Social Work?

<p>Lately I've been thinking about majoring in social work when I go to college. (I want a job that helps people, etc.)
Although I have a lot of time to think about this stuff (I'm a rising junior) I was wondering what schools had good social work programs?</p>

<p>Social work isn't offered at all schools, but still I feel it's hard to tell which are better than others.
Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>You can major in any major if you want to pursue a career in social work. Many graduate programs accept non-BSW majors for the Master of Social Work.</p>

<p>The most popular majors that will you prepare you for social work are psychology and sociology.</p>

<p>Yeah, but if I wanted to major in social work for undergrad what are the best programs?</p>

<p>To start with, you want to go to a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. It shouldn't be a problem to find an accredited program---there are a zillion of them. Generally, the core SW requirements will b similar no matter what program you attend. It would be pretty hard to rank BSW programs. If you look at USNWR rankings for graduate SW programs, it'll give you a rough idea of what are considered the quality programs, but only some of these also offer a BSW. In general, go to a school that is a good match for you academically, socially, geographically, etc. SW jobs typically are not on the high-end of the pay scale, so for a BSW you may not want to attend a school that's a financial stretch for you. More opportunities in terms of salary and responsibilities come with an MSW. Some BSWs (with experience) and many MSWs end up in administration. So, another path that some take is a degree in nonprofit management. Some agencies will help pay for an MSW or Master's in nonprofit management, but that's more likely if you're experienced person already in an administrative position at that agency. As a previous poster noted, you do not need a BSW to enter an MSW program. Many MSW program offer a pathway for those who have a BSW and one for those without a BSW.</p>

<p>Thanks for your reply!</p>

<p>I don't know if med school is an option for you, but you should consider it..because if social work is what you want to may as well go to med school and become a shrink instead of getting your master's to become a social worker. You'd actually make a living you're able to support yourself on as a shrink, as opposed to as a social worker. You would be doing practically the same thing.</p>

<p>Although obviously there is a workers make less money because they help people who actually DO need help and can not afford a shrink. It's a noble calling, and probably a very rewarding long as you marry someone with a good income.</p>

<p>First, not all social workers enter the medical field. I'm an incoming MSW student and I certainly have no interest in clinical issues. Second, you need to attend an accredited program. Although you could pursue a BSW, my advice would be to major in anything and then apply for the MSW (make more money, more administrative responsibilities after licensing).</p>

<p>My neice just got her MSW (got BSW for undergrad) last month from one of our state's big public schools. She had four or five good job offers to choose from upon grad.</p>

<p>I know several people who got BSW's at big public u's. If that is what you want, start by checking out your own state universities. It doesn't have to be the flagship school.</p>

<p>"I don't know if med school is an option for you, but you should consider it..because if social work is what you want to may as well go to med school and become a shrink instead of getting your master's to become a social worker."</p>

<p>The educational requirements and length of training to become a psychiatrist are quite different than that to become a social worker.</p>

<p>"You'd actually make a living you're able to support yourself on as a shrink, as opposed to as a social worker. You would be doing practically the same thing."</p>

<p>As a previous poster noted, most social workers probably do not do clinical social work, including individual therapy. Most psychiatrists these days primarily do diagnosis and medication management. So, social workers and psychiatrists do not do practically the same thing.</p>

<p>There are many other helping professions to consider, too. Most of them require at least a master's degree. These include counseling, rehab counseling, etc. A BSW is probably the shortest route to a career in a helping profession. An MSW offers more options, and licensure at that level is the shortest route to independent practice, though most social workers are employed in agencies and very few can make a living in independent practice. </p>

<p>I also would offer this caveat about social work: Many people probably enter it because they want "to help people," but many of them find that many jobs in the field often focus on case management, administrative tasks, etc. Along with working conditions at some agencies (e.g., large caseloads), they find that their original motivation "to help people" is frustrated and they often have fewer opportunities than expected for individual counseling or therapy types of tasks. On the other hand, clinical social work is a broad field and not all of it involves individual counseling or therapy types of tasks. There are opportunities working with people with disabilities, abused children, immigrants and refugees, battered women, etc. Linking people with needed services, helping them negotiate their way through the service system, etc. are just as important as other areas and these tasks certainly help people and communities, just in a different way than individual counseling/therapy types of tasks. None of this is intended to discourage the OP from his chosen path. I have many friends and colleagues who are social workers, and greatly respect their experience and skills. I also have far more respect for someone who wants to help people through their work than for someone who is only interested in making money. Since the OP is still in high school, i encourage him/her to explore all their options.</p>

<p>Thank you so much!
Med school is WAY out of the question for me. I no intention of becoming a doctor of any kind, nor have I ever been gifted in science.</p>

<p>I don't know much about being a social worker yet, but I plan to learn more throughout the next couple years.</p>

<p>The thing is, I have really NO idea what I want to do, or be, or major in when I get to college. Social Work is the first thing that caught my eye. I want a profession that is rewarding; One that I will be able to live with, and love, for a very long time.</p>

<p>Obviously, money is a concern these days, but I'd rather do something I love, than become a doctor just to make more money.</p>

<p>Thanks Again!</p>


<p>CSWE-Accredited</a> BSW Programs</p>

<p>That's a list of all accredited BSW programs. All are required to fulfill certain CSWE standards for accreditation, so ou can be assured all are solid programs. From that list of schools I'd pick based on location, size, student body, selectivity, etc - basically the way you'd choose any undergraduate university.</p>

<p>Keep in mind that you'll likely need to get an MSW on top of a BSW for most higher-paying and more interesting social work positions, as well as all clinical positions. However, if you're certain now you want to do social work, I'd do the BSW followed by an accelerated (one-year) MSW program. It'll save you a lot of money in loans. (If you happen to fall in love with a school without a BSW, you can of course major in a related field, such as sociology or psychology, and then get your 2-year MSW.)</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Wow, thanks a lot for that link! It was getting annoying to find a school I liked, and then realize they didn't offer a social work major!</p>

<p>I would love to do an accelerated MSW program, do you know which schools have them?</p>

<p>And if anybody has any good information about social work, that would be great! I really don't know much about it, but the more I keep learning the more I seem to like it.</p>

<p>Many social work schools with graduate programs provide advanced standing MSW degrees for students with a CSWE-accredited BSW.</p>

<p>you should also keep in mind that most jobs that you can get with a b.s or b.a you can get with out it so its definetly worth getting your masters in social work.</p>