Job Prospects for MSW GraduatesIs it worth going to the extra effort and expense to get a MSW Degree is a major consideration for those who must go into debt to achieve this goal. For many, that decision hinges primarily on the prospects for jobs demanding the degree.
There is great news for those with a MSW. With the expanding markets in areas that social work jobs were invisible previously, the outlook for positions gets better by the day.
Those who are in social work now may find it more difficult to advance without the degrees required for new openings. They could be passed over in spite of their excellent work history and experience.
As social workers retire, there are new openings in those fields. Most entry-level positions now require a minimum of a bachelors degree in sociology or psychology. The competition for jobs in social work is higher than it was a few years ago in cities where training is readily available. However, in rural areas, the need for social workers remains high.
There are three top careers that are often overlooked as hot jobs in social work: Psychiatric social work, Gerontology social work, and Substance Abuse social work. All of these specialties are modifying their previous employee requirements.
Rather than hiring a physician’s assistant for an outpatient psychiatric clinic, they have opted to hire a social worker instead. Yes, this is an economic decision on their part. But, it can be an economic decision for you as well. A position with such a facility could give you an automatic raise as long as you have some experience in direct client contact beforehand.
In the Gerontology social work field there is a dramatic shortage. Nursing homes, private in home health care services, and assisted living facilities are willing to pay top dollar for those who enter this special field. Jobs prospects in this social work field are available in cities, towns, and rural areas nationwide.
The best job prospects for the next ten years will be in Veterans services. This is social work that requires the ability to place returning veterans in jobs and find the appropriate therapy programs that are available for them. Many organizations are seeking volunteers to help fill the gap. Even though volunteering puts no money in your pocket, it does provide excellent experience in client contact for a concentrated focus in an MSW.
If you are a person who has some entry-level experience in any field of social work, and your desire is to move into a supervisory position immediately after completing an MSW degree, try rural America for the best fast tracking. The pay may not be as high as it would in a metropolitan area but the experience of managing a staff as the lead supervisor in your field may be well worth the pay difference.
Overall, the job prospects for social work is better than nearly every other field. Rural areas and Veterans services are two of the areas were hiring is accelerating. Gerontology social work is another area of high impact in the job prospects. These jobs all require a Masters Degree in Social Work with a concentrated interest in the field you choose.