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Making the Most of the Coursework for a Master’s Degree in Social Work

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There are many factors that go into deciding on the right school and program when applying to schools for a master’s in social work (MSW).  Once the decision has been made, then it is a matter of making one’s best effort to complete the coursework and to get the most out of it.  There are certain skillsets that you will want to have developed upon graduating with your degree.

Where to Focus

When a person thinks of social workers they often think of a hard worker, a great listener, and an advocate for others who are less fortunate and struggling.  A great social worker needs all of these abilities, and more.  It’s these personal traits that must be uncovered and nurtured.  Along with the classwork you should take the opportunity to develop your personal attributes.  During the two years of working on the degree, take the time to nurture these skills.  Develop the ones that may be weak or lacking.  There is no need to worry that your skills and abilities will not be enough.  You will grow to fill the shoes of a seasoned social worker soon enough.

One of the greatest assets of a social worker is adaptability.  New crises happen frequently and often without warning.  Your ability to adapt to change is an important skill to have, along with your ability to accept the change and not get too stressed about it.

Your Instructors

The professors, teacher’s assistants, and tutors that you meet during your schooling will play an important role in learning and they should be utilized to the fullest.  The experience of your professors and lecturers will pay dividends, so attend every class and online discussion when you have the opportunity.  Whenever there are online group discussions you should attend them and ask plenty of good questions that you may have had during class.

The Grades

Of course, you should be concerned with your grades, but they are only a part of the overall experience.  Although extremely challenging for most people, the rigors of studying at a school like Rutgers is well worth it.  Commit to it and commit to yourself.  Show yourself that you can make it.  It is this same tenacity that you will need when acting as a social worker, while advocating for others who are less fortunate and in need.


The summer months or other vacation time will allow you the time needed to become an intern in one of the many agencies that exist around the area where you live.  When rest and recuperation are needed, take the time to reflect on what you have learned.  It is during these times that you can explore the different career paths in social work, and there are many.  Some career paths to explore are school social worker, child welfare, public health, and many others.  Many people work for the county or state government eventually.  You can check with local agencies or get help with securing opportunities through our online placement program.

The online master’s in social work at Rutgers is the best program available.  You can be proud of what you will accomplish.