The Master in Social Work is simply a graduate degree from an accredited university. It differs from Bachelor's in Social Work by having only a specialization, although most people assume that it is the same. A Bachelor's in Social Work normally focuses on public health, social welfare, and social service organizations, although it can also be taken in a broader perspective. The Master in Social Work focuses on specific areas of practice, such as community services, personal development, psychology, or educational programs, which are usually offered by universities and community colleges.
Masters in Social Work programs are designed to prepare graduates for careers as counselors, educators, researchers, or anyone who helps to help others through various means. However, it should be noted that a Masters in Social Work program doesn't necessarily lead to a Doctorate or other professional designation. Instead, the course work is used to provide the student with the skills needed to further his or her education and career goals. A Masters in Social Work degree allows a student to enter the workforce with a solid foundation of knowledge about different social issues and how they affect people's lives. It is also possible to earn a Master's in Social Work while being employed in a social work position.
Most employers require at least a Master's Degree in Social Work for employment purposes, but there are some exceptions. Students who plan to apply for positions in the criminal justice field may be considered by their potential employers for a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. For example, a police officer can expect to have higher chances of employment if he or she earned a Master's in Social Work first, especially in departments such as criminal justice.
The Master's in Social Work Programs offered by reputable universities are very similar in structure and content. Most students complete a full year of coursework, including thesis or dissertation preparation. The course material covers many different social issues, such as poverty and mental health, and their effect on people's lives. Many of the courses may take the form of case studies, which include interviewing and observing real life scenarios and interviewing both the subject and the individuals who have been affected by those situations.
After finishing the program, students must successfully pass an examination to become eligible for a Masters in Social Worker designation. The examination is typically written and must be taken under the supervision of an actual social worker. At this point, students are eligible for employment or professional certification as a Certified Social Worker.
While a few universities provide Master's in Social Workers as a separate degree, most of the universities that offer Masters in Social Workers include a Bachelor's in Social Work within their degrees, as it is a necessary step towards working as a social worker. The two programs are similar, with the only notable difference being the concentration on the social aspect of the degree.