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There are times when you don’t need to com­plete an accel­er­at­ed social work degree online to get the skills you need. Instead, many accred­it­ed col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties offer cer­ti­fi­ca­tion class­es that allow you to attend only a few hours and earn a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that will allow you to achieve your goal. 

One exam­ple of this is ful­fill­ing the con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion require­ments to main­tain your cur­rent licens­ing. Many licens­es require sev­er­al con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion class­es per year. A cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will allow you to remain in com­pli­ance with your state’s require­ments and keep your license cur­rent and up to date.

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are also used when an employ­ee must stay up to date on new process­es and tech­niques that are used as part of their duties or respon­si­bil­i­ties. Tak­ing the time to earn your cer­ti­fi­ca­tion allows you to show your employ­er that you are seri­ous about your job and are will­ing to do what­ev­er it takes to con­tin­ue to pro­duce the high­est qual­i­ty of work pos­si­ble. Cer­tain cer­ti­fi­ca­tions must be renewed every two or three years as new infor­ma­tion is released or the old infor­ma­tion becomes outdated.

What About Social Work Specializations? 

You may also get a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion after a gen­er­al­ist bach­e­lor degree, if you want to spe­cial­ize in areas like

  • men­tal health
  • social wel­fare
  • social jus­tice
  • clin­i­cal social work
  • child advo­ca­cy
  • child wel­fare
  • sub­stance abuse and addictions
  • social work practice
  • geron­tol­ogy
  • social pol­i­cy
  • human behav­ior
  • human rights

Often these cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams can be done part-time while you work and will use your field expe­ri­ence to add cred­it hours.

Will a Certificate Count Toward an MSW?

Many post-bach­e­lor cer­tifi­cate pro­grams will give you cred­it hours that you can trans­fer to an MSW pro­gram as well. 

Even if you don’t have a bach­e­lor’s, some online MSW pro­grams don’t even require a bach­e­lor’s to apply. High­er edu­ca­tion doesn’t have to be intim­i­dat­ing; your GPA is less impor­tant than your field edu­ca­tion. Social work­ers with advanced stand­ing can get through their field­work or practicum more con­ve­nient­ly. You can get field place­ment in your cur­rent workplace.

Going on from your BSW degree to an MSW degree is an impor­tant step. A clin­i­cal social work­er may not think they need to know research meth­ods, but it’s an impor­tant pre­req­ui­site for a mas­ter of social work pro­gram. Admis­sion require­ments are less strin­gent for work­ing pro­fes­sion­als, and many online MSW pro­grams don’t require the GRE exam. Online stu­dents can choose con­cen­tra­tions like pub­lic health or choose a gen­er­al­ist prac­tice. Online or in-per­son, you can com­plete the process in as lit­tle as one year.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bachelor’s in Social Work

15 Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work

10 Fastest Online Bachelor’s in Social Work

10 Most Afford­able Bachelor’s in Social Work