Accredited Online Colleges with Bachelor Degrees in Social Work

Social work generally involves helping people. Social workers assist individuals tackle and resolve everyday life challenges like adopting a child, getting divorced, facing an illness or losing a job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012). They work with diverse groups, including people with disabilities, individuals with addictions, children and more. Social workers in a non-clinical role typically need only a bachelor's degree as an educational requirement to launch their career.

Online Bachelor Programs in Social Work

An online bachelor's degree in social work, usually a four-year program (about 120 credits), provides a foundation in social work knowledge, values and skills. It generally requires core courses in psychology, sociology, philosophy, ethics and more along with electives and social work classes, such as human behavior, communication skills and research. Programs may include a field practicum, through which students are exposed to and gain experience in clinical practice in various settings, from schools and hospitals to mental health clinics and nursing homes.

Online colleges for social work can offer the convenience and flexibility of taking courses on your schedule, at your pace and from anywhere, even remote locations. Available technologies make it so you can communicate and collaborate with classmates and faculty and have easy access to library databases, journals and other sources. In addition, mastering the technologies available through online study may benefit you in your social work career as well.

Jobs You Could Have with an Online Bachelor's Degree in Social Work

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012), graduates can pursue work in various professions, including:

  • Direct-Service Social Workers Jobs: These professionals typically specialize in a type of social work such as child and family, school, health care, or substance abuse. These social workers provide services directly to those in need, such as interviewing the needy and providing patients with supplies. They are often times prevented from providing detailed counseling or prescribing medication. Direct-social service workers may experience a growth of up to 25 percent from 2010 to 2020 according to the BLS. This growth rate is projected to be faster than average and may be due to anticipated increased demand for health care and social services in the coming years (bls.gov, 2012). As of May 2012, these professionals made a national median annual wage of $41,530 with the highest and lowest 10 percent earning $71,000 and $26,720, respectively (bls.gov, 2013).
  • Social and Community Service Manager Jobs: With enough work experience, graduates may advance to managerial roles in social and community service organizations. These individuals can organize and oversee social service programs and community programs such as directing and managing staff members however, they may not be allowed to perform clinical evaluations. Social and community service managers may expect to experience an employment increase of 27 percent from 2010 through 2020, faster than average for all jobs (bls.gov, 2012). This growth is projected to be a result of total population growth, more aging individuals and increased demand for substance abuse treatment. As of May 2012, social workers made a national median annual wage of $54,560 (bls.gov, 2013).

Other related careers:

  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists: These professionals monitor and work with repeat or at-risk criminal offenders and drug users to prevent future transgressions. According to the BLS, the profession may experience an employment growth of up to 18 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is about the average rate for all occupations (bls.gov, 2012). Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists made a national median annual wage of $48,190 as of May 2012, with the highest and lowest 10 percent earning $83,410 and $31,590 during the same time period, respectively (bls.gov, 2013).

Those with a bachelor's degree in social work can also further their education by pursuing a master's degree in social work or a related field. If you'd like to find out more about online bachelor degree programs in social work, please inquire with any of the online colleges below.

Social Workers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
Social and Community Service Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

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