Online Social Work Programs

Online social work certificate and degree programs train students to help those in need of assistance in various fields of human services. These programs are designed for those who are empathetic and have the need to assist others in times of crisis. Social work degrees are available at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral level, and select schools may offer a career diploma or certificate option.

Individuals who graduate with a degree in social work may find employment in healthcare facilities, rehabilitation facilities, mental hospitals, or family services. Programs may provide students with the opportunity to seek employment as a clinical social worker, post-secondary faculty member, mental healthcare professional, direct service social worker, or a clinical case manager.

Available Degree Levels

  • Career Diploma: Varies
  • Certificate: One to two years to complete
  • Associate Degree: Two years to complete
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Four years to complete
  • Master’s Degree: One to two years to complete
  • Doctoral Degree: Three to five years to complete

Social work diploma programs oftentimes prepare students to work as assistants to social workers by providing training on the basic theories and concepts of social work. These programs equip students with the occupational and professional knowledge to pursue entry-level employment in public and private agencies. Program coursework may include interpersonal relations, behavioral health and community services, and case management for families.

Online certificate programs in social work are designed for licensed social workers who plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in the social work profession. Certificate programs allow social workers to obtain certification in a specialized area of human services, such as clinical approaches to addiction, palliative care, or executive leadership in social work. Courses may cover social work practice with children and global perspectives on administrative practice.

An online associate degree in social work provides individuals with the training to address client needs and seek employment as a registered social work assistant. These programs may provide students a solid understanding of culture and diversity. Coursework may include interpersonal communications, human behavior, psychology, and crisis intervention.

A bachelor’s degree in social work may prepare students for entry-level positions in social work as a general practice social worker, or equip students with the necessary education for admittance to a graduate program. Upon completion of the degree, students may become eligible for a social work license. Coursework may include communications styles, social work research, social policy, and social work fieldwork.

Online social work master’s degree programs may focus on teaching clinical skills by incorporating knowledge and values for advanced social work practice. These programs may allow students to develop analytical skills coursework may include human behavior, clinical practices, and advanced social policy.

A doctoral-level social work degree consists of research-intense courses, providing rigorous training in qualitative and quantitative research. Doctoral degree programs may provide social workers with the skills required to become faculty members at post-secondary institutions. Coursework may include social policy analysis, theories of clinical practice, and teaching and learning in social work.

Career Options

Online social work programs may provide students with the skills to work in healthcare facilities, rehabilitation facilities, mental hospitals, or family services. Many social workers prefer to work in a clinical setting, while others choose to work in a fieldwork position. Individuals with a social work degree may find employment in therapeutic services, foster care, or with the developmentally disabled.

Possible career fields include:

  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Post-Secondary Faculty Member
  • Mental Healthcare Professional
  • Direct Service Social Worker
  • Clinical Case Manager

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