An online Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) degree prepares graduates to be professional practitioners, administrators, and teachers. DSW graduates can also become community organizers or fill other roles that those with a Master of Social Work degree can fill, just at a higher, more comprehensive level.

Professorships and teaching positions at most universities require that applicants have earned either a DSW or PhD in social work. The DSW degree is similar to a PhD in social work, though the DSW degree usually focuses more on practice rather than on research as a PhD usually does. Online DSW programs, though extremely rare, do exist for students who perhaps work full-time, or cannot afford to travel back and forth to classes.

Capella University offers online-only degrees, including a DSW through the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and belongs to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Capella’s curriculum focuses on problem-solving in social situations, the increased amount of attention on technology in the social work field, and various other areas of current social work research. Capella DSW students are required to take 72 hours of certain classes, including dissertation research courses.

DSW students must also choose four or five elective courses in order to fulfill the elective requirement. Students are also given the opportunity to attend a week-long Dissertation Writer’s Retreat to receive additional feedback and support from professors and mentors. At Capella University, the DSW program is designed to last about three years from start to finish. As stated above, online-only DSW programs are extremely difficult to locate, though online PhD programs seem to be slightly more common. You can get a PhD in social work online at Walden University and Bryn Mawr.

Jobs available for graduates with a Doctorate of Social Work are mostly focused in the areas of research and teaching. Public policy analysis, evaluation of non-academic centers, and advanced human services practice are only a few of the possibilities for graduates with a DSW degree. Most places of employment do not prefer a DSW degree over a PhD in Social Work, or vice versa. Both degrees appeal to students who have experience in the social work field, yet wish to advance in their careers by obtaining additional training. Graduates of DSW or PhD programs are more likely to hold leadership positions in organizations rather than in direct care positions.

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