How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Child Development

Earning an associate’s degree in child development is a fantastic choice for those who love to work with children in learning and refining their abilities, mental health, and life skills. Depending on what field of child development you’d like to work in, will determine how much schooling you may need. An associate’s degree in child development is a great first step, as it may be sufficient for your career goals, but if not, then you can transition to earning a bachelor’s degree.

There are many specializations a student can choose within a child development associate’s degree program. Child development spans through all sorts of industries including child care, social services, medical, and communications. With an associate’s degree, a student will be able to combine it with other fields of study to enter industries like business to bolster their area of expertise. Some specific examples would include special education paraprofessional, parent educator and more advanced careers like child care center director and early childhood education consultant.

This degree typically takes two years of full-time study to complete. However, if you choose to earn your credential online, you may be able to complete it earlier. Depending on how many classes you can take per quarter/semester, you may be able to finish a lot quicker.

If you are busy but looking to go to school while still attending to your personal obligations, pursuing an associate’s degree in child development online could be a great option. Distance learning can work really well for those who are motivated and independent learners. It is important to make sure that the college you choose is accredited so that the credits you earn can be easily transferred to a four-year college should you decide to continue your education. By virtually attending classes online, you will have access to all course materials and participate in class discussions just like you would normally in a traditional classroom setting. The main difference is that you would be able to log into the classroom portal from anywhere and anytime to complete required coursework and exams. Students can easily communicate with other students and their professors via chat platforms and email.

Common Associate’s in Child Development Curriculum

There is a lot to learn in the field of child development. With that said, it is unlikely you will get bored with the classes you will be taking to earn your associate’s degree. By enrolling in an associate’s degree program in child development, you can expect to take coursework in:

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Community and Diversity
  • Child and Family Advocacy
  • Children’s Play and Learning
  • Writing for Educators
  • Ethics in Early Childhood
  • Dual Language Learners
  • Language Development/Literacy
  • Portfolio and Synthesis
  • Infant and toddler care
  • Working with children of special needs

Coursework may vary depending on your school, but you can be assured that you will gain a strong foundation of knowledge at the basic level of child development.

In addition to the courses listed above, you will also be required to take some general education and elective courses to graduate. These classes will help you develop a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in understanding real-life situations and succeeding in your future job. For example, you might take introductory classes in art, math, science, history, language, and more. Many of these general education course requirements can be waived if you took AP classes and passed their respective exams in high school. If this sounds like it might be you, we recommend checking with your college counselor to see which classes you might not have to retake.

Associate’s in Child Development Careers

Child development careers generally require four-year degrees, therefore an associate’s degree in child development will be a great stepping stone.

The associate’s degree will give you the skills necessary to take on an entry-level position in child development after graduation. If you would like, you can get one of these jobs after graduation so that you can gain hands-on experience in your field for a few years. If you plan on more advanced careers, then you’ll need to obtain a master’s or PhD.

It’s a great idea to get your associate’s degree in child development at a community college before attending a four-year college to get your bachelor’s because it is cost effective. You can complete the core classes for a much lower tuition cost, and then finish the last two years at a four-year college.

With an associate’s degree, you may be able to work as a:

  • Teacher’s aide
  • Pre-school teacher
  • Childcare worker
  • Counselor

Salary will vary depending on the position you take on, where you work, and who you work for. Of course, with higher education, your career options will open up tremendously! With that said, most students with an associate’s degree in child development will go on to complete at least a bachelor’s degree to give them more credibility and to remain competitive.