I'm currently in my first year in a MSW program. I'm having serious second thoughts about continuing on with the program. Let me explain some reasons why.
1. The pay stinks. I knew beforehand that social workers typically do not make a lot of money. I didn't think I would enter this field and come out making a 6 figure salary years down the road. With that being said, I also did not realize how little of an increase in pay there is after years in the field. After talking to people in the field, graduates of MSW programs and looking online, I've fully realized that even after working the field for 10, 15 or 20 years one might still be making $50k. That's horrible. I'm not saying this is the case for everyone but I think it is for most social workers, excluding those with dual degrees (e.g., MBA, JD, MPA, etc.)
2. MSW degrees are typically very expensive. The school I'm currently attending charges around $40k for a two year MSW degree (i.e., in tuition only). I know schools like USC charge around $80k for the degree. That's unbelievable. Some people will tell you you have to go to a well known school to make more money and build better connections. That's bull. Don't listen to them. They'll be working in the same jobs as those who graduated from a cheaper state school except the state school graduates won't be in debt almost $100k. The degree is costly though and as mentioned before, the earning potential for social workers is very low especially for someone who has a graduate degree. I would advise people not to go for the MSW unless they are receiving a significant amount of scholarship and/or their job is paying for the degree.
3. The field is dominated by leftists (or as Star Parker calls them, "The enemies of God"). Every course I've taken thus far has had a leftist professor and textbook. You'll hear nonsense like, "Families don't need fathers," or "Homosexuals just want marriage equaliuty and they are "oppressed." One of my teachers is a hardcore feminist and constantly alludes to it throughout her lectures. You'll hear only one side of most social issues and if you dare bring up the fact that you're conservative or Republican, you'll be ostracized and ridiculed. You won't gain an education from attending most MSW programs I suspect. You'll be indoctrinated with leftist dogma and never hear another side to any issue unless you actively seek out other opposing views on your own time.
4. Many jobs out there in the world that only require a bachelors degree or less are available and pay the same or sometimes more than what MSW graduates make. One could go to a community college, complete a year long program and become a massage therapist making roughly around the same amount of money as many MSW graduates make. Others can go learn a trade at a technical school, complete it in a lot less time than a bachelors and MSW degree take and come out making the same or more money than MSW degree holders.
5. Even after getting your license (e.g., LSW, LCSW), you have to pay to take courses every year or so in order to keep the license valid. These continuing education courses are not cheap and you have to take several of them. Social workers already make little money yet the state requires that you do this in order to keep your license. How ridiculous! Plus, still after getting these licenses your pay does not significantly increase.
These are just some of the thoughts that come to mind and that have caused me to seriously reconsider pursuing this degree. I'm not sure that it is a worthwhile investment but to each his own.