Child Development Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Child Development Degree

A child development degree in the field of education provides students with knowledge related to child psychology, sociology, and communication. Students within child development degree learn how to teach, nurture and work closely with young children in a variety of settings. Child development students learn how to meet the basic needs of child care while organizing activities and educational experiences necessary to explore interests, develop cooperation skills, increase independence, and foster self esteem. A child development degree also gives students the ability to improve personal communication skills, develop daily routines and schedules, and effectively discipline disruptive students. A child development degree is a great foundation for a rewarding career working with and understanding children.

Many colleges and universities have developed innovative, online child development degree programs in response to the increasing educational demands of students as they manage job or family obligations which prevent on campus studies. Online programs provide students with virtually the same instruction, material, and educational experiences as their traditional, brick and mortar counterparts. Most online degree programs also provide students with the added benefit of a more personalized degree and increased flexibility of course scheduling. Online courses generally consist of 25 students who have 24 hour access to course materials. Students enrolled within online courses also communicate with professors and other students via one on one internet chats. Online degree programs are often one of the most convenient and affordable means of expanding education within the field of child development.

What Students Learn Within A Child Development Degree Program

Students pursuing a child development degree gain a broad understanding of the social and psychological aspects of child development,, as well as the skills to structure educational activities and discipline plans based upon the child’s age. Most professionals working with young children in daycare and educational settings are required to have a minimum of an associate’s degree to qualify for employment.

Courses at an associate’s degree level include: introduction to early childhood education; child development; infant/toddler growth and development; college writing; English composition; survey of American government; human growth and development; foundations of early childhood education; introduction to teaching; methods in preschool education; children’s literature; and adult child interaction. Graduates from associate’s degree programs may advance to employment or higher degree programs.

Courses at a bachelor level include: introduction to child development; infant and toddler development; young children with special needs; preschool management; emergent literacy; leadership in early childhood education; cooperative education; assessment tools in child development; first aid; elementary games and rhythms; child abuse and neglect; child guidance and management; early intervention with high risk children; developmental assessment; families, intimate relationships, and human sexuality; personal dimensions of education, adult development and life assessment; personal dimensions of education; child and adolescent development; child, family, and society; language development in young children; survey of exceptional students; cognitive development of infants and young children; assessment and intervention during early childhood; understanding behavior and family dynamics; early childhood curriculum and methods; play and learning for the young child; developmental programs; development of social cognition; child development research methods; statistics; experimental methods and design; human development research; principles of biology; introduction to psychology; introduction to cultural anthropology; introduction to sociology; professional issues in child development; child abuse and neglect; early social and emotional development; human development: childhood; early cognitive development; child guidance and management; early childhood development; infant development and group care; developmental assessment; developmental programs for preschool children; development of social cognition; human development: adolescence; human development: adulthood and aging; the family in cross cultural perspective: the Mexican American family; the African American family; Asian American families; organization and administration of early childhood education programs; experimental methods and design; research and information literacy; psychological disorders of children; learning disabilities; social welfare services; child guidance and management; child development in cultural content; development of social cognition; organization and administration of early childhood education programs; oral interpretation of children’s literature; children’s literature; music for the classroom teacher; elementary physical education; introduction to learning and motivation; behavior genetics; sociology of youth; children’s theater; and performance for children. Graduates from bachelor degree programs may advance to various employment opportunities or higher education programs.

Courses at a master’s level include: orientation to graduate learning in psychology; lifespan development; learning theories in psychology; ethics and multicultural issues in psychology; tests and measurements; inferential statistics; research methods; human prenatal development; topics in child and adolescent development; child psychology; adolescent psychology; integrative project; advanced intellectual development; advanced personal/social development; development of language in young children; problems in research: design and methods; qualitative and ethnographic methods; children with special needs; emotional problems of young children; curricula for young children; child advocacy and educational rights; social policy for children and families; and child art. Graduates who complete master’s degrees may advance to employment or continue studies within doctoral degree programs.

Classes at the doctoral level include: human development: psychosocial; proseminar in applied child development; seminar on children at risk; seminar on learning and teaching; seminar on social and cultural contexts; design, developing, and evaluating early childhood intervention programs; special topics, research design and statistics; and ethics. Graduates with doctoral degrees in child development often qualify as experts and may work as instructors or researchers.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Child Development Degrees

A child development degree qualifies graduates for a variety of employment options dependent upon factors like education level and work experiences. Most graduates are legally required to complete a Child Development Associate (CDA) certification to gain employment within state or federally funded child care centers, private schools, and other institutions. Graduates must meet age, education, and work experience requirements to not only qualify for entry level positions but also attract advancement opportunities. Many child development degree graduates also may have to complete other certification programs, like CPR and first aid training, to qualify for employment. Additionally, most child development degree programs require students to complete internships to gain hands on experiences in learning environments in addition to formal degree programs.

An associate’s degree in child development generally allows students to gain employment as teacher’s aides, assistant preschool teachers, private or public day care providers, and tutors. Bachelor degree graduates qualify for entry level teaching positions within schools, day care facilities, religious organizations, and other learning environments upon completing licensing requirements. Some bachelor degree graduates also work as child advocates, or as workers at community centers, adoption agencies, youth services agencies, or summer camp programs.

Advanced degrees often qualify graduates for clinical or therapeutic counseling positions as social workers or guidance counselors within educational, governmental, or rehabilitation organizations. Some graduates with master’s degrees work as directors of preschools, child life specialists, or occupational therapists upon specializing their degree. Graduates with doctoral degrees often qualify as experts within the field of child development working as instructors within colleges, program coordinators within social service or counseling programs, and universities or as administrators or supervisors within educational, governmental, or mental health institutions.

Salary Range For Graduates With Child Development Degrees

Graduates with child development degrees have earnings which greatly vary and are dependent upon factors like education level, organization of employment, and related work experiences. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports median annual salaries for child development degree graduates ranges from $18,840 to $31,430 annually. Graduates who work as education administrators generally earn $37,270 annually. Child, family and school social workers generally have salaries of $31,210 annually. Graduates who work as elementary teachers often earn $28,170 to $47,100 annually. Preschool teachers generally earn $22,210 annually. Child care providers generally earn $17,440 annually. Graduates who work as teacher assistants generally earn $19,090 annually. Graduates with advanced degrees often earn base salaries of $41,660 or more annually.

Career Outlook And Advancement Opportunities For Child Development Degree Graduates

Job growth and career stability for graduates who complete child development degrees are expected to increase and remain stable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that elementary teaching jobs will increase by 19 percent at an average rate in comparison to other occupations through 2018. Job growth for child care workers is predicted to increase by 11 percent at a moderate rate through 2018. Growth for graduates who work as preschool teachers is expected to increase by 19 percent at a faster than average rate through 2018. Graduates who work as special education teachers are expected to find a 17 percent increase in job growth at a faster than average rate through 2018. Job growth for school based guidance counselors is expected to increase by 14 percent at a faster than average rate through 2018.

Job prospects for graduates with child development degrees are expected to be affected by geographic location, with more employment opportunities within urban or rural school districts and organizations rather than suburban areas. As teachers retire and leave the profession for other occupations, job opportunities are also expected to increase. Graduates who advance and specialize studies often find an increased employability. Many child development teachers begin their careers within entry level assistant teacher or teacher’s aide positions in preschools to gain experience and advance to jobs with greater responsibilities as lead teachers. Graduates with master’s degrees often gain employment as directors of preschools and other administrative or supervisory positions within educational institutions or governmental agencies or advance studies to attain greater job responsibilities. Graduates with doctoral degrees are qualified as experts and generally continue education to advance to jobs with greater responsibilities.

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