Advanced Standing MSW Programs typically require a Bachelor of Social Work degree for entry, occasionally among other requirements, but allows students to graduate with their MSW in a quicker timeframe, with less course credit requirements than a Traditional MSW.
This degree program may not be the right fit for all students though, since it has specific requirements for those applying. Most MSW programs within this specification require that applicants have a Bachelors in Social Work prior to being accepted.
Since this is an advanced degree program, most of the curriculum may add on to what was learned in bachelor’s-level courses. Incoming students that have already completed their BSW and have some experience working in a social work field may be the best qualifiers for approval into this program.
Once you have been accepted into the Advanced Standing MSW program, you might find that the coursework picks up where your BSW program left off. Students in this program have work experience, so most of the courses will build upon what has been learned from working with clients in the field. Some of the topics included in this degree program may be those associated with management techniques in the field of social work, further learning about social policy and improvement and changing theories and practice components of concern to social work professionals.
What Type of Personality Traits Are Preferred in Social Work Careers?
The field of social work can be extremely complex for professionals that have the desire to help others. When considering an advanced career in social work, you should look closely at some of the skills and personality traits recommended for professionals within this domain.
Matching your personality with a career can be an important step in ensuring that you have chosen a degree and career path that is complementary to the type of person you are. Social work may call upon individuals that have a general caring demeanor towards other people.
Since a lot of the people you can meet throughout your career may be going through difficult life circumstances or be in dire need of support, you should have a certain level of empathy for the people you serve. In addition to empathy, you should have the ability to actively listen to your clients in order to hear out their concerns prior to implementing a plan of action for them. These types of skills may be important to addressing direct needs while maintaining a healthy level of care and respect for those you work with.
In the professional aspect of social work, professionals may require organizational efficiency and the ability to set healthy boundaries. People that confide in your for help may develop a bond to you during your experience, making it necessary to establish boundaries that can make your role obvious throughout the process.
Communication skills may be helpful in establishing these boundaries, as well as when working with other agencies to ensure proper services and supports for your clients. Organizational abilities can also be helpful in keeping up with deadlines, ensuring client confidentiality and keeping a stable pace throughout your daily work schedule.
If you are the type of person that loves to help others, social work may definitely be a field for you to consider. This field calls upon hard-working and dedicated professionals that are interested in finding resources for families in need, individuals that have been diagnosed with mental health disorders or even the vulnerable population of children and the elderly.
How Much Time and Money Can The Advanced Standing MSW Degree Cost?
Social work professionals that have already completed their BSW and have experience in the field may debate whether or not moving forward into a master’s program can really be work the time and money. Before you look into colleges or make any decisions regarding your education, you should consider what type of investment you will be making to achieve your goal.
One advantage to the Advanced Standing MSW program is that is takes into consideration the knowledge and experience of current social work professionals, which can be helpful is expediting the learning process and reducing your overall investment into the degree advancement process.
Researching reliable Advanced Standing MSW programs offered online, our team of educational experts ran across the University of Alabama. This incredibly well-known university current offers their MSW programs in online format, with the advanced standing track available to students that qualify.
At this school, students that have completed a CSWE-accredited BSW program can enroll in this option, which consists of 42 credit hours. Students that take part in this program can complete their entire program within 3 semesters after enrollment. This makes the time commitment around 1.5 years for most students. If you are interested in completing your degree program in this short amount of time, this may be a program to consider.
The University of Alabama may also consist of reasonable pricing for their online program. For graduate learners at this university, the tuition costs are billed at a rate of $394 per credit hour. This can result in total tuition costs of $16,548, which is a great price for such an influential degree program.
The cost of this program may also be less than other universities offering the same degree. Before making the commitment to this program, you should also locate any fees that may be assessed in addition to the tuition costs, so that you can accurately foretell how much of an monetary investment this degree program will be.
Advanced Standing MSW Coursework to Expect
Human Behavior and the Social Environment
Social work professionals may often work with people from diverse backgrounds, living in very different communities throughout their region. It is important for professionals to have knowledge about human behavior and how it can be influenced by a person’s environment, nature and even health. Using comparative knowledge about human behavior can help social workers notice trends and habits that can be holding a person back from their fullest potential. This course may help students explore these correlations in order to make more effective decisions for their clients.
Social Work Theory and Practice
Working with clients in the public environment may require a standard set of skills possessed by social work professionals. Students enrolled in MSW programs may be expected to work by a certain code of behavior, treat clients with respect and dignity and provide the best service when in need. This course may explore various theories and components expected of social work professionals, guide students in learning more about assessments, interventions and policy regulations that can be helpful along the way.
Supervision and Leadership in Social Work Organizations
Students within advanced standing degree programs may be interested in learning more about what is required of management professionals within this field. This course can help students learn more about the roles of supervisors within the social realm, which includes a look into critical thinking, effective decision making and leading by example. Each of these topics can assist students with providing better services to their organizations and ensuring that their employees work hard to provide the best results for their clients.
What Types of Careers and Responsibilities Can I Expect?
Advanced standing MSW programs may have been created for experienced social work professionals that are seeking higher-tier careers in their field. Learning more about social work and how it can benefit society can lead to more advanced positions such as Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or even management positions in the field. Depending on what interests you as a professional, there may be different career options available to you after completing an advanced degree program.
Standard social work careers can be obtained by individuals that have graduated from social work degree programs and received licensure within their field. These types of careers can be found in social service agencies, human services and even in hospitals or other medical care centers.
Those that are interested in pursuing more influential social work positions may seek out leadership careers or those that are interested in social change throughout their career. Take a look at a few interesting career choices and their responsibilities that could potentially be obtained after receiving your degree.
Social Work Management
In fields that provide social work to the public, social workers may be overwhelmed with individuals and cases that are in need of guidance. Management professionals within these areas may provide support and guidance to employees that are providing services to people and families in need. As a manager within this field, you may be responsible for overseeing the work of social work professionals, reviewing case files for accuracy and even managing finances and projects set forth by your agency.
Social Policy Review/Improvement
Since society is a constantly changing device, it may be necessary to constantly review and change policies that are relevant to it. Professionals in this field may work for state agencies or even the U.S. Government. The job responsibilities for professionals at this level may include recognizing weak areas in social policy, providing planning for policy change and implementing changes that can assist in providing better social services to people within society.
Social Reform Advocate
Social workers that have experience and higher education may be great candidates for careers involved with social work advocacy or social reform. Within these positions, professionals may research social programs that can increase the quality of life for people within, providing planning recommendations for positive change and group together to gain approval for these types of changes. Professionals at this level may be tasked with providing evidence of effectiveness for their respective programs and gaining support within the affected area in society.
The Advanced Standing MSW for Professional Advancement
One of the common reasons why BSW holders decide to move forward into a master’s-level program is to advance to higher positions within their current field. A lot of professionals in the field of social work may find that they have greater needs or desire for their career that cannot be achieved at their current degree level.
Holding a Master’s in Social Work could potentially open doors in leadership positions, as well as advanced positions within the social work domain. Completion of this degree program can be a great component in meeting the qualifications for the career you desire.
Since a lot of the curriculum of this program may focus on advanced knowledge and techniques in the field, you expertise could be requested for more complex cases or clients in need of extreme guidance.
During the course of your degree program, you may also take courses that can increase your strengths and awareness in social work leadership, which can be a great addition to a resume for management positions throughout your career. Paired with experience as a social worker, your MSW degree can help you land opportunities unavailable at the bachelor’s level.