Careers in Child Development & Related Fields
Child development is the multifaceted, scientific study of children’s continuing growth and discovery from birth through adolescence. Early Care and Education (ECE) focuses primarily on children ages birth through eight. We examine the many biological, cognitive, psychological and emotional changes that occur as a person progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy. Continuous research and innovation regarding the development of infant, toddler, preschools, school-age, and adolescent children makes this and exciting and rewarding field to work.
Many ECE professionals begin their careers working directly with children and families in public schools, private schools, non-profits, special education, or government funded programs. Common career pathways typically include an upward progression of professional advancement. You might begin your career as an assistant teacher, progress to a lead teacher and eventually, with more education and experience, become an administrator or director of a school or center. With greater responsibilities come greater financial rewards.
The Child Development field is vast including both direct and indirect work on behalf of children and families. For example, you might indirectly influence children’s development by administering effective programs, conducting ongoing research, advocating for children’s rights, initiating pro-child legislature, or supporting children’s physical and mental health.
The Mt. SAC Child Development & Education Department offers an excellent foundation in the core competencies essential for a career working with young children and families. The nested certificates provide a basis for entry into the field and the AS-T degree is for transfer to a four-year university. Comprehensive educational preparation does not only mean completing Child Development classes, it includes building all the skills, quality, and dispositions required to becoming an effective teacher or administrator. Courses in English writing and comprehension, science, math and critical thinking are required for degree completion and transfer attainment. Depending on your career goal, a more specific or advanced degree may be required to excel in that occupation.
Whether you are an entry-level student considering a career in early childhood or an early childhood professional expanding your career options, we hope this information will inspire you with numerous opportunities in this profoundly important and rewarding profession!