Human Services Guide
Nebraska

MSW in NE | Master of Social Work in Nebraska

Nebraska is located in the Mid-West and is part of the “bread basket of the US”; it is also a state with plenty of opportunity for the well-educated social worker. In the past decade we have witnessed a sea change in our economy. Many workers have responded to the economic downturn of the past 6 years by returning to schools such as the University of Nebraska Omaha and earning advanced degrees. As the workforce has become increasingly well-educated it is now imperative to earn an advanced degree such as the MSW to remain competitive.

Those planning on becoming social workers in Nebraska will definitely want to consider getting their Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. A MSW is a degree that is very sought after by employers in human services. It is also a degree that offers a tremendous diversity of potential careers in human services generally and social work specifically. 

Earning your MSW will give you many potential career paths to choose from. They include a diversity of careers including: child welfare case manager with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services , licensed clinical social worker, school social worker, social and community service manager and many others.

For those who have a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, many doors will open in terms of career. One of the most significant is being the able to apply for licensure. For example you can apply to be a Certified Social Worker (CSW) or a Certified Master Social Worker. You can learn more about the specifics of licensure in our article here. There is also a lot of information to be found on state regulatory website which you can find the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Nebraska is a state that has undergone a radical shift in the past few decades as large scale Agribusiness has come to dominate the farmland that once held together communities through a network of family farms. These changing conditions have led to the phenomena known as rural flight, where younger generations have moved from traditional rural areas into urban centers seeking work and educational opportunities. This has created some unique challenges that are being met and resolved by the many dedicated Human Services professionals in Nebraska. If you want to find a way to help the many people who are struggling in Nebraska, one of the best choices to be truly impactful in Human Services is to earn your Master of Social Work degree (MSW). Once you have your MSW degree you can find work as a Rehabilitation Case Manager in a city like Shelby. Other people may find they are pulled towards helping youths remain in school and overcome social and emotional issues by working as a School Social Worker in a city like Lincoln. There will be presented before you a great diversity of potential occupations in Human Services in the great state of Nebraska once you have earned your Master of Social Work degree (MSW).

Finding the Right School for MSW in Nebraska

Once you have seen the importance of attaining your MSW in today’s job market, the next step is to begin the process of finding the ideal school for you. By discovering an occupation that strongly resonates, for example perhaps you might really enjoy working as a Renal Social Worker with DaVita in Fremont; you can begin to see what kind of program would best fit your career goals. While there are some aspects of Master of Social Work programs that are universal, the curriculum and skills taught in some programs may differ dramatically. Analyzing the curriculum through the lens of your career goals can greatly help in finding the perfect school for you.

Career Options with a MSW

After you have been awarded your MSW you will find a broad spectrum of careers have become available to you. It is very helpful to spend time researching careers to find one that is a great fit for you. One potential occupation is being a Care Management Social Worker working for Bryan LGH Medical Center in Lincoln or a similar job in another town. Here at humanservicesedu.org we have built a resource that can help you research this exact question. Below you will find a fairly short list of some of the many positions you will qualified for with an MSW. For more in-depth research consult our section on job descriptions:

 

  • Aging and Disability Services Case manager
  • Licensed Clinical Social Work
  • Eligibility Worker
  • Social Service Screener
  • Child Welfare Case Manager
  • Social and Community Service Manager
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • School Social Worker
  • Social Work Administrator
  • Social Service Permanency Worker

MSW Programs in NE

Finding the Right Program for You

During the process of selecting the ideal MSW program you will want to compare and contrast a number of aspects of each program you are considering. One way to help you reduce the size of your prospective list of programs is to determine whether an online program (more on this below) or a traditional physical campus such as the University of Nebraska at Kearney located in Kearney (Pop. 37,000) is better suited for you. You can approach this decision by considering your personal learning style, desired living situation and budget. If you find that a traditional physical campus is more appealing, you can quickly determine which schools are in areas you wish to live. Once you have made a decision on whether you prefer an online or traditional campus, you can examine some other elements of schools and programs you are looking at:

  • The curriculum
  • Admissions requirements
  • Program accreditation (CSWE etc.)
  • Program prestige
  • The financial costs of the program

As you research various programs there are many elements you will want to take into consideration. The most important of all these elements is the curriculum as this will be what prepares you for your career. It is through the lens of your desired career outcome that you can best evaluate the curriculum of the programs you are considering. For example, the University of Nebraska Omaha has a concentration in Clinical Practice which is an ideal concentration for those who wish to become Licensed Clinical Social Workers. It is critical that you choose a MSW program whose curriculum closely matches your desired career. You will need to determine if there is a specialized program that appeals to you, or if a more generalized MSW program, such as the Advanced Generalist concentration offered by the University of Nebraska at Kearney will be a better fit for you.

If becoming a licensed clinical social worker in Nebraska is your career goal, then you will want to find a school and program that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). For more information on licensure in Nebraska click here:

You will need to make sure that you meet any admissions requirements of the programs you are considering applying for. When you have come down to a few final candidates it is worth your time to contact the schools directly and discuss both your academic needs and any requirements the school has for admission. Financial considerations are of course a key aspect of your decision making process and you will need to weigh your personal financial situation against the costs of programs you are considering. An example of tuitions you can expect to pay is that of the University of Nebraska Omaha which has a per-credit tuition of $245.25 for residents and $645.75 for non-residents. This is not inclusive of additional fees for students, the cost of texts needed for classes or the expenses associated with room and board. It is always wise to look at the data for several schools to see which one offers the best deal for tuition in a program that appeals to you.

Online Programs

Online programs have several significant differences compared to traditional programs that make them very appealing to certain students. Often online programs have significantly lower tuitions than their traditional physical campus counterparts. Many online programs also offer far greater flexibility in regards to class schedules and program completion rates. This can be a key consideration for many students for whom flexibility is a critical consideration. The ability to take classes from the comfort of one’s home or office is a huge boon to students with certain learning styles. There are advantages and disadvantages to both traditional campuses and online programs depending on your financial situation, lifestyle preferences, desired living situation and personal learning style.