Bachelor of Social Work: Online and Campus-Based Programs
Social workers assist people in finding solutions to their personal and emotional problems. A bachelor's degree in social work can help you land an entry-level position in the field, and some programs are available partially online. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Can I Work as a Social Worker if I Have a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work?
A bachelor's degree is common for entry-level social workers. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), certain positions - especially those in health or educational settings - require you to have a master's degree (www.bls.gov). The Council on Social Work Education reports that there are many accredited programs available at either the undergraduate or graduate degree levels (www.cswe.org).
|Required Degree||Bachelor's for entry-level positions; some positions require master's degree|
|Online Options||Partially-online bachelor's programs with in-person requirements available|
|Common Courses||Research methods, human behavior, families and substance abuse, human diversity, social welfare policies|
|Job Outlook||12% growth projected between 2014-2024*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Can I Get This Degree Online?
Online programs are available, though most are offered in a hybrid format. There are also flexible campus-based programs available; you'll be able to attend classes at night and maintain any daytime commitments. Many degree programs do, however, require that you complete a practicum in a social work setting.
Fully online bachelor's degrees are uncommon. There are far greater opportunities to get an online degree at the graduate level. Even if you have trouble finding a totally online course setup, you can take many of the required courses online.
Be sure to verify if an online program is fully accredited. The Council on Social Work Education maintains a list of all programs that they have accredited on their website.
What Classes Do I Take?
Some programs allow you to specialize in certain areas like gerontology, child or family services, mental health or community outreach. Most programs include classes like:
- Human behavior
- Social welfare policies
- Research methods
- Perspectives on aging
- Social statistics
- Human diversity
- Families and substance abuse
Is This a Good Career Field?
The BLS stated that social worker jobs were expected to grow faster than average from 2014-2024. According to their site, job prospects were expected to be good for those specializing in working with the aged or individuals located in rural areas. Social work positions in large urban areas were typically expected to be scarcer due to increased job competition.
In 2014, the mean annual wage for people working in healthcare social work was $53,590. Social workers in the mental health field had a mean annual wage of $45,820, and social workers working in schools or with children and families had a mean annual wage of $46,180.
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