Studying youth and community work provides you with a mix of practical and academic skills that can be used in many key community-based roles
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Advice worker
- Community development worker
- Community education officer
- Family support worker
- Probation officer
- Social worker
- Teaching assistant
- Youth worker
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Adult guidance worker
- Careers adviser
- Learning mentor
- Outdoor activities/education manager
- Police officer
- Secondary school teacher
- Volunteer coordinator
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Paid or voluntary experience will increase your skills and help make you more employable. Experience is particularly important if you want to go into teaching or an advisory or social care role. For classroom experience, contact local schools to arrange visits to observe teachers or to help with non-teaching duties.
Get involved in your local community and build up some experience. When looking for opportunities, highlight any sport, language or performing arts skills that you have. Take advantage of work placements offered as part of your course, or look at finding one in a youth or community centre, school or college.
Contact your local youth service or club (local authority in Scotland) or voluntary bodies to arrange voluntary or part-time sessional work. You can gain valuable experience by working or volunteering at summer play schemes, youth clubs, summer camps or through tutoring or mentoring.
You can find employment in youth and community work with a range of employers, including:
- local authority youth services
- education departments
- voluntary and charitable organisations
- other community-based groups.
- community work
- drugs services
- trainee probation
- welfare rights
- youth justice
- youth work.
Many jobs are project based, covering specific aspects such as poverty, education, homelessness, drugs, sexual health, advisory work, community arts and regeneration.
Skills for your CV
Many courses combine university-based learning with supervised practice placements, testing your knowledge in real youth and community situations. You learn how to engage with, support and motivate young people so that they can explore and understand their ideas, values and beliefs and make a successful transition to adulthood.
Employers are also interested in the broader skills you acquire studying youth and community work. These include:
- skills in critical thinking, analysis and reflection that can be applied during your fieldwork practice
- empathy, and a commitment to equality and non-judgemental practice
- problem-solving skills developed by integrating theory and practice
- presentation skills, and oral and written communication skills
- management, supervision and organisational skills
- the ability to work independently and to deadlines
- fundraising and advocacy skills
- teamwork skills and the ability to work with people from all backgrounds.
Some graduates opt for postgraduate study, such as studying a research-based Masters degree or a PhD in education or community/youth studies. MA courses for qualified youth and community workers are also available.
If your undergraduate degree wasn't validated by the relevant national body and you want to work as a qualified youth worker, you could take a recognised postgraduate qualification.
If you want to become a teacher or a social worker, for example, you'll need to take further vocational training.
You'll need to complete work-based training programmes to enter careers such as probation or police officer.
What do youth and community work graduates do?
A quarter (26%) of youth and community work graduates employed in the UK are working as youth and community workers, while one in ten (11%) are welfare and housing associate professionals.
|Working and studying||6.8|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Legal, social and welfare||50.9|
|Childcare, health and education||19.6|
|Retail, catering and bar staff||4.9|
Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.