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,. Here we present an overview of child development PhD degrees. A doctorate degree in this subject would be the highest level educational certification offered by a university or college. 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.
Child Development Education and Training
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.
Estimated Income and Projected Job Outlook
Holders of doctorate degrees will command a higher salary than those individuals with lesser qualifications, though for most individuals the driving force behind studying for a PhD is the pursuit of knowledge rather than the dollar. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that in 2009, child social workers received a median wage of $49,000, whereas researchers in this field in universities took home a yearly income of around $69,000.
It has been reported that counselor positions are expected to rise by 18% in the coming years. The number of opportunities for researchers and university teachers is projected to grow at an average rate and professionals with a PhD in child development will continue to be important to the field.