Why Many Are Pursuing Online Degrees In Social Work

You’ve decided you want to make a difference in the World.  A great way to do that is with a degree in social work, which will prepare you for a challenging but meaningful career helping others.  A career in social work is great for people of all ages, in particular those who already have rich life experiences in order to better empathize with others.

Careers for people with a degree in social work (often called “Human Services” degrees) include being a case worker, case manager, practitioner, clinician, youth counselor, or a social work generalist.  You will advocate for change in the lives of those who have had difficult life experiences.  You may work with children, the elderly, victims of trauma, addicts, and many other people who face adversity in life.  You may focus on topics such as advocacy, social justice, and financial literacy (if you are not already tired of listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio).  Many organizations will utilize your skills, such as nursing homes, schools, domestic violence agencies, veteran’s programs, and child welfare agencies.

There are many schools that offer degrees in social work 100% online.  Many have no application fees or entrance exams, and financial aid is available.  Employment for people with degrees in social work may include research, community outreach, and nonprofit or governmental organizations.  You may also find careers at places such as health insurers or universities.  Many related occupations have salaries ranging with medians from $70-83k nationwide, including $72,405 for mental health and substance abuse social workers and $82,872 for social and community service managers.  Furthermore, job growth is predicted, as the nation faces a crises of both homelessness and addiction. 

The list of schools which offer programs completely online is endless.  It includes Southern New Hampshire University, UMass Global, Maryville University, Walden University, and many more.  Some universities even offer grants for social change, such as Walden University, which allows you to receive up to $2,000 through their “Walden Leading Social Change Grant.”  They also offer 15% reduction for military servicemembers and veterans.  Many if not most of these institutions are also “brick and mortar” colleges that happen to offer programs completely online, particularly as schooling has become more Zoom-enabled in a post-virus World.  Some schools have courses that are as short as 8-weeks to fit your busy, full-time lifestyle, such as Liberty University, which has been offering Christian-based social work programs since 1971.

If you are already in possession of a Bachelor’s degree, there are many programs designed to offer you a Master’s or even Doctoral degree in various kinds of social work.  Be sure to inquire with various programs about what might be the best fit for your education history.  Many Bachelor’s programs allow you to transfer in with existing credits from other schools.  Once you have your degree, you may need to attain a certain level of accreditation or certification in order to get a job.  Requirements vary by state, so be sure to do your research for whichever state you reside in.

In conclusion, a degree in social work can be a great way to start or pivot your career to something about which you are more passionate.  Be sure to check with all the various programs that are offered online, as many have attractive tuition offers to entice new students to enroll.