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How important is specialization?


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I'm mainly looking at 2 schools for my MSW.  The first is in my current city, no need to relocate and tuition is slightly cheaper.  They offer a clinical concentration but no specialization (children/family, health, etc.)  It's just plain ol' "clinical social work".  The second school is several states away, is ultimately where I want to live, but it would be challenging to move now.  They offer several different specializations to choose from.  Is it going to help or hurt my chances of getting a job after I graduate if I do or do not have a specialization in school?

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If those are the only 2 schools you are considering, I would apply to both and see what happens. You are taking a risk by only applying to one school (unless you are such a strong candidate that you'll get into either program without question).

Edited by jenste
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Many MSW programs do not offer specializations so I doubt it will hurt you.  If you have a particular area of interest, make sure the MSW programs you apply to can offer that type of experience through placement.  Also, I'm sure that some of the electives you choose will give you that 'specialization' feel anyway. For instance, if you want to work in mental health, take as many classes as you can in that area. That way you can demonstrate specialized knowledge in your area of interest in a job interview down the road. 

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