The difference between a Master of Social Work and a Bachelor of Social Work: Do you know the difference between a Master of Social Work (MSW) and a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)? It is true that they are both undergraduate programs, and both offer social work skills.
But if you consider one over the other, you will want to understand how they differ so that you can choose the right program for your career goals.
This article will explain the difference between these two types of degrees so that you can make an informed decision about which one to follow.
How to apply
The process for getting into a master’s in Social Work can vary depending on where you go. If you’re applying to an online school, you may only need to fill out some paperwork and pay a tuition fee.
On-campus schools will want to see your undergraduate GPA, and some programs require an interview or essay writing portion of your application process. If accepted, you will likely be required to take prerequisites before starting on your Master’s degree in social work.
Online vs. On-Campus
In today’s day in age, it may seem that an online MSW degree is not as legitimate as one from a physical school. While online programs are often more convenient for many students who already have full-time jobs,
an on-campus program allows you to get hands-on experience in your field and network with faculty members in person.
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If you are looking for work opportunities after graduation, an online program will be easier to transfer credits into than a traditional campus-based one. However, if you want to be able to interact with other students and professors in person or want face time with potential employers at career fairs or networking events, then an on-campus program might be better suited for you.
Why choose an online MSW?
An online master’s in social work is especially appealing to professionals in other fields. With an online MSW, you can gain specialized knowledge about social work without quitting your job.
A regular MSW takes two years to complete, but with an online MSW degree, you can finish faster or even have time for both programs.
Online courses also allow students to earn their degrees from home or wherever they may be stationed think military personnel serving overseas or nurses on-call at night.
Master of Social Work Job Prospects
Employment opportunities in social work are expected to grow. According to 2016 data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for all types of social workers will be best for those with MSWs.
Current average salary: $42,590 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Typical roles include case managers, child welfare specialists, care managers, and mental health counselors.
Master’s degree holders often find employment with private organizations like businesses or non-profit agencies that help children or other populations in need.
Common mistakes when looking for an MSW program
Keep in mind that MSW programs require at least two years of prior social work experience. Thus, many students looking for an MSW are actually more interested in BSW programs, which do not require previous experience.
Before applying to schools, make sure you understand which type of program you’re applying to and tailor your application accordingly.
Common Mistakes When Applying To An MSW Program
Make sure to do your research when applying to MSW programs. There are two common mistakes that students make. The first mistake is not submitting their application as early as possible.
If you wait until January, for example, all of your deadlines will be set for January 30th or earlier. This leaves little room for flexibility and can lead to missing one, which can prevent you from being admitted into an MSW program.
The second mistake is failing to submit everything required by each school individually. For example, some schools require letters of recommendation on official letterhead while others don’t.
Some require transcripts in sealed envelopes while others don’t. Some schools require three letters of recommendation while others only need two.
It’s important to know what each school requires so you can follow their instructions exactly and avoid delays in getting your application processed by admissions committees!
What’s The Difference Between A BSW & MSW?
Although both degrees deal with social work, there are several fundamental differences in content, purpose, and structure. Here is a brief overview of what distinguishes an MSW from a BSW.
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) The first degree available to students interested in pursuing a career as a social worker. There are no prerequisites for enrollment, and students typically complete their bachelor’s degree within four years.
These programs focus on building general knowledge of various fields within social work; most require that students choose an area of specialization upon graduation or pursue graduate-level coursework during their senior year.
Some schools offer minors or concentrations in specific areas such as gerontology or substance abuse counseling.
Best In Online MSW Programs
There are numerous schools that offer MSW degrees. But finding one that will provide you with an excellent education, as well as being accredited by an accrediting body in your area can be difficult.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is one such organization, and they have over 1,000 member institutions. This includes both online universities and traditional universities.
Many of these programs allow students to take classes online while still receiving a degree from their home institution.
This makes it easy for students to continue working while earning their degree without having to relocate or travel too far from home.