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Should I pursue an MSOT or MSW ?

  1. MSW

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. MSOT

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Neither (move, learn to be self-sufficient and don't purse a graduate degree)

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    Hi everyone!

    I hope this post finds you well. I am truly in a dillema! All you replies will be truly appreciated.

    I did my undergrad in Psychology. Graduated from a private university with a massive amount of debt and a 3.6 GPA. The medical field has always been my passion. I had inteded to attend Medical School but due to mental health issues and family obligations and a bad experience with OCHEM I switched into going into OT.

    Last year, I got into NYU's Occupational Therapy program conditionally (I still have to take A&P II)
    However, my dad passed away and I had to work full time to help out my mother. I rejected NYU. Also, to be honest I was afraid that I would not be able to do well in labs during graduate school-SERIOUS anxiety (2017 was one of the toughest years)

    As time went on I became depressed and worked as a case worker with my psychology degree. The job was horrible! I felt empathy for clients but within two months I missed the way my science courses made me feel-logical, no emotions, and stability.

    Because of my age (I am turning 27 soon!) I was scared to waste even more time without a graduate degree so I decided to apply to an MSW program along with re-applying to the OT program. This time whichever program I decide on I will complete it DETERMINED and NO OTHER OBLIGATIONS.

    I got into Columbia Universities MSW program for the spring.
    I won't hear from the Occupational therapy program until about 2 more months.

    Although, I simply just want to get started on grad school and begin the next chapter of my life and start working I am torn between OT (and completing A&PII) or going for the MSW degree.

    I hear horror stories about social work but I also hear amazing things about it.

    OT has the science component which I like and pays more.

    I have to think about salary because I am a man and do eventually want to have kids and get married. I also have my disabled parents to help out.

    I know SW has the ability to increase pay with more experience, especially after licensure.
    But to be honest, I do care about the respect I get in my profession and SW isn't as respected as an OT.

    PLEASE PLEASE help me out with your experiences and advice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017 at 3:59 PM
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  3. counselor2b

    counselor2b 7+ Year Member

    27
    7
    Jun 2, 2010

    Admittedly I am neither a MSW or an OT but SW and OT are vastly different fields. I completed my masters in counseling but had been enrolled in a MSW program with a clinical mental health focus. However, I found the generalist education portion not to be in line with my interests and ultimately decided to leave the program as it would have taken 4 years to complete(part-time). If you are more interested in the medical aspect I imagine OT would likely offer that more so than a MSW. Also, graduate school is expensive and if undergrad loans are an issue, Columbia is an extremely expensive school. The MSW can be a great gateway degree to do a many number of jobs but not every job pays extremely well. On average OT will likely provide a greater return , depending how much you spend on education. Ultimately, you have to decide what is best for you, and what you can see yourself doing for the rest of your working life. Best of luck with your decision.
     
    skywalking1990 likes this.
  4. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    I received a tiny scholarship and to be honest if I don't go to CU I would have to undergo the grad school application process a THIRD time and free time/time off from school is truly not what I need right now.. Hm tough spot I am in. It is tough finding decent work with an undergrad in psychology hence the need for graduate school..
     
  5. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    no more comments? replies? Anyone there?
     
  6. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy Psychologist 2+ Year Member

    576
    375
    Dec 4, 2014
    I would probably lean OT if I were you. The social workers I know tend to be more stressed out than the OT folks I know and if your mental health is a concern, greater financial payoff and greater chances of a less-stressful day to day sound like good things. Both jobs involve doing good, important work that is rewarding. If you're truly torn, go with what will more likely end with more money and less stress.
     
    skywalking1990 likes this.
  7. counselor2b

    counselor2b 7+ Year Member

    27
    7
    Jun 2, 2010

    I get it. I had to put in 2+ years working case management jobs I didn't really care for with my psych degree before I landed sonething I liked. Hang in there. Just make sure you keep tuition costs in mind. A starting MSW job will likely place you in the 45-55k range, whereas an OT will likely start at 65-70k. Best of luck!
     
    skywalking1990 likes this.
  8. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy Psychologist 2+ Year Member

    576
    375
    Dec 4, 2014
    ...also, def consider the cost of the school. There are many excellent programs that are less expensive than I hear about Columbia and NYU.
     
    skywalking1990 likes this.
  9. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    Thank you! I still have one remaining pre-requisite if I did go for OT. So I will go ahead and take it. I will not withdraw from CU but rather I think I will defer my acceptance. In case, OT doesn't work I can still complete the MSW program. Sounds like a good plan of action.

    Also this last pre-req makes me a bit nervous so doing well will be where my focus is at now.

    Also, I hear that starting for MSW isn't that great but it goes up after licensure and even more so with private practice...so being a social worker isn't all that bad but I do see where OT would be less stress in the long run.
     
  10. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    Yes, I applied to Hunter College (much cheaper) for MSW got an interview but the interview was not so great AND I had a 101 degree fever the day of the interview...so I was not accepted after interview

    Things would have been PERFECT since tuition would have been super low at Hunter college.

    :'(
     
  11. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    The only jobs I am finding with psychology are retail, restaurants, and case management positions that are HELL...so I really would like to get back to school ASAP
     
  12. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    I would love to hear from more of you guys...anyone else that can relate?

    Any SW's out there? OT's?
     
  13. Salvador

    Salvador 2+ Year Member

    27
    8
    Nov 3, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Hi.
    It sounds like you've be better off with OT based off your need to start a family and taking care of your parents.
    Personally, I'm in 2nd year of MSW program and my background is in addictions, so I've been working in the field for a while. Burnout is a reality, whichever path you choose to take, practice some self-care
     
  14. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    Thanks Salvador! Do you enjoy your MSW program? Also, the reason I even looked into an MSW program is because I genuinely like psychology too and feel like there is a lack of SW's/mental health professionals in the community that I am part of. Also, salary-wise doesn't salary go up with more experience and a msw/licensure?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 5:28 PM
  15. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    I forgot to mention-MS in OT would take me a bit longer to complete.
     
  16. Salvador

    Salvador 2+ Year Member

    27
    8
    Nov 3, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA

    I absolutely love it. I'm going to USC doing their 6 semester traditional track, specializing in Adults and Healthy Aging (Mental Health). Just like you, my undergrad was in Psychology and I really loved that too. I guess we all choose our profession based off our life experiences. For me; I'm a veteran and want to give back to the veteran community. For me, the fastest way I can achieve is the route of social work, specifically the MSW. As far as salary goes, it does increase with experience and certainly with location. Medical Social Workers will make considerable more than those working in non-profits, but again, it's based off you and what you want to do with the MSW. The MSW in general is a very flexible degree, and you can work in most settings, especially if the uni you choose takes a generalist approach.
     
  17. skywalking1990

    skywalking1990

    19
    0
    Tuesday
    That's great!

    I do think there are a lot of options with an MSW. Especially for those that like to move around a lot. I have a lot to think about this weekend in regards to career. Heck, I am not sure if I even want to stay here in NY even LOL.
     

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