Need Help Picking A Degree??

Discussion in 'Mental Health and Social Welfare' started by Joel Murphy, 05.16.14.

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  1. Joel Murphy

    Joel Murphy

    I'm a nontraditional student interested in mental health. From my very limited understanding a social work degree is more advantageous than a counseling degree. What are the pros and cons to each degree type; counseling, psychology, social work, etc? Ideally, I'd like to limit the time it takes to complete the degree. Are there any legitimate 1 yr Social work in counseling degrees available online? I live in Wisconsin if that makes a difference. How much a social worker who works with mentally ill patients expect to make? If someone experienced could give me insight on the whole educational/licensing progress I'd be grateful. I have a bachelor degree already so I'd be looking at masters programs.

    Thanks in advance

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  3. wesleysmith

    wesleysmith LLMSW 2+ Year Member

    I'm not overly familiar with the other masters level degrees, however, from what I've gathered through turning each page of each thread on dang near every forum on this website, the MSW is generally more employable due to its strong lobbying group (and insurance reimbursements and the versatility of the degree to some extent I believe). I don't believe there are any non-advanced standing programs you will find that can be completed in a year, and certainly not online. All of the online or extended programs I've looked into are generally longer, not shorter (three years on average). The pay is all over the place for LCSW's, it's near impossible to predict; I know individuals living in extremely affordable areas (you could live very comfortably off of 30,000) making 60,000 right out of school and other people who have been in the field several years making mid 40's in that same areas. It really depends on your employer (federal/state/private hospital, prison/jail, private practice, community health, nonprofit organization) it could be anywhere from 30-50,000 starting. seems like 40/50 is pretty standard. As for the process, there are others that could probably give you a more in depth answer, but in general it seems to be - school -> graduate -> general licensing exam (you can perform therapy under the supervision of a fully licensed lcsw) -> 2-3 years supervised hours (under said lcsw) -> licensing exam (now able to practice psychotherapy individually).

    Hopefully this helps!
  4. ikibah

    ikibah MSW student 2+ Year Member

    I don't think there are any one year programs that aren't advanced standing. In terms of pros and cons in each degree they do overlap and you will get different answers from different people. The advice I like to give is look for people who are doing what you want to be doing and ask them what degree they have, then ask them how they feel about the other degrees and where they believe that would take them. If you don't know anyone, look online and make a few cod-calls. It's not always fun but it sure is helpful.

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