MSW in CA | Master of Social Work Degree California
California is one of the most populous states with one of the largest economies in the country. Its job market is also highly competitive. If you want to work in a social work capacity in California you are going to need to have an educational background that gives you a competitive edge. In Human Services, few degrees offer such a full spectrum of career options as the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree for example working as a Social Worker High Risk for Health Care Partners Medical Group in Long Beach. With an MSW you will have a wide variety of options as to how you go about your career, from becoming a licensed clinical social worker at Maxim Government Services in Delano, to helping children at the Children and Family Services Division of the California Health and Human Services Agency to working in a non-profit of your choice to help a population you want to focus on, there are diversity of career paths one can take once you’ve earned your MSW. The sheer amount of training and expertise one gains from completing their Master of Social Work program at a school like California State University in L.A. is extremely helpful regardless of what career path you plan on taking in the human services field.
- Featured CSWE Accredited Social Work Programs | Explore MSW Education Options
- * Arizona State University - BA in Psychology - Masters in Social Work (MSW) - Addiction and Substance Use Related Disorder Certificate
- * University of Denver's top-20 school of Social Work - Master of Social Work. No GRE required.
- * Fordham University - Master of Social Work Online. Traditional and advanced standing programs available.
- * USC University of Southern California – School of Social Work - Top-Ranked Master of Social Work Online.
- * Case Western Reserve University - Earn your master’s in social work online at CWRU in as little as two and a half years. Bachelor’s degree required.
- * Baylor University - Master of Social Work online program. No GRE required.
- * Liberty University - Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling - Addictions & Recovery
- * NYU Steinhardt - Online Master of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness. Complete in 21 months.
- * Capella University - Online Master of Social Work
- * Our Lady of the Lake University - Online Master of Social Work
You will find a wealth of opportunities that become available to you after you have your MSW degree such as beginning the process of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). You can find out the specifics of requirements for this title in our article on California Social Work Licensure. In addition, you can learn more from the Board of Behavioral Science.
Learn more about the USC MSW Online Program
You may ask yourself, why is it so important to differentiate your application from others in today’s marketplace? It is often said in today’s “employer’s market” economy that “The Master’s degree is the new Bachelor’s degree”. This means that prospective employers in cities like Sacramento that used to require a Bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement for a job such as a Social Worker with Citrus Valley Health Centers may decide to upgrade the minimum requirements and only seek the most qualified of candidates.
Once you have put in the work to attain your Master of Social Work degree (MSW) the field of occupational possibilities will widen dramatically. You can consider work as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Burbank if you enjoy the thought of couples counseling. If you are interested in Mental Health but want a broader clientele you may wish to look at becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a major city such as San Diego. If you want to work in a Non-profit that helps victims of Domestic Violence in Sacramento, you will be well equipped by having your Master of Social Work degree (MSW). One of the nicest things about having your MSW degree in California is that you will have such a tremendous diversity of potential career outcomes and locations to choose from. Being such a vast state California has many different sub-cultures and regional differences. Working in a small town like Yreka in Northern California will be considerably different from finding employment in Los Angeles or the surrounding suburbs. Once you have your MSW you will have so many choices it will become a matter of finding the niche that resonates most with your lifestyle and long term goals.
Finding the Right School for MSW in California
An MSW is clearly a critical asset in today’s highly completive Social Work job market throughout California whether you are in the Bay Area, the Northern coastal region or Los Angeles. Choosing the right school is going to require that you spend a significant amount of time researching several schools, such as the California State University at San Bernardino and programs like the Substance Abuse concentration offered at Sacramento State University, in order to find one that meets your unique needs as a student. You will want to focus on several elements in making your decision. To begin you will want to determine what your future plans are for your degree. Are you hoping to become a part of a management team in the state’s Health and Human Services Agency? Are you looking to obtain licensure as a licensed clinical social worker (if so you can find more information here: Do you want to find employment at a non-profit as your career goal? Narrowing the field of potential schools by determining your outcome first is an excellent way to get your bearings and help clarify what you want out of your program.
Career Options with a MSW
Once you have your MSW in California, you will be able to apply for jobs like being a Medical Social Worker II in Hospice Home Health in Sacramento with Kaiser Permanente. Below is a list of some of the many positions you can hold once you have earned your MSW and completed any required licensure in the state of CA:
- Social Work Administrator
- Social Service Permanency Worker
- Social Service Screener
- Marriage and Family Therapist
- Social and Community Service Manager
- Licensed Clinical Social Work
- School Social Worker
- Child Welfare Case Manager
Finding the Right Program for You
You will want to consider a number of factors when you are researching possible California MSW programs. You will first want to determine whether you are looking for a program at an online or physical campus such as California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock (pop. 69,800) which is of course is a very different experience from California State University campus in Los Angeles (pop. 3.7 million). If you are looking for a brick and mortar campus in your area you will be able to narrow your focus quickly to schools in areas you wish to live. It is important to focus on the following elements of any program you might be considering:
Learn About USC Master of Social Work Program
- The financial costs of the program
- The curriculum
- Program accreditation (CSWE etc.)
- Program prestige
Once you’ve found some potential schools in California you will want to review their programs to determine which ones best fit your desired outcome in terms of employment. For instance, if you wish to become a licensed clinical social worker you will want to find a program at a school that is accredited with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Finding a program that is CSWE accredited will allow you to begin the licensure process in California or any other state you wish to work in. You will want to make sure the curriculum closely matches your desired employment as different programs focus on different aspects of Social Work. Some lean more heavily towards training licensed clinical social workers such as the Community Mental Health Services concentration at University of California Berkeley, where as the Child and Family Services/Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program is designed to train child welfare workers.
The financial costs of the program of course will weigh into your personal evaluation, for example the University of California Berkley has tuition and fees for 2012/13 of $9,669.75 for residents and $15,792.25 which does not include room and board or books. It is important to keep the big picture in mind and note that the yearly median wage for a Social Worker in California is $63,080 according to the BLS.
Finally, it is worth considering if your program is highly regarded in the social work community. Will there be networking opportunities in the program? Does the program have enough acclaim to stand out on its own? These are the kinds of additional questions you will want to ask yourself.
Online MSW Degree Programs in California
Finding an online program in CA may be a better fit for you. Often online programs offer far lower tuitions and offer much greater flexibility when compared to other programs. Some online institutions also allow for accelerated programs so you can more quickly enter the workforce. It is definitely something you will want to consider when comparing the advantages of traditional “brick and mortar” programs versus online schools.
California Colleges with MSW Prerequisite and Preparation Degree Programs
Allan Hancock College
Alliant International University
Antelope Valley College
Cabrillo College (Aptos, CA)
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
California State University-Chico
California State University-Dominguez Hills
California State University-Fresno
California State University-Long Beach
California State University-Los Angeles
California State University-Sacramento
California State University-San Bernardino
Chapman University (Orange, CA)
City College of San Francisco
Claremont Graduate University
College of the Canyons
College of the Sequoias
Cosumnes River College
50 Acacia Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901-2298
El Camino Community College District
Fresno City College
Fresno Pacific University
Holy Names University
|Hope International University|
2500 E Nutwood Ave
Fullerton, CA 92831-3199
Humboldt State University
John F Kennedy University
La Sierra University
Lake Tahoe Community College
Lancaster Beauty School
Loma Linda University
Los Angeles Mission College
Los Angeles Southwest College
Loyola Marymount University
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Mt San Antonio College
Mt. San Jacinto Community College District
11255 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
Notre Dame de Namur University
Orange Coast College
Pacific Union College
Pasadena City College
Point Loma Nazarene University
Sacramento City College
|Saint Marys College of California|
1928 Saint Marys Road
Moraga, CA 94556
San Diego City College
|San Diego State University|
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA 92182
|San Francisco State University|
1600 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA 94132
|San Joaquin Delta College|
5151 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA 95207
Santa Ana College
The National Hispanic University
University of California-Davis
|University of California-Irvine|
Irvine, CA 92697
University of California-San Diego
University of Redlands
University of San Francisco
University of Southern California
University of the Pacific
West Hills College-Coalinga
William Jessup University