You have an important decision to make. What’s that, you ask? Well, if you have previously earned your master’s degree in social work and you would like to further your education, no doubt, you will want to pursue an online doctorate degree as well. But, which type? It all depends on your interest, your end goals and where your true passion lies.

Would a PhD suit your needs? The PhD degree is issued as a “Doctor of Philosophy” degree. Primarily, a PhD is earned if you intend to pursue a career in academia or research. Through this type of program, you can earn credentials to land a job as a professor at the college or university level or in any other instructional or leadership capacity. A PhD program may take four to six years to complete, including the dissertation process.

As you embark on your PhD degree program, you will learn about the theoretical aspects of social work, learn about effective teaching methods, as well as, extensive research methodology. Studies in philosophy, behavioral science, quantitative scientific methods and integrating public policy issues are usually included.

Or, perhaps a Doctor of Social Work, or DSW degree, will suit your needs. A DSW degree, focuses more on the practicing professional in social work. In this capacity, you will be concerned with the knowledge and skills needed to continue social work after graduation, rather than academia or research. This degree is ideal for those who would like to pursue a career in administration, management or as a department leader.

Through an online DSW program, you will be given the opportunity to enhance your practical skills to improve upon the quality of care you can provide to your clients and for your community. You will learn about social theories, neuroscience for clinical practice, as well as, psychopathology and psychopharmacology. The main goal in a DSW program is to emphasize clinical leadership and advanced clinical practice.

As you can see, both degrees are very prestigious and will provide you with many opportunities for advancement and an increased salary. If you would like to learn more about this field, please see our list of the Best Online Schools for Doctor of Social Work degree programs that we have provided for your convenience.