What Skills Will I Learn in a Social Work Degree Program?

The minimum credential required to enter the field of social work is a bachelor's degree. Program curricula are designed to provide students with a variety of professional competencies. In addition to management-related courses, most degree programs include first-person field work experiences as part of the skills-development process. Read more to discover the skills students might acquire while studying for social work degrees. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Social Work Degrees

Social work degree curricula span the entire educational spectrum. There are currently 523 accredited bachelor's and 269 master's programs in social work, according to the Council on Social Work Education. The Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work reported over 80 doctoral programs. The skills learned vary by degree level and include clinical assessment, social program administration, research and outreach development.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Online Availability Hybrid programs available at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels
Certification/Licensure Some states have requirements for non-clinical social workers; clinical social workers must be licensed by state
Work Environment Office, clinics, schools, private practices, senior facilities
Median Salary (2018) $49,470 (for social workers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 16% (for social workers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Skills Learned in Bachelor of Social Work Programs

Undergraduate studies include learning to better understand human behavior, and how to apply that knowledge when delivering social work services. Students can explore research methods, social welfare policies and the social work practice as part of the classroom portion of their curricula. Most programs also engage students in field experiences. These allow students to acquire hands-on skills as they prepare to solve and prevent social and individual problems.

Skills Learned in Master of Social Work Programs

Master's degree programs in social work go beyond the scope of bachelor's degree programs to immerse learners in integrative social projects. Students of such programs take courses in leadership, child welfare, adult development, organizational theory and social influences. They may choose to focus their skills in one area such as child welfare, drug counseling or administrative law. Throughout the degree program, students will generally spend up to 21 hours each week participating in clinical rotations in preparation for fulfilling their states' social worker licensing requirements.

Skills Learned in Doctor of Social Work Programs

Doctoral social work programs are designed to produce graduates who possess the skills required to delve deep into complex human problems and extracting new knowledge and solutions through research. Participants of doctoral programs may develop skills in researching contemporary issues in social work. Doctoral candidates may also learn how to develop the social work research and knowledge that might be utilized by professionals such as practitioners and policy makers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
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  • Ashford University

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    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

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  • Colorado State University Global

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    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

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  • Florida Tech

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    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Post University

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  • Northcentral University

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