Not that long ago, online education and online degree programs were kind of a rarity. They were often offered as obscure degrees by obscure colleges and universities.
But all of that has changed — fast. Today, online programs, like online social work degrees are becoming increasingly more popular, widespread, and accepted as normal. In fact, at this pace, online social work degrees will likely catch up and even exceed their campus counterparts.
What is an online degree?
Online education and online degree programs can take many formats.
Mainly, this speaks the strength of online or digital education. Unlike their traditional counterparts that are constrained by longstanding academic calendars and university hours, online degrees have fewer bottlenecks.
This means the online education is way more customizable. It also means that there are a number of online degree offerings, programs, and arrangements.
Here are a few more relevant stats to consider from a recent article in the Harvard Business Review:
- More than 3 million students are enrolled in online-only degree programs
- Almost 30 percent of students enrolled in graduate programs, like a social work master’s degree program, are taking online courses.
- According to national surveys, hiring managers view an online degree the same or better than a degree obtained in a traditional format.
Why an online degree?
Online degrees offer flexibility, choice, and customization. They also mean that students don’t have to drop everything to attend a traditional degree program. The online format makes it easier to juggle other life commitments like work and family.
However, flexible doesn’t mean easy. Online courses and degree programs can be rigorous and demanding in terms of time commitment and requirements.
Here’s the thing — not all online education is created equal. So it’s important to do your research and understand all of the program details before signing on.
Learn more about social work degrees online
In social work, a bachelor’s or a BSW (bachelor of social work) is usually required for even entry-level social work jobs. Bachelor programs give social workers a baseline understanding of casework, mental health, policy, and healthcare. New social work undergraduate programs are being offered online every year. LEARN MORE
Many people interested in pursuing a career as a social worker also pursue the MSW or master of social work degree. Due to state licensing requirements, and because of the sensitive nature of the work performed by social workers, many social work careers require an MSW. The degree is also the starting point to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), which requires additional hours of fieldwork and experience to complete. LEARN MORE
A PhD in social work requires advanced training in research methods and management. Often social work Ph.D.s go into academia, policy research, or work on executive teams of organizations and companies that operate in the social welfare space. LEARN MORE
This degree takes a year off of the traditional master of social work program, providing credit for the foundational courses and field placement that the BSW student has completed. The advanced standing online MSW degree takes this one step further by allowing students to complete the courses online. This can be very helpful for bachelor-level social workers who are already working in the social work field, allowing them to pursue their degree with minimal disruption to their career. LEARN MORE
An accelerated online MSW degree is designed for students who do not already have a background in social work, but are looking to condense the normal two-year time frame it takes to get an MSW. Rather than cut out parts of the curriculum, accelerated online MSW degree students take summer courses and maintain full academic schedules while pursuing their accelerated degree. LEARN MORE