What will you do after earning your MSW?

Social workers with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree can pursue many job titles across different fields. Typically, the following career titles require an MSW or equivalent degree. 

Careers Requiring or Enhanced by Earning an MSW

Clinical Social Worker

Clinical social workers with an MSW, play a pivotal role in mental health and well-being by providing compassionate therapy and counseling services to individuals, families, and groups, addressing a range of emotional and psychological challenges. Clinical social workers have the opportunity to facilitate positive change in the lives of others, utilizing their training, communication, and listening skills to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health concerns. Clinical social workers often collaborate within interdisciplinary teams to create comprehensive treatment plans tailored to each client.

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors provide support and guidance to individuals facing a range of mental health challenges. Typical practice often includes conducting assessments, developing personalized treatment plans, and utilizing various therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. Further, these social work specialists advocate for mental health awareness, working closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure holistic care. A Master's of Social Work (MSW) with a specialization in mental health is typically required.

Medical Social Worker

Medical Social Workers play a crucial role in healthcare, providing essential support to clients and their families. Specializing in the intersection of social work and medical care, they assess psychosocial needs, collaborate with healthcare teams, and facilitate access to resources, ensuring holistic patient care. With a focus on emotional well-being and community resources, Medical Social Workers contribute significantly to the overall quality of care within medical facilities. Most often, Medical Social Worker positions require a master's level credential.

School Social Worker

As a School Social Worker, MSW graduates play an important role in the well-being of students within educational settings. Highly-focused on addressing social and emotional challenges, these important leaders collaborate with educators, parents, and community resources to create a supportive environment facilitating academic success. Utilizing specialized expertise to provide counseling, intervention, and advocacy, School Social Workers impact the social and emotional development of students within their Pre-K-12 education and beyond.

Child Welfare Social Worker

Within an extremely impactful and meaningful career as a Child Welfare Social Worker, professionals are instrumental in the safety and welfare of children and families. As a dedicated advocate, practitioners assess and address the challenges faced by at-risk youth, ensuring their safety and promoting family stability. Child Welfare Social Workers are proven drivers of life-altering trajectories for youths, leveraging their social work skills to create positive outcomes for children within the welfare system.

Geriatric Social Worker

A compassionate force in the lives of older adults is often a Geriatric Social Worker. Specializing in addressing the unique social and emotional needs of elderly populations, practitioners collaborate with healthcare professionals, families, and community resources to enhance the quality of life for seniors. As skilled advocates, Geriatric Social Workers conduct assessments, develop personalized care plans, and offer support to navigate the challenges of aging. With a strong understanding of peripheral pressures, such as cognitive abilities, financial issues, physical health, living environment, and family relationships that are unique to this population, geriatric social work specialists impact the well-being of older individuals, ensuring ageing with dignity, receiving the care they deserve.

Hospice Social Worker

The role of a Hospice Social Worker revolves around providing compassionate support to individuals and their families during the end-of-life journey. In this capacity, social work professionals collaborate within interdisciplinary teams, conducting psychosocial assessments to identify emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of clients. Within this specialized area of social work practice, primary responsibilities center around counseling and guidance, aiding clients in navigating the emotions associated with terminal illness, while also facilitating communication and decision-making among family members. Additionally, Hospice Social Workers connect clients with community resources to ensure they receive comprehensive care, ultimately enhancing the quality of their palliative journey.

Addiction Counselor

As a Social Work Addiction Counselor, experts specialize in providing support and guidance to those struggling with substance abuse and other addictions. Addiction Counselors assess clients' needs, develop personalized treatment plans, and conduct individual or group counseling sessions to address addiction. Addiction Counselors play an important role in facilitating recovery, offering coping strategies, and collaborating with healthcare professionals to create a holistic approach to treatment. Through their social work expertise, these practitioners empower individuals to overcome addiction, facilitating positive and lasting changes in their lives.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselors are facilitators of hope, guiding individuals challenged with addiction towards sustainable and life-long recovery. These trusted practitioners build relationships, digging deeply into the roots of substance use, and crafting personalized treatment plans specific to the client. Employing evidence-based therapies and facilitating peer support, SACs empower individuals to manage cravings, confront negative thoughts, and reclaim their lives. An MSW degree and specialized training equip these compassionate social work professionals to pivotally impact the lives of their clients.

Military Social Worker

Military Social Workers navigate the complexities of military life, from VA hospitals to remote outposts, supporting active service members, veterans, and their families. Deployments and combat trauma are unique to this population and competent professionals are needed to help those facing challenges such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and reintegration struggles. These social work professionals are experts at tailoring solutions, building resilience, and fostering healthy coping mechanisms. Past that of symptom management, Military Social Workers drive resilience, empowering individuals and families to heal. Today, our world is often defined by conflict. Military Social Workers are the catalyst that service members require to access their inner strength.

Forensic Behavioral Health Social Worker

These social work specialists bridge law and mental health. Forensic Behavioral Health Social Workers develop an understanding and advocate for vulnerable clients currently working through our judicial system. They assess, translate complex clinical terms, and champion fair treatment within the legal system. While these practitioners are experts at evaluating, they also develop personalized treatment plans, connect clients to resources, and offer support throughout legal proceedings. As involved players within the justice system, Forensic Behavioral Health Social Workers are the bridge between mental health needs and complicated legal spheres and are an important component ensuring some of our most at-risk populations are fairly treated. 

Adoption Counselor

Social Work Adoption Counselors navigate the complex space surrounding the legal responsibilities of those accountable for the upbringing of children, bridging the gap between birth parents, adoptive families, and children. As an ethical resource, these involved practitioners ensure child safety and guide individuals from multiple sides of the equation through oftentimes complicated legal and emotional situations. Balancing support for all parties, these skilled social workers must be ready to address unexpected situations, orchestrating the intricacies of laying the foundation for loving, permanent families for a very vulnerable population that cannot necessarily advocate for themselves.

Shape Your Future with an MSW at UConn’s School of Social Work

These are just a few examples of the career titles suitable for UConn MSW graduates, and the field of social work is diverse, offering opportunities in various settings and with different populations. Social workers with an MSW often have the flexibility to seek out employment in areas that align with their interests and expertise, providing extremely rewarding careers.

Earning a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from UConn can significantly elevate a career in social work fields. UConn’s online MSW provides a comprehensive and dynamic education, combining theoretical knowledge with extensive hands-on experience through field placements. With a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, UConn's online MSW program prepares graduates to address complex social issues and advocate for positive change.

UConn’s School of Social Work (SSW) is an accredited educational provider and is recognized for excellence in research and its network of experienced faculty and graduates. UConn’s SSW facilitates a learning environment that fosters leadership and innovation. Upon completing an MSW at UConn, graduates emerge as skilled and ethically grounded social work professionals, equipped to pursue diverse career paths such as clinical practice, direct practice, policy development, and leadership roles, making a lasting impact.

MSW Student Jonathan Santana at the School of social Work. Sept. 14, 2022. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)


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Top-ranked, Accredited, R1 Research Public Institution

Quality is the cornerstone of UConn’s online MSW degree. With a curriculum mirroring our on-campus program and guided by experienced UConn faculty, we maintain the same high standards in the online format. Coming to you from a top-ranked, accredited, R1 Research public institution, you can be assured that our online social work curriculum, delivery, and experience is central to our mission. Your success, and that of your clients and employers, is our success.

Ph.D. students having a conversation in the entryway of the School of Social Work (SSW). Sept. 14, 2022. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
Exterior views of the School of Social Work (SSW) with students walking out of the building. Sept. 15, 2022. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
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