5 Benefits of Earning a Master of Social Work Degree

For some people, pursuing higher education and obtaining a master of social work is a no-brainer. For others, they carefully way the pros and cons of investing their time and money in an advanced degree. If you find yourself in the latter group, the following benefits of an MSW may be able to provide some clarity as you make your decision.

1. More Competitive Candidate

One of the main benefits to pursuing a higher degree is the doors it can open professionally. Many jobs in the social work field require an advanced degree, particularly those at educational institutions, administration, and hospitals. Even if they don’t, having a master’s in social work will put you a step ahead of the competition. Once you receive your degree, you have the option to take a test to become a licensed professional. Every state has different licensing requirements, but getting a master’s is the first step in moving up the ladder.

2. Better Compensation

Most people who hold advanced degrees also make more money than their counterparts who don’t. While social work isn’t known as a lucrative field, having a master of social work will help you negotiate a better starting salary at a new job or help you get a raise at your current job. On average, a person holding a master’s in social work will make $20,000 dollars more a year than a person who only holds a bachelor’s degree. Depending on where you work, some companies may provide tuition reimbursement and/or offer a specific salary increase once you complete your degree.

3. Social Work Is a Growing Field

Over the next 10 years, employment within the social work field is expected to increase by 12 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tight economic positions, aging baby boomers, and more and more people facing financial hardships means there will always be a need for social workers and people who work in this field.

4. Additional Knowledge

Social workers will be the first people to tell you they never stop learning. To get your degree you’ll be required to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours. These hours will build upon what you learned during your undergraduate courses, but in much more details. You also learn more about real-world concepts you can implement in your current job or market in job interviews.

5. Valuable Field Work

In addition to educational hours required for the master of social work degree, many programs require students to have a certain number of hours (often around a thousand) of field work in order to graduate. This will help you gain a better understanding of where and who you want to work with after your finished. Many employers also want to see this type of experience on a resume.

Getting a master’s degree in social work is a huge achievement. It’s also a big commitment and not one to enter into lightly. However, once you finish the program not only will you have achieved an incredible personal goal, you’ll be in a better position to help others around you, which is what social work is all about.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs