Things To Know About Online Social Worker Schools

If you want to be a social worker, but feel you don’t have the time for the actual studies, you should consider online social worker schools. There are many of them available, and studying in this manner allows you to create your own schedule. This is possible due to the flexibility of an online course, thereby allowing you to complete it in your own time. You will not have to compromise on hours spent on your job or with your children.

How To Become A Social Worker Online

Becoming a social worker online is actually a lot easier than you may think provided you are willing to put in the work needed to prepare for the exam and you future career. Here are the basic steps that you should follow in order to become a social worker online:

  • The first thing you need to do is to research the exact licensing and other requirements required by your state. Each state has its own rules and regulations about who can be a social worker, so make sure that you know what the standards are for your state before you begin your search for an online school. Most states require that you get a Master’s Degree in social work.Online Studies
  • Next, you should start researching the various online social worker schools that are available. A list of the most popular ones is at the end of this article. These schools are CSWE accredited. If the school you attend is not accredited then you will probably not be able to get your license and you will not be able to practice as a social worker in earnest. Don’t waste your time by attending a school that is not accredited.
  • Once you’ve researched them all, narrow them down to your favorite options and apply. When you start receiving acceptance letters you can begin to determine which online school is best for you. Different students do online programs for different reasons. For example if you are doing the program online so you can spend more time with your children, you will need to do a program that will allow you to have flexible hours so you can fit them around your children’s schedule.
  • Then of course you will simply need to complete the curriculum that the online course provides. This is the hardest part of becoming a social worker because this is where all of the hard work comes in. As long as you manage your time well and you do all of the work to the best of your ability, you should be fine.
  • Last, but not least, you will need to apply for the state licensing exam. Again there will be different requirements in different states, so make sure that you know what the requirements for your state are before you apply for the licensing examination.

Online Degrees And Specializations

As mentioned earlier, you will probably need a Master’s Degree in order to become a social worker. Some states will accept a Bachelor’s Degree, but these are few and far between and your employment opportunities will be better if you get a Master’s Degree. You will also be taken more seriously by the profession.

There are also a number of specializations in the field that you may be interested in pursuing through an online qualification. These are:

  • Medical and Public Health
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  • Child, Family, and School

In the case of medical and public health you will be required to help patients through difficult times. If they have terminal illnesses that they are struggling to cope with it will be your responsibility to help them cope. You will also provide advice and a plan for patients and their caregivers to follow after they have been discharged from hospital.

Mental health and substance abuse is a fairly self-explanatory branch of social work that you could study. Essentially if you specialize in this, it will be your responsibility to help people who suffers from these problems, through their situation.

And last but not least, everyone’s favorite social work specialty, children. In this specialization you will learn how to improve the social well-being of children and their families.

Educational and Certification Requirements

Although it was previously mentioned that it is possible in some states to be a social worker with a Master’s degree, it is recommended that you get a Master’s degree in any case. This is because a Bachelor’s degree prepares you for the general work you will do as a social worker, while a Master’s degree prepares you for your specialty. Thus it is suggested that you look only for those online social worker schools that will allow you to pursue a Master’s degree as this will definitely open more doors for you. You will have to complete the bachelor’s degree first, which will take two years, before you can do the master’s degree, which will take an additional two years, meaning that you will study for four years in total. It also means that if you are not sure about the program you can stop after two years. And if you haven’t chosen an area that you would like to specialize in you can look for those jobs that will take you with just a bachelor’s degree. You do not have to know what your specialization will be right from the beginning. You may also have to work extra clinical hours or engage in continuing education to remain certified in some states, so be aware of the rules and regulations for your particular state.

Coursework

The general classes that you will most likely have to take will include the following topics:

  • Psychology and sociology classes in human behavior and interaction
  • Mathe
  • Natural science
  • English
  • History
  • Humanities

The main point of a social worker degree is to prepare you for dealing with the emotional problems of others, therefore, Psychology plays a big part in this regard. This makes it essential that you study the discipline in some detail in order to be a successful social worker. In addition, you will probably have to focus on the following areas of psychology at your online school in order to pass the curriculum:

  • Growth and Development
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Social Problems
  • Marriage and Family
  • State Government and The Social Services System

Online degree programs are very theoretical, but you may be surprised to hear that this is not all that different from the kinds of programs you will have to go through in a classroom situation. This makes it an ideal type of qualification to earn online. If you have a good mind for theory then you will not find these online social worker courses very difficult to complete at all.

Is On-site Training Required?

online social worker schoolsWith most of these online social worker programs you will not be required to engage in on-site training. Like it was mentioned in the previous section these qualifications are largely theoretical in nature. However in most states, you are required to complete a certain number of hours under supervision after you complete the theoretical part of your qualification and before you are able to qualify for a social worker license. It is suggested that you seek an internship of this nature even if it is not required by your state. This is because you will be a more confident social worker when you begin your actual career if you already have some experience in the field. If you want to go forward in your job with confidence as well as with the expertise and knowledge required to do that job well, then you should make an effort to engage in some kind of practical training. This will also look good on your resume because it will mean that you made the effort to improve your skills as much as possible before applying for a job. Even though online schools are just as valid as the other kind, many employers will take your online qualification more seriously if you already have made the effort to get some experience in the field.

Career Opportunities

The career opportunities for someone who has completed an online social worker qualification are many and varied. Let’s first consider the kinds of places that you will be able to work in, among other places you could get a job at:

  • Public agencies
  • Private businesses
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Police departments

There are also a number of different positions that a social worker can hold, including:

  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Political leaders
  • Researchers
  • Analysts

And to recap, there are three main overarching fields that social workers can work in:

  1. Medical and Public Health
  2. Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  3. Child, Family, and School

Because the field of social work has such a wide application it is very easy for people to find jobs in the field. There are also such a wide variety of jobs that there really is something that can suit everyone. If you want to really help people at a fundamental level and make a significant difference in their lives you should definitely look into the various online social worker schools that are available.

Online Social Worker Schools

There are a number of schools to choose from if you want to do your social worker training online. Make sure that you choose carefully when making your selection. Here are some of the more popular and well-known options:

  • Florida State University
    College of Social Work,
    C2500 University Center,
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-2570
  • University of Tennessee
    College of Social Work,
    1618 Cumberland Ave.
    109 Henson Hall,
    Knoxville, TN 37996-3333
  • Michigan State University
    School of Social Work,
    254 Baker Hall,
    East Lansing, Michigan
  • Capella University
    Capella Tower,
    225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor,
    Minneapolis, MN 55402,
    888-227-2736
    capella.edu
  • Canyon College
    4017 Garfield Ave,
    Carmichael, CA 95608-6616,
    208-455-0010
    canyoncollege.edu
  • University of New England
    716 Stevens Ave.
    Portland, ME 04103,
    207-797-7261
    une.edu
  • University of North Dakota
    264 Centennial Dr.
    Grand Forks, ND 58202,
    701-777-2945
    und.edu
  • School of Social Work
    Texas State University,
    Health Professions Building 150A,
    San Marcos, TX 78666-4616,
    512-245-2592
    socialwork.txstate.edu

Remember, when choosing a school, there are a number of factors that you will need to keep in mind. For example you will need to know what the fees are like for each of the online social worker schools you are interested in. It is important to try not to base your choice on the cost alone,  especially if you have the options. You need to look into the preparation that you will be offered for the licensing exam and whether or not you will be fully prepared for a career as a social worker. Make sure that the school has a high pass rate for the program, and ensure that most people who have gone through the program are now employed in the field that they studied for. Also, look at whether the quality of education you will receive, is only that of the best. The best way to find out about a school is by reading the testimonials and reviews written by other students who have attended that school in the past. Make sure that you read as many different reviews as possible in order to get a good overall picture of what to expect from the school.

Now that you have all of the information that you need about online social worker schools you should be in a much better position to make a decision regarding whether or not this is the right path for you to take. Remember that online programs are not for everyone. You may find that you need the structure of a classroom in order to learn efficiently, but if you think you can handle this type of learning, then you will be able to become a social worker quickly and easily.

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