Social Work FAQs
What can I do with an MSW degree after I graduate?
There is a range of settings where social workers work after completing an MSW degree. Options include private and public agencies, hospitals, schools, private practice, and the courts. Social workers are committed to assisting with change efforts that improve lives and may work with individuals or groups, help communities or groups provide or improve social and health services, and participate in relevant legislative processes that affect the quality of life for all citizens. One way students can explore different opportunities in the field of social work is from engaging in field experiences while in the MSW program.
What do I need to do to practice in the social work profession?
Each state has different licensing requirements. You will need to check with the state you plan to practice in for their specific requirements. Most states require a license, the license can be obtained by taking a standard licensing test after completion of your MSW. Keep in mind your MSW must be from an accredited institution (Springfield College School of Social Work is accredited by CSWE). Prior to setting up an independent practice at NASW recommends at least two years post-MSW supervised experience.
What are the employment prospects for social workers?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016. The need for social workers is on the rise. Because of the demand for social workers in so many different areas, it would be difficult to assign a range for social work salaries or positions available. From our 2007 Alumni Survey, 84% of our graduates reported full-time work in the field. The average amount of time to secure a full-time position was 2.2 months.
How do I find employment upon graduation?
While engaged in your field experiences there are many opportunities to network with other social workers and agencies. Networking is a valuable tool in finding agencies that share your philosophy and serve populations with whom you would like to work. Another great resource can be the internet. We also post job opportunities at the School of Social Work. The Springfield College Career Center is another Campus resource. Finally, The National Association of Social Workers is the largest professional membership organization for social workers. NASW has membership chapters in each state and most state chapters have Job Banks.
As a working parent, would the course work and field placements be too much for me to handle?
Many of our students must balance work and family responsibilities, as well as further their education. For this reason we have part-time weekend programs to help with busy schedules. For field placements, we consider student input in the field agency placement assignment process.
I’m thinking of enrolling in the full-time program. How will it fit into my already busy life?
In the full-time program, classes are held on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM leaving the remaining days open for field work and your studies.
As a returning adult student, would I be at a disadvantage compared to students fresh from the undergraduate level?
Not at all! Many of our students are returning to further their education after being away from the academic setting for years. The life experiences these students bring to their education is invaluable. Adult students are represented in both the full-time weekday and part-time weekend programs.
How long does the program take to complete?
Students who have a bachelors degree in a field other than social work may choose to complete the MSW degree in either a full-time weekday program, which takes two years, or a part-time weekend program, which takes three years. Students who hold a BSW from an accredited BSW program received within the last five years and who can demonstrate a mastery of course content and field experience are eligible to apply for advanced standing. A limited number of students are accepted into this program. The full-time advanced standing program is completed in one summer and one year of full-time study.