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Options with your subject: Youth and community work

Many youth and community work graduates go on to work in related areas such as social and welfare jobs. Find out what else you could do with your degree…

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

Work experience, whether paid or voluntary, will increase your skills and make you more attractive to employers. It is particularly important if you want to work in an advisory or social care role, or if you are considering teaching. Try to get involved in your local community and build up some experience.

Contact your local youth service (local authority in Scotland) or voluntary bodies to arrange voluntary or part-time sessional work. For details of volunteer bureaux in your area, see:

Valuable experience can also be gained by working or volunteering at summer play schemes, youth clubs, summer camps or through tutoring or mentoring.

For classroom experience, contact local schools to arrange visits to observe teachers or help with non-teaching duties.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Employers of graduates in youth and community work include local authority youth services, education departments, voluntary organisations, churches and other community-based groups.

Professions include youth work, community work, youth justice, drugs services, education, welfare rights, housing, health and trainee probation.

Many jobs are project based, such as anti-poverty initiatives, education, homelessness, drugs projects, sexual health initiatives, advisory work, community arts, and community regeneration projects.

Find information on employers in teaching and education, the public sector, charities and voluntary work, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Many courses combine practical and theoretical skills where your knowledge will be tested in real youth and community situations. A youth and community work degree develops transferable skills that you can apply in a range of positions and sectors, such as:

  • problem-solving, developed by integrating theory and practice;
  • empathy, commitment to equality and being non-judgmental;
  • presentation skills, oral and written communication skills;
  • management, supervision and organisational skills;
  • ability to work independently and to deadlines;
  • fundraising and advocacy skills;
  • teamworking skills and the ability to work with people from all backgrounds.

Further study

Some new graduates choose to study a specialist subject they would like to develop or that is relevant to the area in which they want to work. Examples are the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in Scotland, which qualify you to work as a teacher, a research-based Masters degree or a PhD in education or community/youth studies.

If your degree does not include recognised qualifications and you want to go into youth or community work, you will need to study towards the qualification on a part-time basis while you are working. This is especially true if you want to progress to senior levels.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.

What do youth and community work graduates do?

Almost half (46.1%) of recent graduates working in the UK are youth and community workers. Other professions in the top ten include child and early years officers, social workers and housing officers.

Graduate destinations for youth and community work
Destinations Percentage
Employed 74.5%
Further study 5.5%
Working and studying 6.6%
Unemployed 7.8%
Other 5.6%
Types of work entered in the UK
Legal, social and welfare 59.1%
Caring and education work 10.5%
Retail, catering and bar work 6.6%
Secretarial and numberical clerks 4.6%
Other 19.2%

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by AGCAS editors
July 2012

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