By choosing to enroll for a PhD in child development it is possible to specialize in one area, for example the infant years or adolescence. The academic discipline of child development is one that is dedicated to enhancing the overall health and mental state of children, and to ensure that their development is as normal as possible. Every child will go through various developmental stages. A doctorate degree in this area would be the highest level educational certification offered by a university or college.
Child Development Education and Training
Usually, a master’s degree would need to be successfully completed to gain admission, though this may not be the case if an applicant has prior experience of researching and working in this field. A doctorate program can take as long as five years to complete, and may be of a flexible nature so as to accommodate those students already in a career or who have families.
A PhD in child development would likely be focused on original research. The content of the program would in part be designed by the students alongside input from the faculty. Students would be expected to already be familiar with the techniques required to assess and treat children that have emotional, behavioral, and learning problems.
Theory and hands on practice would form the core of the learning experience. There would be the opportunity to specialize in an area of interest such as infant development, impact of culture, physical growth, societal views, the adolescent process, and parenting techniques.
There are important legal requirements that would need to be met prior to becoming a professional, and these vary by state. Licensing regulations are constantly evolving, therefore it is important to keep up to date with the latest information prior to seeking employment.
There may also be a need to hold a child development associate certification to take up a job, this requires a minimum of 120 hours of formal childhood based education, as well as 480 hours experience of working with children. Other requirements may also need to be met depending on the employer. For instance, first aid certification would in all likelihood by required when working with children, with an emphasis on CPR.
Careers in Child Development
This type of doctoral degree would prepare students to take up a teaching position at a university or college, or to take part in advanced research. A PhD would also allow graduates to pick between high-ranking profiles in industries such as business, medicine, and healthcare. There are numerous openings within social services agencies throughout the country for qualified specialists.
Child Development Programs
Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Submit the form on the right to learn how you can make a change and advance your career.
- Ed.S. in Early Childhood - General Program
- Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) - Early Childhood Education
- Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Early Childhood and Primary Education