Top 4 Online Social Work Degrees Most in Demand

Many professionals are attracted to social work because of the ability to help people and to earn a good living.

As there is a greater focus today on people living happy and productive lives – both physically and psychologically – there is a growing demand for many types of healthcare professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for social workers will increase by 12% by 2024.

The demand is being caused in part by a higher demand for both healthcare and social services. Social workers who are focused exclusively on healthcare will see a 19% increase in demand. Meanwhile, the demand for mental health and substance abuse social workers also will grow by 19%.

Keep in mind that you can obtain an entry level position with a bachelor’s degree in social work, an advanced degree is needed to move up in the field. That is why we focus on graduate degrees on this page.fclin

For information about licensure after you graduate with your degree, please visit the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

As you are considering an exciting and rewarding social work career, you should consider these online social work degrees below.

#1 Master of Social Work – Clinical Social Worker

Clinical social workers also are referred to as licensed clinical social workers. They diagnose and treat many types of mental and emotional problems. Some of these include anxiety, phobias and depression. Clinical social workers provide therapy to individuals, groups and families.

Many clinical social workers work in private practice. Note that all clinical social workers must be licensed in their state of practice.

An excellent online MSW degree in clinical social work is available at Arizona State University. The School of Social Work at ASU is one of the most diverse and largest in the world, and has been accredited by the highly respected Council on Social Work Education or CSWE. This is the sole social work program accreditation organization in the United States.

The online delivery of this clinical social worker program provides an excellent platform of learning for engaging with ASE faculty for all students.

Coursework includes:

  • Human Behavior and Social Environment
  • Human Practice I
  • Social Policy and Services
  • Assessment of Mental Disorders
  • Diversity and Oppression in Social Work Context
  • Research Methods in Social Work
  • Community and Organizational Change

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 0 GPA
  • GRE and GMAT scores considered but not required
  • Resume
  • References
  • Personal statement

#2 Master of Social Work – School Social Worker

Are you interested in making a difference in the lives of at-risk children as a social worker? One of the best paths is to become a school social worker with a MSW degree. School social work is defined as a specialty in many online universities. If you want to be a school social worker, you will need to have a license in many states.

To qualify for your social worker license, you will need to receive your social work training through an accredited university.

One that is worth your consideration for school social work is Loyola University Chicago. The benefits of this two year, online program include:

  • LUC is ranked #44 in the US for graduate social work, according to US News and World Report.
  • Loyola has more than 300 agency and nonprofit partnerships available for your fieldwork experience, which is required for graduation.
  • Advanced-standing is available for students who got a bachelor’s in social work in the last five years.

This online MSW program requires the completion of 60 credit hours, and two internships that total 1200 hours. The first internship will consist of 480 hours, and the second is 720 hours.

Your class work consists of:

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Promoting Social Justice and Empowerment
  • Social Work with Individuals and Families
  • Social Work Practice with Groups
  • Methods of Social Work Research
  • Social Welfare and Social Work
  • Health Policy and Health Systems
  • Practicum in Research in Social Work
  • Social Work and Law

Also note that LUC offers a Ph.D. in Social Work as well, if you decide later on to continue your studies. This program is typically chosen by experienced social workers who want to prepare for leadership roles in social service departments and academia.

The LUD School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or CSWE.

#3 Master of Social Work – Family Social Worker

Family social workers protect vulnerable families and children who are in need of social assistance. They typically aid families in finding services and housing; for example, they may help families to find childcare or to apply for food stamps. They also will intervene in a situation where the child is being abused. Other family social workers also help to set up adoptions and to locate foster families.

An online Master’s in Social Work in family social work to consider is the one offered at Catholic University. This program is designed to allow you to specialize in both family and clinical social work. You will be prepared in this two year accredited program to obtain your license in clinical social work.

This program is located in Washington DC and is one of the best social work programs in the US. It also is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Your classwork will include:

  • Diversity in a Multicultural Society
  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • Social Work Research Methods
  • Generalist Practice with Individuals, Families and Groups
  • Clinical Social Work with Adults
  • Clinical Social Work with Children and Adolescents
  • Evaluation of Social Work Practice

#4 Doctorate in Social Work

As an experienced social worker with at least a bachelor’s degree, you know the importance of diversity and social justice in the 21st century. You have spent thousands of hours working with at-risk and needy families and children. If you feel that you want to be a leading advocate for social justice and spearhead social policy changes to make American society more equitable, then consider earning your DSW doctorate in social work.

There are relatively few online doctoral programs in social work, but Capella University offers a highly regarded option that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This program takes at least three years to finish, and includes many face to face learning experiences, and a week long dissertation retreat where participatory research is required.

Common career outcomes in this doctoral program include becoming a full time or adjunct professor; author or keynote speaker; clinical instructor; human services director; public health social worker or senior social worker.

Your courses include:

  • 21st Century Communication and Leadership
  • Contemporary Issues in Social Work
  • Leadership in Social Work
  • Technology and Social Work
  • Applying Action Research
  • Methods of Inquiry in Action Research