Full-time online Master of Social Work (MSW) programs are designed for students who have the bandwidth and resources to attend graduate school on a full-time basis, but do not have access to or want to attend a traditional campus-based program. The majority of full-time online MSW programs can be completed in approximately two years, compared with two and a half to four years for part-time programs. As of November 2015, there are 14 full-time online MSW degree programs compared to 31 part-time programs.
For professionals who already work in a health services field and want to expand their career options, earning a MSW degree opens the door to advanced careers in the field of social work. In the United States, a MSW is required to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Earning a MSW online is also an option for individuals who are looking to change careers and want to enter a rewarding and growing profession. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012-13 Edition), the employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25% between 2010 and 2020. Bls.gov reports that this anticipated growth rate is faster than the average for all occupations they surveyed during the most recent edition of their Occupational Outlook Handbook.