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

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

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.

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

Typical employers

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
  • churches
  • other community-based groups.

Professions include:

  • community work
  • drugs services
  • education
  • health
  • housing
  • 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.

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

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.

Further study

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.

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

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.

DestinationPercentage
Employed76.4
Further study4.6
Working and studying6.8
Unemployed4.7
Other7.5
Graduate destinations for youth and community work
Type of workPercentage
Legal, social and welfare50.9
Childcare, health and education19.6
Education9.7
Retail, catering and bar staff4.9
Other14.9
Types of work entered in the UK

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.

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