Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mental Health Continuing Education: Social Work

When it comes to social workers, mental health continuing education is a must. For many professionals, it is required to remain licensed and employed. But even for those who are not required by law to maintain CEUs, it is a good idea to find accredited institutions that provide additional training beyond graduation. Social workers must remain up to date on the latest theories and research in the field in order to maintain effectiveness with their clients. Social work itself covers a broad spectrum. Some work in the public sector, helping those who are facing addictions and mental illness. Some work as advocates in the legal system. Whatever your primary goal is, however, furthering your study is never a hindrance.

Though it depends on where you work and in what respect you are employed, most social workers have at least a Bachelor's degree in their chosen field (usually some form of soft science such as psychology or sociology). These days, especially with a tight, competitive job market, it is becoming more and more common to see a Masters degree as an entry-level requirement for employment. After achieving their degree, the aspiring social worker will likely have to take the Association of Social Work Boards exam in order to become licensed. Each state has different requirements as it pertains to what is a passing grade. A candidate may retake the exam as many times as needed to pass.

Anyone interested in mental health continuing education should avail themselves of the necessary requirements by their state and local governing boards. This can make a big difference when it comes to where you can further your training. Depending on where you live and how far you want to progress in your work, you can choose to simply meet ongoing standards for education or you can move on and obtain an advanced degree in your field of study. Some government and private institutions will put a lot of weight on advanced degrees and some will not. Few places will hold it against you, however. At the same time, this doesn't necessarily make it the right choice. Going back to school can be expensive, so you have to weight the potential increase in earnings against the loans you may have to take out.

There has never been an easier time for a social worker to keep up to date with their mental health continuing education requirements. Online opportunities abound, along with those in the traditional channels.

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