I know I’ve said this in my other threads, but I’m 20 years old, and I just transferred from a CC to Bowie state university. I’m currently a psych major. I’ve always wanted to become a therapist or counselor, and now I’m starting to think about social work. I also have a lot of compassion and empathy and want to help others. I may want to work for CPS. I will be receiving my bachelor’s degree late, like at 22 or 23 years old. I’m now thinking of changing my major to social work, but I’m also thinking of sociology. I did hear, depending on where you live, some places will offer you a job in social work if you have a degree in any behavioral science, and others strictly want you to have a degree in social work. I love the social worker career because I know there are numerous work settings like a hospital, mental health clinics, nursing homes, schools, prisons, military bases. I’m also having a hard time finding an MSW program that is in my state (Maryland).
College Park offers an MSW. They also have a graduate Counseling program with different concentrations if you wanted to go that route.
I think the general wisdom is that getting your MSW will make you more employable, not to mention give you advanced study in the field. The downside is the extra expense if you need to take out loans to get an advanced degree without a corresponding bump in salary. Some places will pay extra for an MSW; others may not.
I believe some states require an MSW to become a licensed social worker. Other states don’t.
If you’re not sure, think about the agencies where you might want to work and also where you might want to live and see what they look for in candidates, licensing requirements, degrees, etc. Check out the salaries for a graduate degree vs just a bachelors. If Bowie State has a social work department, that would be a good place to get more information.
I’ve worked with a lot of LCSW colleagues, who were really good at their jobs but were very unhappy with the pay, the hours and the paperwork.
Most of the positions are with public agencies and these agencies do not have the money to afford to give you raises, bonuses or incentives.
If you don’t mind the return on your investment being low pay, long hours and the paperwork, then this job may be for you.