.
- Increased Earning Potential And Salary Packages
While most people opt for this field because of its philanthropic nature, others also want to earn a good income. A master’s degree will increase your earning potential by 25 percent, and you’ll eventually be eligible for much better salary packages.
Social workers are generally seen to have low salaries and benefits, which ultimately lead to worker burnout. However, once they’ve done their masters, they are eligible for higher salary packages. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), social workers with a Master’s in Social Work earn 13,000 USD greater than those with only a Bachelor’s in Social Work.
You can advance to high-paying jobs once you’ve done your MSW. You can go for direct social service agencies and organizations, government organizations, and even open your practice. Opening your practice has the highest returns among all the above-stated career paths.
- Varying And Multiple Specializations
Social Work can be broadly divided into three domains, each requiring different skills and qualifications. These domains are listed below with details:
- Direct Practice Social Work
A direct practice social work category only requires a bachelor’s degree in social work. You can practice it easily with a BSW. Here, you work one-to-one with people, including children, families, educationists, or even the entire community.
- Macro Social Work
The macro social work domain revolves around the government institutions and other public and private institutions that have the power to legislate and implement programs for the betterment of society. You can propose new plans and programs and await their approval to help those in need at a macro or large level.
- Clinical Social Work
Clinical social work requires a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) degree because more specialized and advanced techniques are used. The greater the knowledge, the better they can handle a tough situation when it arises.
You typically work with vulnerable people and diagnose and treat their problems. However, you might need to work hours upon hours under supervision to obtain a license to practice independently.
Social work is an incredibly pleasant and fulfilling field, and you feel a sense of accomplishment after helping someone in need. If you are still skeptical about a master’s in social work, you should consider it with an open mind and weigh the pros and cons. The advantages of going for a master’s degree are endless and can set a linear career path for you. All the results depend upon your ability to work hard and learn as much as possible.
Hope you enjoyed the article and got a gist of why you should pursue a social work degree and pursue it as a full-time career.