thoughts on Social Work PhD degrees

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DadMike in Maryland

39 months ago

Lori in Little Rock, Arkansas said: Do you think my undergraduate degree in Economics and J.D. in law will help me if I get a MSW (ie to get jobs and increase pay). I know the knowledge of law will be helpful but I haven't done any research on how it may affect my career.

If you stick stricly with social work jobs, legal knowledge may give you an edge in forensic-type jobs (CPS, Court mental health assessor, court family assessor, prison social work, domestic violence centers, Child Advocacy Centers-sex abuse interviewer) but may not help in salary. Attorneys do make better money than social work-- but you'd have to take an attorneys' position, not a social work one, for the pay bump.

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Nikhila in Hyderabad, India

39 months ago

I am currently pursuing my Master in social work from India with Medical and Psychiatric as my major.I am planning for Phd in United states.I just want to know about scope of social work in US and and also if I dont get admission into Phd are there any job opportunities there in US based on Indian Degree .

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Nikhila in Hyderabad, India

39 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Every state is different in US- we have over 50 sets of different rules for social work counting all the states, Washington, DC, and territories.
Take heart- many Indian Universities are accredited with US Social Work Boards- you'd have to check out state by state to see-- use the Google to check out states Social Work Board sites. I work with a man now who got his MSW in India- his degree was accepted in full in Maryland, no additional course work needed.
In US-- social work does everything from therapy to child abuse investigations to medical discharge planning- wide range of apps; we don't have factory-employee relations job like I hear they have in India, though.
I highly recommend Googling US NASW (National Association of Social Workers) for more detailed info, to.

DadMike
Thanks a lot for your guidance and responding back to my question.

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Nikhila in Hyderabad, India

39 months ago

This forum is helpful, we are getting to know more about the opportunities for social workers.One thing I have is that there is no much difference between MSW and Phd in social work in terms of pay and position.I just have a one question if I want look for a job in US after completing my MSW in India, how should i start the process and and want to know little more about License as in how to obtain the license and what are the eligibility requirements for a international students generally.

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nikky in Hyderabad, India

34 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Every state is different in US- we have over 50 sets of different rules for social work counting all the states, Washington, DC, and territories.
Take heart- many Indian Universities are accredited with US Social Work Boards- you'd have to check out state by state to see-- use the Google to check out states Social Work Board sites. I work with a man now who got his MSW in India- his degree was accepted in full in Maryland, no additional course work needed.
In US-- social work does everything from therapy to child abuse investigations to medical discharge planning- wide range of apps; we don't have factory - employee relations job like I hear they have in India, though.
I highly recommend Googling US NASW (National Association of Social Workers) for more detailed info, to.

Hi DadMike

I am here again for your guidance.I have completed my MSW in india and I am looking for more opportunities in Americe.But I am not sure of where to start and how to start.As you mentioned in your previous about a man working in Maryland with Indian MSW, could you please help me out on how to start with the career in America with India MSW.

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nikky in Hyderabad, India

34 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Easiest thing to do-- check out job postings on Indeed! Also- government agencies in US have their own websites. Child welfare agencies are pepertually hiring in most places- I'd suggest researching a few states in which you'd like to live, and check out their personel websites. Maryland's site can be found Googling "Maryland Department of Budget and Management." Credentials and job duties and such are usually outlined quite clearly.
My friend (recently promoted- so now he's a supervisor with an MSW from India) took a job in child welfare-- his MSW was from Indore School of Social Work, Indore, M.P. in India. (I just asked him- he's in the office next to mine.) He's only lived in US for about 6 years- so it is very possible to work your way up, no matter how recently you have arrived in country.
He told me that he US Social Work Council of Accreditation accepted his degree without question-- which is a good thing- alot of degrees aren't accepted like that across nations. He became licensed over here after he took the job- in Maryland govt. service you can be hired as an unlicensed caseworker- and get a promotion for passing your licensing exam.

Hope this helps!

Thanks a ton DadMike...

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nikky in Hyderabad, India

33 months ago

DadMike in Maryland said: Good luck to you!
I will add - one thing we don't have over here is Industrial Social Work. I believe that's something unique to India. All that type of stuff is handled by personel departments here, and they aren't social workers!

Hi DadMike,

Thanks a lot for providing valuable information

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Nikki in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

30 months ago

I have read several of your comments and agree with most; however, which ever degree you decide to pursue in Social Work, it will be taxing. I love my field, but you should not enter it if you don't have a passion for it. In order to obtain financial gain, let's face it... when one invests this much time and money to educate yourself one would like not to be poor and make a comfortable living like any other degreed person...1) You most obtain a 4 year degree in social science field ( likely SW) 2) then you must obtain your MSW- this will take you 3 to 4 semesters depending on your undergrad GPA- you are required to complete interns in your MSW program. 3) This is when it gets tricky- at this point no mater what work you have completed pre graduate degree... It is useless! Most jobs consider your experience post graduate. So at this point it is not uncommon for your income to drop lower than what it was pre MSW. Now lets talk about the LCSW/lLICSW! Depending on your state, after graduation is when you are allowed to take your first national test- LMSW/LMSW/GSW.. Don't be fooled, though the word "license" is used to describe this... It is truly a certificate and useless and does not allow you to engage in clinical work independently. The point of it is to weed out candidates because the field can be over saturated 4) only after the first national test is passed are u allowed to sit for the LCSW. Now to get to this point you must have passed the LMSW and completed 2 years of employment ( typically full time employment) working under a LCSW ( typically this LCSW must have some type of specific training to supervise). This is what hey call supervision. Word of caution...if you don't find a job that offers free supervision, you must pay if you want your LCSW. The cheapest going rate I know of is $60. per hour. Supervision is typically 1 hour weekly for 2 years . Some states have limitations on group supervision. Point is, don't expect to get your ...

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JoshuaTodd in Lynbrook, New York

30 months ago

So Nikki, do you mind if I ask what government agency you work for and if you enjoy what you do in the agency ?

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Prabha in Newark, Delaware

15 months ago

Hi

Has anyone with foreign MSW degree applied for the ISWDRES/CSWE accredidation to work in US.I am from india and have done MSW. I have nearly 9 yrs exp. Very recently i moved to US and looking out for MSW jobs. If anyone have details about getting a Social work job with foreign MSW in US pls advice.

Thank you

Prabha

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Murrutia in Houston, Texas

15 months ago

Hello,
I find this forum very informative and am grateful to have come across it now thatI've applied to a few MSW programs. I hope to hear back very soon! One of my concerns about this degree is whether it opens up the possibility for working abroad. If so, what are some of the choices I could make during my studies to guarantee I can use my degree to work in the EU? (I have dual citizenship) Also, are there international, accredited MSW programs that would allow me to work in the US if I wanted to return?

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BCSW in Surrey, British Columbia

14 months ago

Murrutia, where are you hoping to work in the EU? I know the UK has a fairly standardized (though rigorous) process for validating non-UK social work credentials, and most North American credentials are deemed legitimate provided you keep course outlines/program paperwork for the relevant board to review. As far as internationally-accredited MSW programs, Canada's MSW programs, as long as they're accredited by the CASWE (our regulatory body for SW education), are automatically recognized as legitimate by the CSWE in the US. There's an agreement between the American and Canadian SW councils for SW education that allows for this transferability.

Having said the above, licensure is a totally separate issue. Even if you have an MSW degree that is considered valid for practice in the UK, Canada, or the US, you'd still need to follow protocol for obtaining actual licensure (in a US state), registration (in a Canadian province), or qualification (in the UK), in order to practice. Each jurisdiction has its own criteria/standards for granting a practice license, even if your MSW is recognized.

On a separate note, does anyone here have an MSW and a PhD in a discipline that's related to SW, but not SW specifically? I will be starting a PhD in public health shortly, after having been a health care SW for the past five years, and I'm wondering what sort of work people are doing with that combination. Ideally, I would want to pursue an academic career in post-secondary education (teaching/research), but I'm open to working in a research-related role in a government or non-profit health setting. All SW profs I've had in the past have reassured me that I would be able to teach in a faculty of SW with a SW-related PhD, provided I have the MSW and practice experience (which I do).

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On the MSW boat in Studio City, California

10 months ago

PW in Detroit, Michigan said: I graduated a year ago with a MSW degree. I have no post degree experience and other than my internships have not worked directly in this field. I am contemplating applying for a PhD program, but like many others I don't really know if this is the right thing to do. I am frustrated because I have not found a job yet, and really do want to get busy doing something. While I have no particular interest in teaching, I do enjoy research and was an excellent student. It would be interesting to hear comments.

I am in the same boat as you! i graduated a year ago with my MSW but have not found anything in the field that i feel i want to do. I do not want to open my own practice, and was macro focused as an MSW. I am looking at PsyD programs now just for the clinical experience but I really would rather do research. But my MSW degree cost over 100k from a private university and the PsyD program would double my debt ...

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