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Attaining The Masters In Social Work Degree

Written By onci on Thursday, February 23, 2012 | 7:49 PM

The Master of Social Work (MSW) is the second highest and most common degree attainable for the field of social work, with the Ph.D. being the highest. The Council on Social Work Education is the organization in the United States responsible for approving schools and courses where those who have an interest in social work can study and receive valid certification and degrees. To reach the master's level, students must graduate from an accredited graduate school with at least two years of education there, coupled with two years of actual field experience most likely through an internship. Surprisingly, undergraduate majors and minors are unnecessary in order to obtain your master's degree in this field. The "prerequisite" instead is a thorough background and knowledge in behavioral and social sciences, which can be acquired through internships, foundational courses, actual work experience, volunteer work, etc.

Those who enroll in MSW programs must, at some point, decide the specific area of social work they will focus on and the specific group they will cater to in their career, be it specific types of individuals, groups or agencies. According to the Department of Labor, the most common areas to work in are health care and the government. Jobs in social work are expected to grow quite a bit in the coming years, especially for social workers who specialize in working with senior citizens and in rural areas.

Admission into graduate school to obtain your master's degree in social work may also have some additional requirements, such as letters of reference, scores above 450 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, at least a 2.5 GPA, completion of an essay, and of course your prior college education transcripts. Your desire to practice social work should be evident by your other experience, service and volunteer work.

If you desire to enter in this field at the master's level, that's means you are indeed serious about becoming a licensed social worker. You will likely have taken time to research the requirements of the job, but there are other qualities you should have that will make you successful in this career, including qualities such as patience, compassion, social awareness, good listening skills, problem solving abilities and the ability to work with difficult cases.

If you have the heart, the passion, and all that it takes to make your mark as a social worker, then by all means go after it. The world needs dedicated, selfless people like you to make a difference in this world, and there's nothing more rewarding than that.
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