Is it a Good Idea to Get an MSW Degree Online?
If you are interested in going back to school to earn your Master’s in Social Work, it’s only reasonable to contemplate earning your MSW degree online. The Internet and different structured distance education programs have completely changed the way that post-secondary and even graduate academic lectures and content are delivered.
Rather than commuting to and from a campus, students can study online while they balance their work lives and their school schedule to advance their career without taking a significant amount of time off. Having an MSW degree as opposed to only a Bachelor’s in the field will open up plenty of opportunities. Choosing the right program to really prepare you for these positions is a must. Before you enroll in an online degree program, here’s what to consider:
Are You Able to Put In the Time?
If you looked up the benefits of studying for any type of Master’s degree online the list would be long. You can avoid commutes, you can study on your own time, you can work while attending school, etc. Unfortunately, many prospective students who want to return to school only look at the advantages without considering how challenging it can be to learn advanced topics all from a computer.
Before ever entering school, you will have to do an assessment of your current schedule. Will you have the time to sit down and really absorb the lessons, or will you constantly be rushing through each lesson to prep for online exams? You may not have to drive or attend class at a certain time, but you will still have to be prepared to dedicate the time.
How Much of a Time Commitment Will It Be?
Anytime you meet with a college counselor, they will help you pinpoint how much time you are going to be expected to spend on your studies. When you are taking undergraduate classes, you should allow around 3 hours per week to read the content and then around 5 hours a week doing assignments and papers. Every course you take as an undergraduate will require about 8 hours of attention.
Since you would like to study more advanced coursework for your MSW degree, you will need more time to study and complete your graduate papers. MSW degree programs cover lessons on topics like Mental Health, Social Systems, Social Policy, and more. You will need about 3 hours of your week to read online content and then around 9 hours to study and complete the coursework, for a total of 12 hours per week for each course being taken.
Is the Program You Are Taking Accredited?
Another major consideration that can’t be overlooked is whether or not the program will be recognized by state licensing boards. Program accreditation is extremely important, but it’s even more important when you are studying to work in a profession where you must be licensed by a state board.
You should always reference the Council on Social Work Education when evaluating a school. The CWSE is the only organization that currently accredits MSW programs, both on-campus and online. Since the organization is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, you can trust that the schools that have met the standards are respected. Right now, there are 255 accredited master’s of social work programs.
Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees
When you possess an MSW degree, you can apply for licensure or climb up the latter in a public work setting. Getting your degree will make a difference in the path of your career, you just need to know what method of delivery is best. For many, it makes the most sense to earn their MSW degree online.