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How to Become a Social Worker Through an Accredited Online MSW Program

A CSWE-accredited MSW degree can help you enter the field of social work.

You can find professional social workers hard at work in a wide variety of settings, from schools and hospitals to public corporations and government agencies. The National Association of Social Workers reports that social workers make up the nation’s largest group of mental health services providers, account for more than 40% of disaster mental health volunteers trained by the American Red Cross, and hold more than 10,000 positions within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. And the demand for social workers is growing, with a 16% increase in jobs expected between 2016 and 2026.1

If you enjoy helping others, social work can be a fantastic and rewarding career. And it can begin when you enroll in an online MSW program.

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Why Should I Earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree?

While some entry-level social work jobs require no more than a bachelor’s degree, many of the profession’s advanced positions require you to have earned your MSW. If you wish to work in a clinical setting, in a supervisory role, at an educational institution, or in other positions of important responsibility, an MSW degree can significantly increase your opportunities.

In addition to helping your career, earning an MSW degree is also a great way to increase your skills and knowledge. An online MSW program with CSWE accreditation can provide you with an in-depth understanding of social work and allow you to focus on areas of specific expertise including addiction; children, families, and couples; crisis and trauma; forensic populations and settings; medical social work; and military families and culture.

What Are the Benefits of an Online MSW Program?

Completing an MSW program online can provide you with the flexibility and convenience you need in your busy life. Online degree programs are structured so you can advance your education while continuing to meet your work and family responsibilities. Additionally, earning your Master of Social Work online can help you graduate faster and thus save money, as many online MSW programs allow you to transfer or receive credit for previous educational and work experience. You can learn more quickly in a program with an accelerated option, as you can decide for yourself how to schedule your course load.

Why Is CSWE Accreditation Important?

Before you choose an online MSW program, you should check the program’s accreditation. The nonprofit Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the only accrediting agency for social work education in the U.S. When you enroll in a CSWE-accredited social work degree program, you can be certain that your coursework, assessments, and criteria for graduation will meet the highest standards. You’ll also graduate knowing that you’ve met part of the academic requirements necessary to sit for social work licensure in most states.

Where Can I Use My MSW Degree?

Social workers are employed in every region of the U.S. and across the world, helping people navigate their way through difficult times. With an MSW degree and proper experience, training, and/or licensure, you can help people in a wide range of settings. Your career options can include licensed clinical social worker, mental health and substance abuse social worker, child and family social worker, healthcare social worker, case worker, school counselor, private or public agency director, policy analyst, and clinic supervisor.2

Where Can I Earn a CSWE-Accredited Social Work Degree?

Walden University offers a CSWE-accredited online MSW program. This program allows you to expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

2Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Walden University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CSWE's Commission on Accreditation is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation for professional social workers and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.