“Do I need a master’s in social work (MSW)?” If you’re considering becoming a social worker, you’re no doubt asking yourself this question. In many fields, a graduate education is very valuable — while in some others, it can delay you from getting key job experience without providing very much value in return. Some professionals choose to get an advanced degree early in their career, while others wait several years. Where do things stand with the master’s in social work (MSW) degree? Here’s a brief overview of issues you should keep in mind if you plan to become a social worker or other counselor.
Can I Be A Social Worker Without a Master’s in Social Work (MSW)?
If you plan to become a social worker, counselor, or licensed mental health professional, it is definitely to your benefit to get a master’s in social work (MSW) degree. This is particularly true if you plan to be a social worker, whether working with children, troubled adults or other populations. Government regulations about social work continue to grow more strict as experts focus on data-driven evidence that social counseling is effective. A degree will help a new professional in the field meet evolving standards.
What Kind of Traits Does a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Graduate Need?
No matter what your professional goal is, there are some traits common to every master’s in social work (MSW) graduates. First and foremost, a concern for the welfare of others is paramount. You must have the empathy to help people discover and work through their issues. However, it is also important to have personal endurance and self-knowledge so that the rigors of the job don’t lead to burnout. Likewise, you will be expected to file many formal reports and handle a variety of challenging priorities. Emotional intelligence and analytical ability are both necessary for a successful social work career.
What Does A Work Day Look Like for a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Graduate?
In some cases, social workers may make trips to households and residential facilities where their clients may be in trouble. Most social workers will begin and end the day in their office. They will begin each morning by reviewing case files pertaining to the clients they have seen recently and those they will see in the near future. It may also be necessary to review the resources available to each client. During one-on-one meetings and phone calls, it is up to the social worker to tailor a plan based on the needs of each client and provide motivation to achieve it. Then they follow up and track client progress.
Should You Achieve Your Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Early In Your Career?
While some degrees are just as valuable if you get them later on in your career, a master’s in social work (MSW) is one that you can pursue as early as possible. Why? The degree opens up great new career opportunities and allows you to stake out a leadership position in your field. Answer the question “do I need a master’s in social work (MSW)?” correctly and you’ll gain superior preparation and better outcomes.