A degree in child studies opens the door for quite a number of potential careers. If you have a passion for young children, aspire to work in education or social services, and want a degree that creates varied career opportunities, this is a degree for you. A child studies degree field focuses on child development from infancy through age 8.
One of the most obvious places that people who have a degree in child studies work is in schools. Particularly, these graduates are prepared for careers in early childhood and kindergarten classrooms. Yet that is just one option. These professionals can also work in social services, healthcare, recreation centers, museums, and family resource departments. Here is a closer look at some careers and fields available to those holding child studies degrees.
Early Childcare Teacher
Though a degree in child studies doesn’t focus solely on education, it provides a strong foundation for working in education. Because this degree focuses on the development and educational needs of young children, as well as a focus on social work and public policy relating to young children, it prepares students for educational roles quite well. Degree holders often excel in the classroom as they implement their understanding of child development into planning and executing lessons and facilitating social learning for their students.
Curriculum Development and Coordinating
Not only can those with a child studies degree teach, but they can also help plan and develop the material, scope, and sequence used in instruction for young children. In curriculum development, degree holders work with educators and schools to create the curriculum they use in the classroom. These professionals may be employed in schools. They may also work with curriculum developers, government agencies, public community centers, and other areas where early childhood programming is needed for a community benefit.
Child Life Specialist
When children go to the hospital or face challenging medical procedures, they benefit from working with child life specialists. These caring professionals help families and children understand what is going to happen, cope with the hospital stay, and deal with the emotional challenges of life-altering diagnoses. Child life specialists will explain medical procedures in terms young children can better understand to make them less frightening. They may bring toys or therapy animals to the sophistical room, provide help with coping strategies for challenging times, and even give some counseling to children and their families.
Most of the time, child life specialists work in pediatric medical facilities and hospitals. However, these professionals are also needed in adult medical centers where they may help explain medical terms to the children of adults getting care. Because a child studies degree teaches these professionals about the emotional and educational development of young children, it prepares them well for helping families in these emotionally challenging times.
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) works with children and youth in need. Child studies can give you the right training to work as a social worker in the DCF or other community venues. In this role, you will work with the agency to help children find the best possible home and living environment. Social workers often provide counseling to children as well as their families. They will also investigate claims of abuse or neglect, help families make changes to provide a more nurturing home environment and help place children in foster or adoptive homes when circumstances require this change.
Social workers also work with the DCF to develop treatment plans for children who have special needs and require extra community-based support. These children may not be in abusive or neglectful homes, but they may be living in poverty or dealing with a disability. Here, the goal is not to change the living environment or family but to provide the support needed for the children to thrive.
Child Care Licensing Specialist
Not all careers available to those holding a child studies degree involve working with children directly. If you have a passion for helping children but not necessarily a passion for teaching or counseling, you could seek work in child care licensing. Child care licensing professionals evaluate childcare facilities, including home childcare settings, to ensure they are safe and up to the current state standards for childcare. An understanding of child development and emotional needs is an important part of this role. The actual duties include going to the facilities to inspect the grounds and teaching methods, investigating complaints that come from the community, and reviewing license applications when they come up for renewal.
Children’s Museum Program Director
Children’s museums offer more than just exhibits. Most have programs and classes that make them an asset to the local community, and these programs must be planned and coordinated. Child studies degree programs provide the right understanding of child development and educational needs to start a career in this field. With a clear understanding of what children are able to understand and take in, you will be able to plan programs and events that will educate and entertain children at the same time.
Rec Center Childhood Programming Director
Similar to the children’s museum, most community rec centers have programs specific to young children. These after-school and daycare programs require an understanding of child development, which is provided through a child studies degree.
If you are looking for a degree in child studies that is convenient and works with your schedule, consider Post University. Our online degree program fits into a busy working adult’s schedule, uses hands-on activities and in-field experiences, and provides detailed knowledge of child development from birth through age 8. Learn more about our Bachelor’s in Child Studies degree today to find out if it is a good fit for your career goals.