Five Reasons to Get Your MSW Degree Online

Top Reasons to Earn an MSW Degree Online

  • Easier Work-School-Life Balance
  • Affordability
  • Complete Coursework on Your Own Time
  • Gain Access to Advanced Practice Opportunities
  • Earn Transferable Skills While Still Working

Anyone toying with the idea of earning their MSW Degree online should evaluate both the pros and the cons of studying online first. A Master of Social Work will help propel graduates careers and increase their lifetime earning potential, but that does come with a cost. The key is for potential students to consider both the pros and cons associated with distance education and MSW degrees in general. If you’ve already evaluated the cons, here are the top 5 reasons you should earn your Master’s in Social Work online:

Easier Work-School-Life Balance

According to the Washington Post, it takes the average commuter 26 minutes to commute to work each way in their vehicle. That is a total of 13,000 minutes per year sitting in a vehicle just trying to get to work.

Potential students who are contemplating school online rather than in a physical classroom may find the option of cutting out additional commutes appealing. When you are trying to earn an MSW degree while you are still employed, it is difficult to allot time for an addition commute to school. Since students can do your coursework from their home or their office, studying for an MSW degree online will allow them a better work-school-life balance.


If professionals are going back to school, they should look for one of the least expensive options. Student loans can accrue quickly and graduates are left paying off the loans for years. It’s not as common to find merit-based or need-based scholarships when entering a Master’s degree program. Affordability is extremely important.

The annual tuition for online MSW programs can range between $8,418 and $22,110 per year. Some of the programs offer specializations and others don’t. When studying for a degree online, students can cut down on their indirect and some of their direct costs to attend school.

Complete Coursework on Your Own Time

Graduate students in MSW programs will complete coursework that is required by the accredited agency that goes by the Council on Social Work Education. Some of the courses that students must complete before being eligible for a Master’s in the major include:

  • Social Work Practice
  • Human Behavior
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Methods of Social Work Research
  • Psychopathology
  • Diversity and Social Injustice
  • Field Practicum
  • Law and Social Work
  • Children’s Mental Health

Students must complete around 60 credit hours of study before earning a degree. By studying online, students can choose what time they would like to review the course content and when to complete the homework. In most instances, coursework can be done any time of the day as long as it is submitted via the distance education portal online.

Gain Access to Advanced Practice Opportunities

Online MSW programs can help professionals in the industry seek more advanced forms of social work opportunities, especially when the student is interested in seeking licensure in their state. Most employers and states require a graduate degree in Social Work to gain licensure and to practice. In this field, having a graduate degree can make a major difference in title and salary.

Earn Transferable Skills While Still Working

There is a lot of job flexibility in the social work field. Professionals must possess a wide range of skills to enter the field and succeed, but the positive side of this is that most of those skills are transferable across disciplines. Social workers must have interpersonal skills, but they also need to learn leadership, administration, and case management. All of these topics that are taught in an MSW program can be used in a different work setting.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees

Anyone who wants to pursue a position where the projected job growth is high and salaries climb with more education should consider pursuing a graduate degree. There are many different distance education programs that give adult students better access to post-secondary education. Compare different programs offering an MSW degree online, and decide which is best.