A degree in early childhood studies is an excellent foundation for careers working with children and young people in many sectors including health, education and social care

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.

Work experience

There are many ways to get relevant experience of working with children. You could try local youth and sports clubs, Brownies and Scouts groups, summer play schemes, summer camps and Sunday schools. Private tutoring or mentoring is also a possibility, particularly if you have a useful skill. If you wish to go into social work, some experience of working with the local community will be helpful.

If you are considering a career in teaching or social work you need to evidence as much experience as possible as competition is fierce for course places. Classroom experience can be gained by arranging visits to schools to observe and talk to teachers.

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

Typical employers

Early childhood studies graduates enter employment in a variety of sectors with a range of employers, including local authorities, local and national charities, state and independent schools, nurseries and health authorities.

Sure Start Children's Centres and the National Health Service (NHS) also employ graduates from childhood studies degrees.

Find information on employers in teaching and education, healthcare, charity and voluntary work, and other job sectors.

Discover more about working with children.

Skills for your CV

An early childhood studies degree develops specific skills and knowledge around the subject of how children learn and develop. You will learn about the history and culture of childhood, as well as the major theories of social, emotional and cognitive development.

Your course will also give you transferable skills, such as:

  • written communication developed through writing essays;
  • oral communication skills gained through reasoned debates during seminars and presentations;
  • the ability to work as part of a team, through collaborative group work;
  • research and analytical skills with the ability to judge and evaluate information;
  • organisational and time management skills by prioritising tasks to ensure academic, social and work commitments are completed on time;
  • negotiation, informally with peers and formally with staff;
  • problem solving;
  • IT skills.

Further study

Early childhood studies graduates that go on to further study tend to take courses that lead to professional status. The most popular option is the postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), as many graduates go on to work as primary or secondary school, early years or special needs teachers.

Other popular professional courses include nursing and postgraduate courses in social work. Employers are often supportive of further study and may support employees by providing funding or time off to complete coursework. Another option if you wish to pursue a career in social work is the intensive 14-month Step Up to Social Work training programme.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do childhood studies graduates do?

Just less than a fifth of graduates working in the UK are nursery nurses and assistants, with a similar proportion working as teaching assistants. A fifth of graduates are in further study - more than three quarters of whom are studying towards teacher training qualifications.

Further study19.6
Working and studying4.9
Graduate destinations for childhood studies
Type of workPercentage
Childcare, health and education work48.2
Education professionals23.0
Retail, catering and bar work8.1
Legal, social and welfare6.5
Types of work entered in the UK

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.

Find out more