Wondering what can you do with an early childhood education degree? The answer will largely be influenced by which type of degree you wish to pursue.
Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
The bachelor’s degree in early childhood education is designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and field experiences you need to become an effective professional in the early childhood education field. Programs generally emphasize topics that pertain to the classroom setting, such as strategies for:
- Creating a positive learning environment.
- Developing an effective curriculum.
- Maximizing student learning outcomes.
You will also gain a strong understanding of child development as it relates to the areas of learning and brain development, parent and peer relationships, and emerging cognition and literacy. In a bachelor’s program, you will generally also develop your skills in areas such as child advocacy, developmental screening assessments, law and ethics, and play as pedagogy.
What can you do with an early childhood education degree at the bachelor’s level? Positions include, but are not limited to:
- Preschool teacher: In the preschool setting, you are responsible for educating children under the age of 5 in motor, social, and language skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for this role is expected to increase by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, faster than the average across industries in the U.S.
- Special education teacher: A background in early childhood education will prepare you well to work in the classroom with students who have special learning needs. However, in addition to completing your bachelor’s degree, you will need to earn a teaching license to work in one of these roles.
- Child care center aide: Children learn and are cared for in a variety of settings, including daycares, after-school programs, and more. A bachelor’s in early childhood education can prepare you for a job in these organizations.
Master’s in Early Childhood Education
A master’s degree in early childhood education is an opportunity for you to go deeper in many of the areas covered in a bachelor’s program. It is additionally an effective pathway for becoming a leader and change agent in the field.
As to what can you do with an early childhood education degree at the master’s level, there are a variety of positions open to you, including:
- Preschool or childcare center director: You may have experience working in one of these organizations, but in order to lead, you will often need a master’s degree on your resume. According to the BLS, demand for these leadership roles is expected to increase by 11 percent between 2016 and 2026, adding 6,700 new positions to the workforce.
- Community college educator: Interested in teaching at a higher level? With a master’s degree in early childhood education, you can qualify to teach education courses at the community college level, helping train the next generation of leaders in the field.
- Consultant: With a master’s degree, you can help advise care centers, schools, and other educational organizations on how to improve the services they provide to their young students.
Doctoral-Level Degrees in Early Childhood Education
Some students go on to earn a doctorate in education with an early childhood education emphasis, or similar degree. While not as common as the bachelor’s or master’s options, these programs explore the latest theories and developments in the field and typically involve an independent research project.
In terms of career options, a doctoral-level degree will prepare you to perform research in early childhood education or teach at the college level.
Your National University Early Childhood Education Degree
Think an on-campus or online early childhood education degree might be right for you? Consider applying to one of National University’s programs.
“At National, our early childhood education programs are designed to empower our students,” says National University Teacher Education Professor Susan Gilbert, Ed.D. “Our goal is to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to feel confident working in early childhood education.”
At National University, you have two options when it comes to earning an early childhood education degree, the bachelor’s or master’s.
BA in Early Childhood Education: The National BAECE degree (also available online) is designed to educate students in the competencies and guidelines created by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Child Development Associates National Competency Standards. By completing this degree, you will meet the educational requirements for both the Child Development Associates National Licensing program and the State of California Child Development Permits.
Master of Early Childhood Education: The master’s program, based on the Universal Design for Learning theory, will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to advance and lead change in the field of early childhood education.
Wondering what can you do with an early childhood education degree from National University? Find out more and request information online on our program page.