If you love working with children then this is the field for you. Early childhood education practitioners usually cater to children from the ages of birth till age 8, and since these are the most important development years for a child, there is a growing need for experts in the field. The degrees in this discipline teach students who to work with children of these ages to develop their academic …
If you love working with children then this is the field for you. Early childhood education practitioners usually cater to children from the ages of birth till age 8, and since these are the most important development years for a child, there is a growing need for experts in the field.
The degrees in this discipline teach students who to work with children of these ages to develop their academic as well as social potential. The programs center around demonstration teaching in which students learn by doing and observing.
Online Early Childhood Undergraduate/Graduate Certificate:
1 year to complete
Online Early Childhood Associate Degree:
2 years to complete
Online Early Childhood Bachelor’s Degree:
4 years to complete
Online Early Childhood Master’s Degree:
2 years to complete
Online Early Childhood Doctorate Degree:
4-5 years to complete
The degree level you choose depends on what your interest is and ultimate goal is. Do you want to be a teacher, childcare worker or school administrator? The answer to that will determine which level you will pick.
At the associate or certificate level students are introduced to the field of early childhood development and classes focus more on the cognitive aspects of children. The degree can prepare you for the professional qualification of a Child Development Associate (CDA) that is offered by the Council for Professional Recognition.
If you aspire to be a preschool teacher, then a bachelor’s degree is required. At this level you will learn the art of teaching young children subjects such as languages, science and mathematics. For higher policy and administration positions you will need to earn a master’s degree which will prepare you to run a school or design programs for schools. There is a lot of room to specialize in a sub-field of your choice.
Doctorate programs are for educators who are interested in research and want to teach at the postsecondary level. All the degree levels require extensive practical experience.
What Will I Study?
Teaching children with special needs
General education classes in college math, English, and natural science
The Online Route
With an online degree program you can earn a living simultaneously and it won’t empty out your pockets entirely also. You can work according to your own schedule and complete the degree at a pace that works for you. However, distance learners will have to work harder at getting networking and internship opportunities but then there is always a tradeoff.
Don’t forget to check for accreditations.
Cost and Outlook
You should expect to pay between $8,000 and $19,000 a year for any online degree level that you choose. Since this is a substantial investment, you really have to be passionate about this career. The median salary is comparatively low at $25,700 but the growth rate for the profession is very strong at 25%.
As people realize the importance of ECE and demand for experts grow, hopefully the salaries will follow suit, and the career will be as financial rewarding as it is satisfying.