Choosing a career path in childhood and youth studies requires patience and sensitivity. Professionals in this field must be dedicated to researching and addressing issues related to child and youth development. Taking the steps to obtain a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies can significantly broaden career choices, with options ranging from teaching to social work.
Careers in Social Work and Child Protection
Many childhood and youth studies professionals choose careers in child welfare as school social workers or child and family social workers. In the school setting, they collaborate with teachers and school officials to come up with plans aimed at improving a student's academic and social development. In child and family services, the social worker may recommend a child's removal from the home in the case of abuse or neglect. She may also direct the family to counselors, and assist with securing aid for food and housing benefits if needed. Many employers will accept a Childhood and Youth Studies degree, as a related field degree, in lieu of a bachelor's degree in social work. However, licensing and certification requirements vary by state.
Youth Studies Careers in the Arts
Childhood and youth studies degree holders with a creative edge have viable career options in the corporate and private sectors. Children's museums and other organizations hire youth studies professionals as program coordinators and directors. Work can also be obtained as after-school activities directors, summer camp directors and youth volunteer coordinators for nonprofit organizations.
Careers in Education
Upon receiving required state certification, childhood and youth professionals may work with special needs students at any level, including preschool, elementary and secondary public or private schools. This may involve working with students who have displayed behavioral issues, or children with developmental disabilities. Obtaining a master's degree in childhood and youth studies opens the doors for a career in higher education. Two-year colleges sometimes hire those with a master’s degree to teach introductory courses.
Children's Home Positions
Children's group homes often employ childhood and youth studies degree holders to work with children and teens with criminal histories or behavioral issues. The workers may serve as in-house coordinators who live onsite, or may work as counselors who report in on a daily basis. They may also organize additional classes or tutoring for residents, teach basic life skills, plan social activities and organize family visits.
- Brooklyn College Children and Youth Studies
- U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook -Social Workers
- U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook - Postsecondary Teachers
- U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook - ocial and Human Service Assistants
- University of Minnesota: College of Education + Human Develpment -Careers in Youth Studies
Olivia Johnson covers issues relating to the U.S. workforce and human resources. A professional journalist since 2001, she has worked in print and broadcast media for news outlets including ABC affiliates in Tennessee and Alabama, CBS Radio News, Westwood One and public radio. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and is currently based in Tennessee.