If you are interested in helping enhance others emotional and physical well-being, reduce their stress, and improve their overall lives through intervention techniques, then a degree in social work is right for you. Social workers help individuals, families, and children with all facets of their lives, including social, medical, financial, and interpersonal problems. If you want to obtain an associate’s, bachelors, master’s, or other certifications in social work, then doing so online at an accredited distance learning institution will allow you the flexibility to take classes while you work and keep student loans at a minimum.
Social work students take classes that focus on helping their community live healthy and prosperous lives. You will gain a deep understanding of appropriate counseling techniques, behavioral analysis, intervention strategies, social welfare policy, and research methods. Typical coursework includes aging and disability, health policy, human rights and cultural diversity, law and public policy, substance abuse and addiction, human psychological and behavioral analysis, and clinical practice. Students will learn how to help motivate families to change through applying for social programs and assistance, empower individuals to maintain healthy relationships, and ensure a high level of care is brought to every patient with a physical or mental illness.
There are many different career paths for students who graduate with a degree in social work. The two most common degrees are the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and the Master of Social Work (MSW). In order to work in the healthcare or clinical setting, it will typically require an MSW. When getting your degree in social work, it is important you choose a specialty that you are passionate about in order to narrow down your employment options and begin a career that most interests you. For example, you could focus your studies on child welfare, family services, child protective services, substance abuse, criminal justice and corrections, mental health and psychiatric, military and veterans, and hospice and gerontology.
Licenses and certification requirements will vary from state to state, so it is important to check with your local requirements. Also, be sure that the degree program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and will prepare you for the American Social Work Board (ASWB) exam. Be sure to research which credentials will be best for your specific career interests.
No matter which area of specialty you want to become involved in, social workers have a positive job outlook with an increase of 19 percent over the next ten years. With the increasing demand, flexible career options, and opportunity to make a difference, it is a great time to become a social worker.