Your Online Resource for Child Development Degrees
ChildDevelopmentDegree is an online resource for Child Development programs. Child development degrees give students education and practical experience working with infants and children of all ages. This is important for gaining know how through hands-on experience of working with kids. The focus is on how a child grows and the difficulties he or she faces making transitions, whether that’s working with other children or experiencing a life-changing event.
There are many types of child development degrees. There are bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD programs in studying children, their development, and psychology. Child development degrees allow a student to prepare for a rewarding position in education or childcare.
Types of Child Development Degrees
There are many degrees students can pursue if they are interested in a career in child development. A few types of theses degrees include:
- Bachelor of Science in Child Development
- Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Family Health and Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and Education
There are also associate’s and master’s degrees for variations of these programs. The title is something that changes from school to school, but for the most part, the curriculum and objectives are the same for child development degree programs.
Is There a Need for Child Development Workers?
More states are implementing mandated child development programs. There are several in existence, and studies show that children participating in these programs at a very early age are better students once they begin school. Because of this, states are exploring child development program options and looking for qualified individuals to help build and grow these programs in major and mid-size cities. These programs are less common in the suburbs and rural areas, but if they are state mandated, they will be opening in more areas. Studies show that these programs also aid a child’s psychological and mental growth through encouragement, one-on-one care, and proper guidance for interacting with other students.
How Do I Start a Child Development Degree Program?
Start by exploring accredited programs online or in your area. There are many accredited child development programs that will accept students with a high school diploma or GED. In some cases, you will have to take an entrance exam that gauges where a student ranks in math and English subjects. If you do not score well enough on this exam, you may have to take remedial courses until you pass the test, which will then qualify you for courses worth college credits. This varies by school. Look for a program that is accredited and has been around for a few years. Many established schools have child development programs with a long history and are now offering an online extension for these programs. This allows students to complete classes on their own time and continue to work while going to school.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can apply for a master’s degree in child development. This usually involves taking the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and sending transcripts of your undergrad work to potential schools. In some cases, you also need a letter of recommendation from a colleague in the field or a past instructor. Unlike other master’s programs, a master’s in child development only requires a bachelor’s degree to apply. It does not have to be in education or any related course. As long as a student submits an appropriate GRE score and transcript, he or she will most likely be admitted into the master’s program. Students may not work directly with children in the beginning stages of any program. First techniques are taught, followed by instruction on how to apply these tactics when working with and studying children.
Who Needs a Master of Child Development Degree?
A master of child development is among the highest levels of education a person can have in this field. People with this title will usually work developing children’s curriculum and working with the government to produce effective programs that benefit the students and community. There is a strong need for top qualified people to work with the government and other non-profit agencies. Many states and cities need help developing new early childhood development programs that will serve as the benchmark for other programs to be modeled after. While a bachelor’s degree in the subject will garner many jobs, a master’s degree will allow you to apply for top positions that can potentially change and shape the future of childhood education in and out of the classroom.
Can I Specialize with a Child Development Degree?
One of the fastest growing areas within child development is special education. There is a severe shortage of qualified special education teachers, which places unqualified teacher’s aids working with special needs children on a regular basis. These teacher’s aides often have little training working with special needs students and do not know how to work with students for effective education. Because of the growing number of special needs students, teachers are placed with too many students and the help of an aid, who does not know how to appropriately work with these students. School districts need qualified teachers and instructors to work with special needs students and develop special needs programs that allow these students to grow despite their disabilities.
Are All Special Needs Students Disabled?
Not all special needs students are physically or mentally disabled. Two of the growing areas of special needs students are autistic children and children who suffer from anxiety due to post-traumatic stress syndrome. Students are exposed to too much at an early age and this has caused symptoms of anxiety in children in distressed situations. Post-traumatic stress (PTS) is a growing issue in modern society, brought on by violence and other problems.
Autism is on the rise, especially in young boys. There is much research being done in this area. Many experts believe there’s a window of opportunity where the right developmental exercises can positively affect an autistic child. There’s still much to learn about children who suffer from PTS, as well as autism, and child development workers are always working to create an environment and learning strategy that’s beneficial to students.
What Can I Do with a Child Development Degree?
Because this is a rapidly growing area, there are many job opportunities for those working in child development. You will not be limited to working in education as a teacher. Those with advanced degrees will be eligible to work in top positions creating curriculum and programs for schools, cities, and states. A child development degree allows you to study the physical and mental growth of children, and this knowledge can be applied to many different areas. Program directors for schools and child care facilities deal with the administrative side of things. Program directors are supervisors and often develop a childcare and developmental plan for the entire school or facility. It is a management position, but because of your background, you’re able to connect with staff, students, and parents on what benefits everyone as a whole.
You can also explore a career as a child development educator. In this case, you’re educating other teachers and childcare workers on what works best in the classroom. You can also work as a teacher, putting you directly with students who need your help on a daily basis. Childcare workers are also on the rise. In most other countries, childcare workers require a degree and teaching experience. In the United States, this is only now becoming an issue, as up until now most childcare workers did not need a degree of any sort. Childcare workers are now expected to have certifications or an associate’s degree. Those with a bachelor’s degree are able to become supervisors or directors of these childcare facilities, such as day cares or community centers.
How Much Will I Earn Working in Child Development?
You salary will vary depending on your position, as well as where you work. Some of the more common salary ranges are listed below:
- Program directors can earn as much as $50,000 per year, depending on where they’re working and if the program is funded by the government.
- On average, child development teachers earn about $40,000 per year. This can increase for teachers working with special needs students.
- Child development workers creating curriculum or programs for publishing companies or non-profit organizations earn an average of $42,000 per year.
While the pay is average, this is an area that is expected to grow substantially in the next decade and will almost guarantee a job for qualified applicants. A growing population also means there are many children who will need to be part of early childhood development programs before entering kindergarten in elementary schools.
Do I Need Experience to Work in Child Development?
As with any career, hands-on experience is always noticed and appreciated by potential employers. Because this is a fairly new area that is growing quickly, applicants for jobs do not need substantial hands-on experience. It is more about qualifications and applying techniques learned in the classroom to working with children. Volunteering at a local library or school is a great way to garner experience working with children. Volunteer hours can appear on your resume, as long as they pertain to your career choice. You can also volunteer at local churches (many have day care programs) and community centers to gain experience.
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