Jump Into a High-Demand Job With a Master of Science in Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)The Baby Boomers are retiring. The millennials are coming up, but in the mean time, there’s going to be a major healthcare shortage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that healthcare currently comprises one-third of the country’s fastest growing occupations. Between 2010 and 2020, the United States will have openings for 712,000 new registered nurses. A Master of Science in Nursing can help you nab the a job in that field.

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You’re In the Money with a Finance Degree

finance degrees and schoolsA finance degree program is typically part of a school of business within a college or university, or a concentration or major at a business school. You can also earn your degree in finance at any level online, studying at top business schools or universities without leaving your home. An online degree is especially suitable for working adults who want to improve their earning power and stand out in today’s competitive business environment while balancing the demands of home, work and study.
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Project Management Degrees Help You Lead a Team

project management prorgramsOne of the most highly valued jobs out there, adept project managers are secret weapons for the businesses lucky enough to get them. This degree focuses on one skill — how to lead a efficiently team through a multi-faceted project from beginning to end. To do that, project managers have to be well-versed in how their business runs from top to bottom and understand the abilities and limitations of their team members. Applicable in many types of business settings, these managers could work on projects ranging from healthcare policies to construction initiatives.

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Teach From the Heart With a Special Education Degree

special education degree programsIt takes drive, compassion, and the ability to truly listen to excel in this field. While many think that the special education profession is limited to elementary and secondary school teachers, special education workers also find jobs in all levels of academia, research departments, education think tanks, clinics, hospitals, correctional facilities, and public policy organizations.

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Master of Social Work Helps Enhance Lives

The social work profession takes a special person – one who has a compassionate spirit – to help everyone from children to disabled individuals to senior adults face challenges.

A master of social work will give you the knowledge to take your caring nature out those who need it most, as you help individuals and families cope with illnesses, addictions, mental health issues, poverty, unemployment, divorce, violence, and other heartbreaking situations.

Master of Social Work Careers

When you pursue a graduate degree in social work, you are showing your commitment to the field. A master of social work is required for clinical social work positions, where you may be diagnosing and treating mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders, providing therapy, and developing treatment plans, among other duties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A master of social work also may be required for you to get hired in what’s known as a direct-service social work role. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says some of those duties include identifying individuals who need assistance and assessing their needs, referring clients to community resources, connecting individuals with government agencies that offer benefits such as Medicare, and responding in a crisis situation.

The sad reality is that the need for social workers isn’t expected to diminish, as individuals and families cope with challenges daily. The social work profession, which had 650,000 jobs in 2010, is expected to experience a 25 percent increase in jobs by 2020, which is faster than average for all occupations, according to the Bureau. The median annual wage of social workers was $42,480, based on May 2010 data from the Bureau.

Social workers are needed in a variety of settings including:

  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Community mental health clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practices
  • Schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Substance abuse clinics
  • State and local governments
  • Military bases and hospitals

Types of Master of Social Work Programs

The social work profession desires individuals who are highly trained and well educated. A master of social work generally takes two years to complete, although it is possible to earn a master degree in one year, if you come into the program with a bachelor’s in social work. Another career-boosting option is pursuing a dual-degree program, such as a master of social work/master of public health degree.

Most master of social work programs will incorporate hands-on experience, through clinical rotations, fieldwork, or internships, as well as include courses on ethics, human behavior, research, interpersonal practice, social welfare, and other topics. Some programs are full-time degree programs while others are on a part-time basis designed for working professionals. Accredited online master of social work programs also are available, which would include a field work component.

The American Clinical Social Work Association puts it like this: “Clinical social work requires mastery of an extensive body of knowledge that can only be attained through the rigors of graduate education. It also requires mastery of a set of skills that are developed in the process of intense, extended, post-graduate training while engaged in actual practice.”

The top five graduate social work programs, according to U.S. News & World Report, are University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Chicago, University of Washington, and Columbia University. Students in a master of social work program have the opportunity to concentrate on a certain practice area, such as aging; children, youth and families; gerontology; mental health; community/social systems; and social and economic development.

Groups such as the National Association of Social Workers also provide credentials and continuing education, and the Association of Social Work Boards provide licensing exams.

Once you have a master of social work, you have the opportunity to move into a clinical social work position, join a group practice, or open your own practice to help children and families, assist schools, work with aging adults (such as gerontological social workers or hospice social workers) or help individuals with mental health problems.

A master of social work can help you, by providing the education and training you need, care for and help others in need.