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An MSW and MBA can go hand in hand

Christine Bader. Photo courtesy of Yale University.

Christine Bader. Photo courtesy of Yale University.

An MBA is now the most popular degree in the United States.

However Christine Bader, author of “The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil,” argues  that combining masters degrees in business and social work might be a better idea.

Having a social work degree would help business leaders avoid decisions that harm communities affected by their companies, said Bader, who wrote this article in Co.Exist.

For instance, business leaders with social work skills and trained to look beyond dollars and cents might have prevented incidents such as the collapse of a building in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 garment workers or the Enron debacle, Bader said.

The USC School of Social Work just launched a business concentration for their students and a number of universities offer joint MSW/MBA degrees, said Bader, who cited the National Association of Social Workers’ mission in her article.

“Tomorrow’s CEOs will be working in an environment that demands proactive empathy with the needs of an ever-changing workforce, and innovative collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders on the most pressing issues that face our global society,” she wrote.

“That sounds to me like a job for a social worker who might be able to help not just the world’s companies but its people and environment as well.”

Cheers to Bader for highlighting how a social work education can work not only in social services  and mental health but also in the business world.

To learn more about how social workers help clients overcome life’s challenges visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” consumer website.



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  1. Totally agree. I wish there was a joint MSW/MBA program at the university where I got my degree. I see my profession as a systems professional. I look at the delta between my clients and the social systems in which they would like/need to participate. Often a huge barrier to participation centers around economics as well a psychiatric barriers. Currently, I am using neuroeconomic analyses to work with psychosocioeconomical barriers to parolees entering the job marketplace during this very challenging economy. Some would like to know how to start a business, or how to sell pro-social skills in this environment while dealing with a prison and mental health history. How can companies look at programs that could help? Prisons are a 3rd world nation within a nation. And a large percentage of prisoners are coming out like it or not. An MSW/MBA could definitely help with the economic reintegration.

    That’s a huge delta between release and getting to participate in the community in a pro-social manner.

  2. After completing MSW course in India from Indira Gandhi National Open University,a student wants to do MBA.
    Which subject is better for him and why between ‘Human Resources Management’ and ‘ NGO Management’)?

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