From not taking it as “real school” to not creating a dedicated study space, student makes all types of mistakes when earning their Online Social Work Degree. In this article, you will learn some simple tips which can make your learning experience pleasant and rewarding.
In addition, at the end, you will discover 4 effective traits that a productive online student must have to make the most of his career.
Here are simple 10 tips on how to complete your Online Social Work Degree very fast and begin a successful career.
- Inquire about social work scholarships and resources
After considering the school you plan to go to, you also need to consider asking if there are available scholarships and resources under the program you have chosen. This can help you to save the cost and other miscellaneous fees that you might need to shoulder during your study.
When choosing an online social work program, ensure it is accredited and authorized by the student’s state of residence.
- Consider the following factors when choosing an online Social Work Program:
- Accreditation – Choose an accredited social work program that prepare students for professional licensure and a career in social work.
- Program Concentrations and Specialties – All accredited social work programs cover almost the same core curricula, but each school varies in concentrations, electives, and focus areas. When searching for an online social work degree program chose one that matches your interests and career goals.
- Field Education – Field education train students with practical work experience in social work. Each program offers different opportunities based on location and relationships with the community organizations. Find a program that provide field education opportunities matching your interests and career aspiration.
- Preparation for Licensure – Most states require professionals to obtain a social work license in order to practice as a social worker. Although Parameters for licensure vary one state to another, most must include a passing score on the American Social Work Boards licensure exam. therefore, candidates need to research social work programs’ graduate exam pass rate.
- Determine What Field To Practice
Social workers help diversify clients of all ages to deal with challenges and find ways to manage difficult life circumstances. There are many fields you can choose when you have a degree in Social Work: clinical, healthcare, and mental health practitioners who provide direct services to clients. You can also provide support and programs to specific groups in community organizations and government and nonprofit agencies.
Administrators and researchers who specialize in public health, healthcare policy, and advocacy to reduce inequality and promote fundamental change that affects how the whole system functions. Below are some of the areas you can specialize under a social work degree:
- Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides – Social workers under this category help clients with disabilities, assisting with daily activities such as personal hygiene and housekeeping. This field requires licensing or certification.
- Psychiatric Social Workers – These professional workers find jobs in hospitals and mental health facilities in order to provide group therapy and individual counseling to patients with psychiatric and emotional disorders.
- Child and Family Social Workers – This category support and access to resources for children and families, such as medical assistance, family counseling, and addiction treatment.
- Clinical Social Workers – This requires a state license to provide counseling to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Along with offering therapeutic services, these professionals help their patients to access social services, community resources, and other forms of support.
- Healthcare Social Workers – As a licensed healthcare social worker, you assist patients, families, and caretakers, providing support and helping them to connect with needed healthcare services.
- Participate in Professional Development Opportunities
Joining professional organizations in a way to add to your student experience. Seek for opportunities that can increase the scope of your knowledge and learning, and allow you to build your network, and connect with other agencies or colleges.
- Expand your learning beyond the required curriculum
You can expand your student experience by taking classes which allow students to gain interdisciplinary knowledge. Find out what relevant electives are offered at your school.
- Seek out research opportunities
Having research experience on your résumé makes it stand apart from the rest. Whether the research is done independently or with a faculty member, the experience will help you to gain additional perspectives of the field. To go further, you can look into professional research that has the potential of getting published.
- Develop a relationship with a mentor
You will be required to take academic classes taught by multiple professors. Consider them as gateways of knowledge and experiences in the field. Learn from them. Even though their primary role is to teach, professors are often active part-time in the field. You can use them as valuable resource to prepare you for life after graduation. Take advantage of these experienced professionals who can share their experiences and expertise.
- Track your achievements
Throughout your education, you are likely to be placed in different roles and experiences that will help you to grow in your career. Regardless the position is to be leader of a committee, help organize a social work week, or give a presentation to a university-wide or community audience, these roles will broaden your experiences and skills, and contribute to your success. Not only will this provide you with the opportunity to introspect after graduation, but it will also serve as a foundation for your résumé.
Create a word or Excel file that you can easily update as you participate in different roles. The same technique can also be adapted and used after you graduate. Continuing to keep track of leadership, awards, and more.
- Get experience beyond your field placement
This is extremely important to keep in mind throughout your time as a social work student. It is important to recognize that even though a volunteer experience may be required on the syllabus, there are other ways to turn this into a deeper learning experience. Keep in mind how the volunteering will contribute to making you a better social worker.
- Continue your hobbies and take care of yourself
Self-care is a topic well known to social work students and social workers. It is important to make time for yourself. Consider your well-being when you feel overwhelmed with deadlines, upcoming exams, group meetings, and volunteer hours. Learn what you enjoy doing and how you can transform those hobbies in positive outlets.
Burnout is common in the social work field, and it is imperative that both students and professionals participate in activities that give their lives joy and meaning. When performing the balancing act that many students face, make sure you keep your own happiness and well-being in mind.
Best of all, develop these effective habits as you are earning Online Social Work Degree:
- Confirm technical requirements for online classes.
- Connect with instructors early.
- Stay organized and productive.
- Have a consistent workspace
- Manage your time wisely.
If you have any question or suggestion, kindly comment below.