5 Reasons to Pursue Your MSW Degree

A master’s degree in social work prepares you for advanced social work practice and for research in public and private agencies. If you’re ready to take your social work career to the next level, there is no better time than the present.

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A Growing Profession

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. The number of jobs in social work grows at a rate of 16 percent per year. With your advanced degree, you will be able to fill new positions and grow with the needs of the booming profession.

Fulfilling Work

Social work is an industry built on the principle of improving the lives of others. It’s a vast and challenging field that deals with a wide range of human issues. According to The Guardian, 77 percent of social workers who were surveyed about their job satisfaction said they enjoy their work. Additionally, 71 percent said they believe they are making a difference, and 84 percent of social workers say they are proud of what they do.

Specialized and Advanced Practice Opportunities

An MSW is a way to specialize and gain the skills necessary to work with highly specific groups of people or to provide therapy. Through a master’s in social work degree, you will be a qualified professional ready and able to become a licensed clinical social worker.

Salary Increases

Although social work has historically been a lower-paying profession, the current demand for individuals with specific skills sets and specialized education has improved social work salaries across the board. The most fiscally-rewarding social work positions tend to be those that require an MSW, and the job growth taking place across the sector points to a healthy employment environment for individuals holding an advanced degree.

Job Flexibility

A report from The New Social Worker noted that most social workers are trained in a variety of skills that are transferable across disciplines, giving them more flexibility to move between areas of work over the course of their careers.

Why Illinois?

  • 96% of our MSW graduates have their first job secured within 6 months of graduation
  • CSWE Accredited: The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting body for social work programs in the USA
  • Ranked #5 nationally and #6 globally by the Center for World University Rankings
  • Ranked #5 of top 45 online MSW programs by onlinemasters.com
  • Ranked #22 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Hands-on learning with supervision: The School of Social Work emphasizes hands-on education which is central to its curriculum, and the block internship placement is a unique feature of our program. After extensive classroom preparation, students gain supervised social work practice experience as they are immersed in a full-time internship
  • Connections: The School has relationships with over 300 agencies throughout Illinois and beyond in which students can complete their internships; many are hired by the organizations where they worked


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