Online Social Work degree is a newer concept with growing popularity worldwide. Social Work is considered one of the noblest professions. People pursuing their career in the field of Social Work have been growing over the past few years.
With the country facing rapid developments and milestones, there are several issues to be addressed by social workers. With that in mind, several institutes offer social work degrees at undergraduate (Bachelor’s) and graduate (Master’s) level in online and traditional ways so as to increase the manpower in this field. The online social work degree has several benefits over the traditional, but some drawbacks exist.
What is an Online Social Work Degree?
A Social Work degree is a professional study giving a framework to pursue one’s career as a social worker. With the widespread use of the internet and the world getting closer, the possibility of reaching out to maximum students to acquire social work degrees has increased. There is an increasing trend in switching the mode of education to virtually. Likewise, the concept of an Online Social Work degree emerged that enables students to take classes remotely and also some logical reasoning tests that can be taken online.
Online Social Work degree is similar to the traditional social work degree, except it allows the student to pursue education virtually through various methods. The duration of study of an online social work degree is almost the same as the conventional, i.e four years of Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) and two years of Master of Social Work (MSW). However, institutes do offer flexibility in the duration of the study with different credit hours value in the curriculum.
What are the perks of having an Online Social Work degree?
The growing popularity of attaining the classes virtually is due to its several perks. It enables students to attend lectures, workshops, and presentations virtually from any place around the world. The cost of education reduces drastically as one can avoid being around expensive university areas and learn from home.
It also buys time for a student to do their own reading and research in their own areas of interest. Since there is excellent coverage of internet access to the majority of places, students can reach out to the maximum number of people for their research and study didactics. One can pursue a social work degree alongside continuing other academic courses.
The credit hours may vary from institute to institute but since the degrees are offered by accredited institutes, the equivalence of online over the traditional is the same. Being in their own comfort zones and varying personalities of students, an online social work degree allows students to enhance their communication skills and raise their performances.
What are the possible drawbacks of an Online Social Work degree?
There are some drawbacks associated with an online social work degree. While there are limited places offering online social work degrees, it may be for a reason. Social Work is one of the platforms in academia that requires equal exposure to fieldwork and theoretical education.
The concept of an online social work degree may attain quality assurance for the theoretical part but the practical education when students need to work in the community may be lagging. One acquiring an online degree may lack the social skills that are enhanced when one gets blended into the society they would be working in, in the future.
Due to the likelihood of the presence of distractions at home, the quality of online degrees may raise a question in the quality. Similarly, internet access is expected to be within the reach of every student, however, the group deprived of adequate facilities can’t be ignored.
Adequate brainstorming could be done to address these setbacks pertaining to studying online. The number of online accredited programs offered by the institutes could be increased, reducing the drawbacks of an online social work degree.
Online social work degrees are growing in popularity amongst students, more after the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are limited institutes offering online degrees, addressing the setbacks of the online method would bring needed transformation in the education delivery.
Since the online social work degree is considered equivalent to conventional ones, students tend to prefer online for better convenience and compliance. There is a higher potential to increase the manpower in the field of social workers with online social work degrees.