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How to Get Your Master’s in Social Work Online

March 12, 2018

The Benefits of Earning Your MSW Online

Wherever there is an individual or community caught in a social struggle, chances are there is a social worker endeavoring to help them through it. Within every societal institution—including schools, community centers and nonprofits—social workers are involved with trying to resolve a diverse set of issues that arise when people are challenged in their relationships to social constructs and other individuals. It is a crucial role that helps keep local and global communities healthy, safe, happy and running smoothly.

But while the need for social workers abounds, it is a profession that sometimes goes unnoticed, or at least unconsidered, by the larger population.

While receiving accolades may be far from the average social worker’s mind, it’s important to let others know of the good work being done, and the opportunities that lie within this field. After all, not every profession has the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in society and impact individuals’ lives to the degree social work does. Below, we’ve provided a simple guide to what social work is, what roles are associated with the profession and how one can become a social worker, exploring the experiences and credentials needed to apply for an online Master of Social Work (MSW).

The Definition of Good

To understand the importance of, and need for, social workers in our communities, it’s useful to have a clear understanding of what a social worker actually does. Put simply, this is a career focused on helping those in need within society—either helping them respond to a traumatic experience or helping at-risk populations avoid negative situations and outcomes.

The end goal for social workers is clear—to help others get through through difficult times and succeed in the future. They do this by positioning themselves as a partner to individual clients in multiple environments, including hospitals and health clinics, schools, human service agencies, private practices and others. But the clinical methods, standards for interpersonal skills and comprehensive knowledge needed to facilitate success in the field can be extremely varied in each of those contexts. A social worker must have great communication skills, strong research and analytical abilities and an in-depth understanding of human behavior within multiple areas of society.1

What Jobs Prepare You to Be a Social Worker?

Social work is unique in that it’s a career that spans nearly every facet of society. This means that experience in almost any background can benefit your social work career and influence your potential areas of focus. In all likelihood, this is why so many contemporary social workers are actually career-switchers who come from various careers, including active duty military, performance arts, law and business consulting. Not to mention, this is a field that continues to show faster than average job growth, so there is always demand for qualified individuals.2

If you are considering switching careers and becoming a social worker, here are a few simple questions you can ask to see if your background, personal skill set and interests are a good fit:

  1. Do you have a bachelor’s degree?
  2. Do you volunteer regularly and enjoy helping others?
  3. Do you desire to make a difference in your community?

If you answered “yes” to these three questions, social work may be a good career for you, and you may be eligible to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW).3 The next step is to find a degree program that works for you.

What Is a Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree?

A master’s degree in social work allows students already in the social work field expand their skill set and prepare for licensure opportunities, and it lets those interested in pursuing a future in social work gain the practical experience and education needed to begin their career.

At the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, students from diverse backgrounds are able to gather and learn from top professors with real-world social work experience.

Plus, students can now enroll in the online MSW program. This is a perfect option for working professionals who want to hone their abilities or switch careers without leaving their full-time job. It lets you benefit from a world-class faculty from anywhere you want, on a schedule completely your own.

The online MSW program gives students the option to specialize their knowledge and expertise to the areas of social work in which they’re most interested, including advanced clinical practice with individuals and families, group work and community practice. However, it also equips students with the wide variety of skills needed to succeed in any and all social work applications and positions.

How to Get an MSW

To learn more about the online Master of Social Work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, contact an Admissions Advisor today at 866-545-9506.


1. Retrieved on February 19, 2018, from socialworkers.org/News/Facts/Social-Workers
2. Retrieved on February 21, 2018, from bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
3. Retrieved on February 19, 2018, from socialworklicensure.org/articles/become-a-social-worker.html#context/api/listings/prefilter