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Online Associates Degree in Social Work

Though most social worker positions require a bachelor's degree, associate degrees in social work can help you learn more about the field, decide which specialty suits you, and take advantage of networking opportunities among those who have the same goals. Social workers play important roles in human services and social service organizations, as well as working with mental health, substance abuse, children, families, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, public health and more.

Coursework for associate degrees in social work

Pursuing an associate degree in social work will expose you to a wide variety of coursework, including psychology, sociology, values and ethics, community resources, human behavior, social policy, political science, social and economic justice, and more. Some programs encourage internships with social service agencies, which can give you valuable work experience in the field. Taking courses in a foreign language might be helpful as well.

Career options, outlook and salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects higher than average job growth in social work; here are the rates of employment growth forecast from 2010 to 2020:

  1. Child, family and school social workers: 19.7 percent
  2. Health care social workers: 33.5 percent
  3. All other social work positions: 16.2 percent

In 2010, the BLS reported the following mean annual wages for these social work positions:

  1. Child, family and school social workers: $43,850
  2. Medical and public health: $49,200
  3. Mental health and substance abuse: $41,880
  4. All other social work positions: $52,270

Child, family and school social workers typically enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree, while health care social workers generally have a master's degree, according to the BLS. Those who are looking for work in rural areas or have a background in mental health or gerontology should see the best prospects.

Going further than the associate degree

Many aspiring social workers see their associate degree as a way to earn transfer credits that then can be applied to their bachelor's degree. Earning a bachelor's degree in social work or related fields, such as psychology or sociology, can open the door to many entry-level jobs. A master's degree is a must for those who wish to work in a clinical, health or school setting. For teaching position or research appointments, a doctorate is often required.

Featured Online Social Work Degree Programs

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  • Non-profit university accredited by WASC Senior Commission
  • Professors with real-world experience and student centered approach
  • Flexible, fully online degree programs responding to the market needs
  • All courses are offered six times a year with clear path to completion and reduced time-to-degree
  • No additional costs for textbooks or other fees
  • Personal support from application to graduation leading to high retention and graduation rates
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  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
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  • Accredited
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  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
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  • Online Courses
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  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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Good for Working Adults
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