If you are interested in taking on rewarding clinical or administrative roles in the field of social work, a master’s degree is essential. Graduate education can also help you increase your earning potential; the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a mean annual wage of $59,650 for clinical healthcare social workers (a position that nearly always requires an MSW), compared to $45,840 for those in individual and family services.
Not sure if you’re ready to pursue your master’s in social work? You’ll be ready to enroll in a graduate program after you’ve examined these three top benefits of obtaining your MSW:
- Development of Clinical Assessment and Management Skills A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entry into most direct service social work jobs, but if you’re looking to move into the arena of clinical social work (including healthcare, mental health and substance abuse social work), you’ll benefit from an MSW, which will equip you with the clinical skills needed to accurately examine, diagnose and treat clients. Graduate-level courses also help you improve your management skills, which are essential for success in any role. Social work administration requires a unique set of skills that can only be obtained through advanced coursework and exposure to the field on a macro level.
- Supervised Field Placements The skills and knowledge gained through exposure to graduate-level faculty is vital, but your professional understanding and abilities will skyrocket once you’re placed in a supervised field placement. Practical experience is a cornerstone of the MSW program at the Rutgers School of Social Work. Not only will you be able to directly apply the theoretical understanding you’ve gained through upper-level coursework in a practical setting, your placement will give you numerous professional connections to network in your preferred field. Occasionally, field placements lead directly to full-time work.
- Focus on Your Goals In whichever area of social work your interests lie, you can pursue them further when you enroll in a an MSW program. As a Rutgers online MSW student, you’ll delve into a clinically focused area of the profession. Clinical specialties, such as mental health and substance abuse, require that you earn an MSW degree and immerse yourself in the challenges, possibilities and rewards that work in these areas can bring. Ultimately, an MSW from Rutgers will both strengthen your understanding of clinical study and broaden the scope of available social work positions.
An MSW may be the only obstacle between you and your dream career. Whether your goal is a better paycheck or a more rewarding position, the skills and understanding you gain through graduate studies and field placement experiences will prepare you for success in a variety of exciting and promising areas of social work.