Best Online Social Work Degrees For Success In 2020

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If you like people and want to make a difference in the world, social work might be the right career path for you. How can you get started? With a social work degree. One of the best ways to study these days is online — it’s a flexible, affordable, and attainable way of earning a degree. There are plenty of options to earn an online social work degree. Read on to find out our top picks for schools, and what an online social work degree is like.



Best Online Social Work Degrees


Best online social work degrees infographic table by UoPeople



Online Social Work Degree Curriculum

Many online social work degrees, especially ones that are undergraduate, include general courses and broad information to prepare graduates for a wide range of careers in social work.


In an online social work degree, students may take courses from departments such as sociology, criminal justice, psychology, education, and political science. Some common courses in a social work degree include Introduction to Social Work, Multiculturalism and Diversity, Human Behavior, Social Work Research, and Social Policy and Advocacy.



How To Choose A Social Work Program

In your online social work degree, you will learn from a variety of fields and have the opportunity for internships and hands-on projects. In order to choose the best program for you, take into consideration what the curriculum includes, admissions requirements, tuition prices and financial aid available, student reviews on the program, and potential for networking and professional engagement.



Online social work degree students together at table
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash



Social Work Internships For Online Social Work Degree

Most social work programs, including those administered online, will require an internship or practicum experience in the field.


By participating in an internship, students have the chance to understand real-world issues and demands that social workers face in their daily work. These internships are done under the supervision of an experienced and qualified senior social worker, and students get the opportunity to learn from real working professionals.


Social work internships are usually the equivalent of one college course per semester, with regard to time commitment. Oftentimes, internships will last for an entire year so that the students establish relationships with their mentor and organization.


While on-campus programs may have a list of local organizations, online students in a social work degree program may need to spend time finding their own internship or practicum.



Social workers together at table
Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels



2 Frequently Asked Questions About Online Social Work

1. Do Social Workers Need A License?


Clinical social workers need to be licensed by the state they intend to work in before they can begin practicing. Many states will also require social workers to be licensed even if they do not intend to practice clinically.


Licensure is administered by the Association of Social Work Boards, and exams are given for various graduation levels, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and clinical.


All states require doctorate-trained clinical social workers to obtain a license before they can practice. Most states require social workers with a master’s degree to be licensed as well, whether they engage in clinical practice or not. Many states issue an initial license for social workers who have completed a bachelor’s degree in the field from an accredited college or university. In order to be eligible for licensure, the candidate must show proof of graduation from a CSWE (Council on Social Work) accredited program.



2. How Much Do Social Workers Make?


The average salary for social workers in the United States is $47,000 per year. Some social workers with experience and working in high-paying areas can make up to $90,000.


Also, career outlook for social workers is good. According to the BLS, this field is growing at 11%, which is much faster than average.



Online Study — What’s It Like?

Studying from your computer with an online social work degree is a flexible and convenient way to get a social work degree. You will be able to communicate with professors and university staff over email, and won’t need to step onto campus for any reason.


You can choose the best program for you, without worrying about where it is located. Here are some other aspects of online study for a social work degree:



Studying online social work degree on laptop at table
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash



1. Learning On Your Own Schedule


Studying online means that you get to choose when and how you study. Your individual learning styles can take precedence and you can learn the materials in your own way. Creating your own schedule for your learning also means that you can still work at your job, take care of your family, and attend to all your current needs. For online study, you get to choose when studying works for your schedule and lifestyle.



2. Accessing Information Online


In an online learning environment, all of your lectures, readings, videos, and resources are available online. Studying online means that you can use these resources in the ways that make the most sense for you. You can download then, review them, and access them at later dates as well.



3. Faculty That Cares


Because online instructors don’t need to spend time on campus, and can work from anywhere, they may be more available and accessible to students than on-campus faculty. They may also spend more time working with students, reading their work, and giving feedback due to the convenience of working online.



The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to become a social worker or further your expertise in the field, an online social work degree is the perfect way to take the next step in your career. There are many reputable, affordable, and quality online social work degree programs to choose from, and these degree programs are often more flexible and equal in quality to their on-campus equivalents.