Opportunities and Benefits of Advance Training and Education in Social Work

Social work is an exciting and fulfilling sector to work in and is set to grow over the coming years. Whether you’re considering training to become a social worker or already practicing in this thriving field, this article is for you.

It’s going to look at the importance, opportunities, and benefits of further training and education in social work, with a particular focus on mental health service provision. It will also include guidance on how you could build on an existing career as a social worker or join this rewarding profession from a different discipline.

What does social work involve?

Social work covers a wide range of expertise, with the end goal of improving people’s everyday lives. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were almost 730,000 social workers in the United States in 2022.

What’s more, the projected growth rate for this profession is 7% between 2022 and 2032, which is above the national average. It means that the role of social worker is in demand and will continue to be so over the coming years.

These professionals help clients with social challenges including substance abuse, unemployment, and housing issues. They may also help people with disabilities or physical or mental health issues, helping them to overcome complex conditions.

Their tasks can include providing counseling and emotional support, advocating on their clients’ behalf to ensure they get the help they need, mediating between family members, and educating clients on life skills.

How do I train as a social worker?

To train as a social worker, you will need to gain a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) as a minimum. It will allow you to work in non-clinical entry-level roles.

Depending on which state you are planning to work in, you will also need to fulfill the licensure criteria. To do this, you will need to attain a certain level of education in social work, gain work experience, and pass an exam.

What are the benefits of further study in social work?

In some states, including New York, licensure is only granted to candidates who have completed further study in this field, namely a master’s degree in social work (MSW). So, in some cases, additional education is a must before you can even start practicing in your chosen career.

What’s more, when you gain an additional qualification in social work, such as an MSW, you will have access to more senior roles, which may be clinical or non-clinical. Further study can also prepare you to work in a specialized area of social work, for example, mental health. It is a growing area of social work that can help transform the lives of clients of all ages with the greatest need.

You may also consider specializing in other areas, including children and families, adoption, older people, schools, and the military. An MSW will also prepare you for a range of other roles, including leadership positions where you can really make a difference to social work systems and provision.

What further study options do I have?

Whether you already have a bachelor’s degree in social work or are coming from another discipline and are thinking of switching careers, an online master of social work degree program could provide the study options you are looking for. If you are looking to practice as a social worker in New York, then consider the online Master of Social Work provided by Keuka College. It’s available in two tracks: the advanced track, which takes just under two years to complete, and the traditional track, which takes up to three years to complete. 

The advanced option is suitable for candidates who already hold a bachelor’s degree in social work and aspire to practice as clinical mental health providers. Meanwhile, the traditional track is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in a different subject area and who wish to enter the profession.

Each track will provide a solid foundation in social work, along with clinical mental health treatment skills. It will allow you to practice as a general social worker or as one working in the areas of family and youth services, mental health, addiction, and substance abuse.

For both tracks, the coursework is 100% online, so you can fit study around your existing duties. Instruction is given by experienced, licensed social workers who are committed to developing and improving their professional field.

The program also offers you the opportunity to undertake clinical placements, which can be found in your local area for convenience.

Know that the program provided by Keuka College is the premier provider of degrees in social work in New York State. It’s accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), while Keuka College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

This makes Keuka College a reliable choice for anyone with a bachelor’s degree as a minimum, wishing to either enter social work or expand their expertise.

Help others achieve their potential

Social work is a rewarding career where you can make a noticeable difference to individuals’ and communities’ experiences. It’s also growing in demand, so it’s an excellent career choice that can offer good remuneration and job security.

Committing to further training and education in social work will allow you to either enter this valuable profession or deepen your existing knowledge and benefit from additional career prospects.

If a fulfilling career in social work appeals to you, why not consider the online MSW provided by Keuka College? It will open up a world of opportunities to advance your career while helping others achieve their potential.