An Overview of the Doctorate and Masters in Social Work

The beauty of the social work field is that there are several degrees open for it that may correspond to your specific needs. Students take up a Masters in Social Work in order to be able to tack on another credential to their resume when applying for jobs. Those seeking a more university-centered career are going to have to go for the doctorate, however.

The masters class is intended to help students learn more about various policy trends and styles in social work. This is a course that demands only a few years of your time. Master's courses are typically given a lot of attention by scholarship-granting funds and institutions.

A Master's in Social Work requires a lot of field experience from the student. You shall usually be asked to handle managerial and administrative work for social organizations. You may choose a particular concentration for your studies to help sharpen your skills towards a goal.

There are various foci possible for people studying social work. Generally, most students end up working in public and non-profit organizations in order to instill values in social planning and social changes. Other students seek joint degrees, usually in a health-related profession.

You can find accredited degrees by looking up the records of the group called the CSWE. Those who go to CSWE-accredited schools have good chances of going on to doctorates. Some people actually accomplish all requirements of the program in a single year.

If your goal is to become a true expert in the theories and concepts as well as analytical models used for social work, you can seek out a doctorate program. A few universities call it a doctoral, others call it a PhD. Generally, there is no difference between the two as some schools just prefer to use one name over the other.

Generally, you are going to end up working in the educational or research sector if you take a PhD. That means that your focus will be more on the academic side of the field. PhDs are generally employed by universities as lecturers or part of the "thinkers" of the department.

You shall be specializing in the research-centered side of social work and activity. The major course requirement is the dissertation. This is a huge body of research of your own doing that is going to take up a great deal of your time.

A Doctorate in social work typically takes about 2-4 years to complete, excluding the time it takes to finish a Masters degree. While many professionals have their primary focus on teaching and collaboration on research with academic colleagues, many still continue their social work practice. It might be an option for those who cannot choose either one to work in both town and gown, so to speak.

Those with masters in social work degrees can have CSWE accreditation, but not those in doctorates of the same discipline. Those short on funds shall have to reconsider a doctorate program application because it does not usually have any scholarship offers. The admissions requirements for doctorate students are tougher too, demanding more education and better experience.

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