Advocacy in Action

Through the stories we share, the Admissions Team at Baylor University hopes to inspire and educate future leaders in social work.

Is an MSW and an MBA a Good Combination?

Written by Baylor School of Social Work Team on 03.22.24

Earning a Master of Social Work means you’re choosing a career where you’ll make a concrete difference in the lives of others. 

The benefits of earning an MSW don’t end there. You’ll open the door to new job opportunities and increase your earning potential. But, did you know there’s a way to get even more bang for your buck when it comes to pursuing an MSW? 

Many institutions offer a dual degree program that allows you to earn an MSW and MBA together. Read on to learn more about how combining these degrees can benefit you.  

The Social Work and Business Connection

It’s easy to assume that social work is a profession focused on helping people and business is focused on making a profit. However, the reality is that the two have more in common than you might think. 

Here are a few ways the worlds are connected:  

  • Emergence of corporate social work roles. Increasingly, businesses are realizing the importance of paying attention to social and environmental issues. The result is the development of corporate social work roles within businesses. These social workers act as liaisons between businesses and the communities they operate in, helping to develop and implement social responsibility initiatives.
  • Benefits of social worker knowledge in business areas. Social work skills are valuable in various business areas including human resources, employee well-being, and community engagement.

Advantages of Earning an MSW and MBA Dual Degree 

There are a variety of benefits to completing both degrees in one program. Let’s explore some of them.

An Understanding of the Intersection of Social and Economic Factors

When you complete a dual degree program like an MSW and MBA, you not only gain an understanding of two professions, you gain perspective on how social and economic factors intersect. 

This understanding allows you to analyze and address complex issues impacting social welfare and financial sustainability such as affordable housing, healthcare access, and education equity. You’ll be better prepared to develop solutions that take both the human impact and financial viability of social programs/initiatives into consideration. 

Versatility in Career Path 

With the unique skill set we just discussed, you’ll be prepared for a wide variety of career opportunities across a range of industries. Here are some examples: 

  • Diversity and Inclusion Manager. You’ll develop strategies, policies, and programs to foster an inclusive work environment, address diversity challenges, and meet corporate social responsibility goals.
  • Nonprofit Executive Director. You’ll be responsible for overseeing the organization's operations, setting strategic goals, managing budgets and finances, and fundraising.
  • Development Director. You’ll develop and implement fundraising strategies to support the organization's mission and programs, build and maintain relationships with donors and funding organizations, and manage the grant application and reporting process. 

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

If working in a more traditional role like one of the options we just mentioned doesn’t sound like a fit for you, having an MSW and MBA also opens the door to entrepreneurial opportunities. This is because you’ll be prepared to identify gaps in service areas ranging from healthcare to education and create a sustainable business model of your own that can lead to social change/innovation. 

Researching the MBA Dual Degree Programs Available — and Finding Your Fit 

A number of universities offer MSW/MBA programs. So, ask the following questions to be sure you find a dual degree program that fits your needs:  

  • What are my career goals, and how does the program align with them? Clarify your career aspirations and consider how the dual degree program will support those goals. Assess whether the program offers specialized tracks, internships, or networking opportunities that align with your intended career path.
  • Does the program have a strong faculty and reputation? Research the faculty members in both the social work and business departments. Look for their expertise, publication records, and industry experience. Explore the program's reputation by researching rankings, alumni outcomes, and employer partnerships.
  • Are there opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and networking? Determine if the program fosters collaboration between social work and business students. Assess whether there are joint classes, networking events, etc. 

Begin Your Joint Degree Program Journey at Baylor 

If you’re looking for a faith-based approach to social work and business, Baylor University’s MSW and MBA dual degree program could be a good fit for you. 

Through a partnership with Baylor’s Garland School of Social Work and The Hankamer School of Business, students are trained to become compassionate and ethical social workers and business leaders who believe in service and justice, healing and restoration, and the dignity of all people. 

For more about earning an MSW and MBA at Baylor, be sure to check out our resource: Master of Social Work — The MBA of the Helping Professions. In the guide, you’ll learn more about what you can do with an MSW, salary information, and more. 

Or, if you have specific questions, feel free to reach out to the Garland School’s team for more information. We’re here to support you every step of the way in your journey to becoming a master social worker!  


Posted by Baylor School of Social Work Team

We are the admissions team at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, at Baylor University. We believe social work is about service and justice; it is about the dignity of individuals and the power of relationships; it is about integrity and competence, and our mission here is preparing social workers to do these things well. We hope you find our resources helpful and informative as you explore and pursue a degree in social work!




If you're interested in learning more about the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work and the programs we have to offer, we invite you to reach out to our team! 

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