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Social work is an essential part of our society, especially in many developing countries. It is a role for those who possess compassion, patients, and excellent people’s skills. Social work is a growing field that comprises several types of professionals who administer support and care to those in need. Taking up a career in social work would benefit society in a plethora of ways.
A social worker’s role includes more than just providing care and guidance, as it involves hands-on research applications and evidence-based practices.
To become a licensed social worker, you must go through three crucial steps. In the first step, a student should graduate from a master’s degree in social work (MSW) program. In the second step, a student should pass a social work licensing and examination conditions in your state. And lastly, graduates should apply for licensure in your country of practice.
The Role of a Social Worker
The role of a social worker is unique compared to other professions. They analyze many aspects of an issue from the viewpoint of the individual to society to psychological to even political as a whole to truly understand the root of a problem.
Although the field of social work includes several roles and responsibilities, social workers usually start by providing counseling, education, as well as connecting those in need of support to the relevant public or private sources.
To take up a career in social work, students tend to begin with a bachelor’s degree in social work or gain experience providing services and support to obtain the necessary exposure to the field of social work. Even though there are multiple roles available for those with only a bachelor’s degree in the area, nevertheless, depending on the job and clients, a master’s degree in social work may be needed.
Why Become a Social Worker?
There are a lot of reasons to consider the field of social work. It can be personal experiences and ideas, or it is in your nature to help others. Whatever it is, there is no denying the fact that it is a rewarding career path for those who undertake it. There is no greater satisfaction than helping others and helping them lead a better quality of life.
In developing African countries like Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Ghana, the number of openings for social workers is high, considering the amount of workforce required to lend their hands to those in need.
How to Become a Licensed Social Worker
Here are simple five steps to becoming a licensed social worker:
- Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work
- Enroll in an MSW Program
- Acquire Some Field Experience
- Get a License
- Start Your Social Work Career
A social worker’s entry qualifications typically consist of a social work bachelor’s degree or a relevant field and clearing the state’s licensure exam. Some states issue a primary license to those who have received it.
However, to advance in the profession and provide services to individuals, most states usually require a master’s in social work or a proper doctoral degree and, if applicable, pass the state’s advanced social work licensure exam.
Now let us dig deep into the details on becoming a licensed social worker in 5 simple steps.
1. Get a Degree in Social Work
One of the first steps of obtaining a master’s in social work is getting qualified for the role. It is helpful to assess yourself to be eligible for the social work program. Many universities require candidates to have completed their bachelor’s after schooling with science and biology concentration or have a related diploma or equivalent education coupled with a few years of relevant experience in the file of social work to meet the eligibility criteria.
2. Enroll in a Master of Social Work Program
After a bachelor’s degree naturally, the next step of career progression for many is a master’s degree program in social work. Various universities offer different options for picking a master’s degree in social work program full-time, part-time, and online programs; many prefer an online master of social work program for its flexibility.
3. Acquire Field Experience
As like most roles, field experience is an essential aspect of social work. But before that, graduates have to register with the local governing body and get licensed if they haven’t already. Most bachelor graduates tend to sign up for internship programs to a private or a public organization to gain the necessary exposure for their careers in social work. This fieldwork is essential as it allows students to apply their learnings practically under supervision from tenured professionals.
Obtaining the right social work internship may be challenging. Some universities require students to find courses on their own; however, there are online MSW programs that present field placement support, particularly for their online students.
4. Get Licensed
As previously mentioned, in many countries and states, becoming a social work professional requires graduates to register with the local governing boy and obtain a license to practice as a social worker, some have licensing examinations. In contrast, other states mandate candidates to have direct service hours under the supervision of a licensed social worker. Especially for roles that serve straight to individuals in need. Check and be sure to evaluate social work licensure requirements by your chosen state or country of practice.
5. Start Your Social Work Career
Upon getting their license from the local governing body, the next step is to begin their careers as professional social workers. With the experience and knowledge gained from their internship, they can apply to a wide range of institutions both in the public and private sectors.
As social workers are in demand all over the continent, social workers should also look outside the local job board postings and commonplaces of employment for social workers. They should also consider international agencies and nonprofits, private clientele, community, churches, and other advocacy organizations.
Switching to a Social Work Career
In social work, often, many social workers are entering the profession from a previous career. Professionals like counselors, psychologists, doctors, and nurses smoothly make their career transition into social care careers because of the connections among the experiences and aims of their prior professions and those of a social worker.
Social work is a diverse field. Professionals with different backgrounds will be astounded to learn that their early training can support them on the path to thriving social work training and work.
Once you have chosen to transition your career into social work, you should contemplate how to obtain your training and social work study to satisfy the conditions to practice in your country or state.
Other Career Prospects
A master’s degree in social work will help you attain successful career opportunities as follows:
- Director of Corporate Social Responsibility
- Social Science Researcher
- Employee Assistance Program Counselor
- Veterans & Military Social Worker
- Veteran’s Affairs Social Worker
- Child Welfare Social Worker
- Substance Abuse Social Worker
Where Can You Pursue a Master of Social Work Program?
In association with the University of Central Nicaragua, Texila American University (TAU) offers an online MSW program. Being one of the best schools for an online master’s degree in social work, TAU blends several features of extensive training that aids students in transforming into a licensed social worker. TAU implements subject-specific guidance and supervision that supports you to improve the well-being and life quality of communities and individuals.
It is an affordable online master’s degree in social work to have a simple and fulfilling learning experience. Besides, convenience is the core of this program as you can pursue your master’s degree in social work without leaving your current job. You can learn while you work and work while you learn.
Eligibility and Duration
The course duration is 2 years. If you have a bachelor’s degree in social work or in any relevant stream from a recognized university with 2-years of experience in the related field, you are eligible to take up this course.
What Will You Gain?
TAU online MSW program will help graduated prepare to:
- Get professional exposure and identity as a social worker,
- Implement standards in the management of social work;
- Pertain core values that create a positive impact in society;
- Make use of research and critical thinking skills to satisfy the needs of your community
- Use extensive learning to deliver culturally responsive practices
TAU is a pioneer in delivering online programs and has a unique, user-friendly learning management platform for students to take up their courses online with:
- International standard curriculum
- Block-based learning model where you can learn subjects in modules
- An extended network of students from various nationalities and professional backgrounds
- Flexible and convenient program structure
- Access to plenty of valuable online resources
- Personalized support from student mentors
If you wish to take up a career in social work, you have a better scope and demand across the world. So, be prepared with the necessary qualification and license to acquire the opportunity when it knocks.