Choosing to pursue a master’s degree program is a big decision to make no matter what your professional life goals are. Your mind races with questions like:
What do I want my future to look like?
What degree would make the most sense for me?
How much of an impact would this degree have on my career path?
When I was in the process of selecting a master’s program, I knew that I wanted to find a program that would allow me to work in a broad array of fields, and also give me the practical skills I would need to make a positive change in the lives of others. There is no question that other paths could have satisfied what I was looking for, but a Master of Social Work (MSW) stood out to me because it is a versatile and well-respected degree. I knew that social work’s core values in social justice would take me on a journey of discovery about both myself and society as a whole.
The social work field connects MSW graduates to employment opportunities in every population and with all systems, from small non-profits to government agencies or schools. For these reasons, I quickly refined my search to social work because I knew that an MSW would strengthen my skills and employability.
Here are a few more reasons why I chose to pursue an MSW:
Social work is everywhere
Many studies have shown that social work is a growing field, which makes sense because it is everywhere. Social workers can be found in politics, corporations, healthcare, education, law enforcement—you name it. Social workers are also a vital asset to all work environments because we are able to bring compassion, critical thinking, strong communication, and a strength-based perspective to the workplace. We are trained to advocate for change and to improve others’ lives, whether at the macro or micro level.
Creating positive change for a living
I personally chose an MSW because I wanted to combine my background in anthropology and psychology in a useful and practical way. I also wanted the opportunity to have variety within my job—I have never enjoyed monotony. I am passionate about confronting barriers, loopholes, oppressors, and systems. Social work provides me with a platform where I can directly address these issues and be employed to do so.
I know some people argue that the profession is not financially fruitful, but I think that’s because they are not aware of the opportunities within the field. Given the wide range of professional options that social work provides, there is a lot of space for financial and professional growth. Seeking out licensure, professional organizations, and continuing education courses are all ways that you can keep growing in your career even after graduation. With an abundance of skills and opportunities, many social workers are able to build successful careers that they enjoy both financially and professionally.
At the end of the day, the decision about what masters program to pursue comes down to what makes the most sense for you. As you think about which program best suits you, just remember that an MSW is a versatile degree that opens many doors to a successful and impactful future.