*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
The time required for online completion of a degree and on-campus in Social Work should be about equal at most schools for most students. The standard for a four-year degree is eight semesters whether online or on-campus. Some online schools appeal to students by offering accelerated course curricula. Accelerated curricula condenses the requirements into fewer courses to speed up graduation. Many students can accelerate graduation by attending online, but this requires a much heavier than usual credit-load. Most colleges and universities require 120 credit hours to graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work.
Online attendance can avoid scheduling bottlenecks. Students may find on-campus classes unavailable, and that can cause additional semesters of attendance. Online classes in the summer months can help online and/or traditional students accelerate graduation. Online students can take a full course load of 15 semester hours when they have time and resources available. The lower typical costs of semester hours online, as opposed to on-campus rates, can help students take more courses.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
When you know that you want to major in Social Work, you should find out if the colleges and universities you're most interested in carry this major. You should check the academic catalogs of each university to verify which ones do carry an Social Work major and verify with your state's department of education that the colleges you're considering offer the appropriate Social Work education program you need for your field.
If a university you're considering doesn't carry a Social Work major, then it's time to cross that school off your list. Keep checking the other schools. For those that do have an Social Work major, begin looking over their programs so you get a better idea which university interests you the most.
The two most prominent types of bachelor levels in Social Work are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Social Work. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Bachelor of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Bachelor of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a Bachelor of Social Work below:
About 41% of college students complete their four-year Social Work degree on time. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center study if the question suggests that money is a large factor in the rate of non-achievement. In-state public college tuition rates have traditionally been the lower range for leading schools. Today, the annual in-state tuition average is over $9,000 per year. Private schools average more than $30,000 per year. Many students run out of money and take reduced course loads to accommodate increased work and other money-making activities. Low per-semester credit-hour rates means more time required to complete a Social Work degree. Reducing the per semester course load from 15 to 12 credit hours can add a year to the time needed to complete a degree.
Among the reasons cited for the low rate of four-year completion were student decisions in course selection. Many students choose interesting subjects and neglect to grab key courses when available. The failure to take a required course when offered can add a semester to the completion of a major or concentration.
The student experience is a vital piece of information. The graduation rate is often a predictor of the student experience. Factors that can influence late graduation include the availability of required coursework and dropouts for financial reasons. School surveys often have information similar to customer satisfaction information on other businesses. It may be useful to see responses from recent graduates about their experiences. The student survey observations will not predict your experience, but they can lead to productive questions about the school and the Social Work degree program.
Accreditation is a very important facet of your career since, if the college you attend is accredited by a reputable association, the Social Work degree you earn from that college will have more value and some employers include this information when evaluating you for employment.
The reason why accreditation is so important is that, without it, it's hard to determine what kind of standards the training programs hold and if they are up to date with technology and innovation.
A college gets accredited voluntarily by an association of their choice. The association will interview and inspect the college thoroughly to see if they meet their standards of everything from cleanliness to academics and, if the college passes the inspection, the association puts their stamp on them as an assurance that they meet all their requirements.
Employers today want only the best of the best working for them. Some businesses are even willing to pay for the education of potential candidates. So, when it comes to degrees, most employers look at the accreditor of the school you earned your degree from, since this says a lot about the kind of education you acquired. If an employer is willing to go so far as to pay for a student's education, imagine what kind of salary they will offer to those holding a degree from a highly reputable association.
The cost will depend on several factors. Are you pursuing your Social Work degree online or in a traditional setting? If you attend your courses on campus, you will also need to pay for food, room and board, and other fees. This can increase the cost of your Social Work education significantly unless you have a plan in place to keep these costs low. If you attend a public, state school, it will depend on whether or not you are a resident. In-state students usually pay much lower rates than out-of-state students. However, this can be overcome by attending classes online, as most institutions charge in-state rates for all online courses. Either way, you need to research the costs for each Bachelor of Social Work program you are considering applying to, as each institution will have their own rates.
If your university offers career and/or placement services, you'll be able to take advantage of both as a student or graduate. You can receive career counseling, career assessments, and resume reviews, where you'll learn how to spruce your resume up. It is important to research if your potential college has post career placement assistance. This demonstrates that the college or university Social Work program is with you from start to finish.