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
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Early years teacher
- Family support worker
- Learning mentor
- Primary school teacher
- Secondary school teacher
- Special educational needs teacher
- Social worker
- Teaching assistant
- Youth worker
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Child psychotherapist
- Children's nurse
- Community development worker
- Educational psychologist
- Speech and language therapist
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. If you haven't already done so, take a few minutes to answer the Job Match questions to find out what careers would suit you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Working and studying||4.9|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Childcare, health and education work||48.2|
|Retail, catering and bar work||8.1|
|Legal, social and welfare||6.5|
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.