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Differences Between MSW and LCSW

 MSW vs LCSW

“MSW” stands for “Master’s Degree in Social Work” while “LCSW” stands for “Licensed Clinical Social Worker.” The main difference between the two is that MSW is a graduate degree while LCSW is a person who had taken the MSW. In order to become a licensed clinical social worker, you need to have a master’s degree in social work.

Normally, it takes two years for you to complete the master’s degree in social work. When you undergo the MSW program, it can offer you many opportunities. The MSW program can help you become the person you want to be. It is usually the prerequisite or requirement before you can become a licensed clinical social worker. With the MSW program, you can now practice in the field what you have learned in institutions. Aside from being a social worker, you can also become a school counselor and private therapist.

Before you can enroll in an MSW program, you have to first finish an undergraduate degree. You can take the MSW program if you have a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, social work, anthropology, and sociology. As long as the undergraduate degree is related to the MSW program, you can enroll in it. But in some institutions, requirements also vary.

The MSW program has varied topics or focus points. Some programs focus upon therapy wherein you can use your knowledge in becoming a Marriage and Family therapist. Some MSW programs have majors in social working wherein you can apply your learned skills as a licensed clinical social worker.

After you have finished the MSW program, you can vie for becoming a licensed clinical social worker. Finishing the MSW program is not the only requirement in becoming an LCSW. If you become a licensed clinical social worker, there are many job opportunities for you. To become an LCSW, you also need to gain experience in a related field. You need to have two years of professional experience. You can gain relevant experience in hospitals and government agencies. Usually, you are paid for your services.

If you have already completed the 3,000 hours or 2 years of professional experience, you can now take the licensure exam. In most regions, you need to be at least 21 years old in order to take the licensure exam. Before you take the examination, of course, you need to review in order to pass. The licensure exam usually consists of a written and oral examination. If you successfully pass the exam, you can now gain your professional license, and you can now practice your profession.

Being a licensed clinical social worker also entails continuing education. To keep up with the changing pace of social work principles, you need to attend workshops and seminars. This is to leverage your knowledge more and keep your license current. There are several changing trends in the social work field, which is why you need to be up-to-date.
To top it off, taking the master’s degree in social work is essential for you to become a licensed clinical social worker.

Summary:

  1. “MSW” stands for “Master’s Degree in Social Work” while “LCSW” stands for “Licensed Clinical Social Worker.”
  2. An MSW is a graduate degree while an LCSW is a social worker with a license. Being licensed gives you permission to practice your profession.
  3. Taking an MSW program is one of the requirements in becoming a licensed clinical social worker.
  4. It usually takes two years to complete the MSW program. However, it is not the only sole requirement in becoming licensed clinical social program.

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