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Master’s in Social Work: Get the Facts

Get real-world training and preparation to support those in need.

A Master of Social Work degree program gives students the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge related to critical analysis, problem-solving, and enhanced preparation that can impact the future of their career. There are many rewards of earning a master’s in social work online, but here are a few things you should know before you decide to take the next step.

Potential for Career Advancement


Choosing to pursue an MSW degree could mean big changes for your career prospects as well as your salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for social workers are expected to grow by 16% through 20261—much faster than average. Depending on the type of work you want to pursue, you may only need a bachelor’s degree. If your career aspirations involve clinical work, you will need to earn an MSW degree. The 2018 median pay for social workers was $49,470,2 according to the BLS. Pay can increase after you earn your MSW.

Areas of Concentration

One of the exciting parts of a career in social work is the ability to connect with diverse groups and communities. Individuals who choose a career in social work are driven by the opportunity to help those around them. With so many different ways to support various groups of people, it can be challenging to choose a specialization. From child and family social workers to clinical social workers, there are many branches to evaluate. Before you choose an online MSW program, it’s important to consider the concentrations that are offered. Will you have the opportunity to focus on your area of interest? Make sure you weigh your options before making a commitment to an online MSW program.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Requirements

Earning an LCSW is not required in all areas of social work, however it may create opportunities for career advancement and give you greater authority. In order to become an LCSW, you need to earn an advanced degree from a CSWE-accredited program, complete the licensing and exam requirements determined by your state, and—finally—apply for licensure.3 LCSWs can work in many different settings to provide support to diverse groups of people and environments. Some such positions might include case or care manager, mental health therapist, clinical staff director, or children’s counselor.

Whether you choose to pursue a career in social work because of the ability to make an impact an on individual or group of people or to diagnose and provide treatment, there’s significant opportunity to make a difference.

Walden University offers a CSWE-accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program online. Choose from four concentrations and find the path that best aligns with your interests. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,