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Child Development & Psychology Major

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Child Development & Psychology

11,247 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,058 Master's Degrees Annually
#47 in Popularity
$88,490 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Child Development & Psychology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many child development and psychology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 11,247
Master’s Degree 1,058
Doctor’s Degree 636
Graduate Certificate 146
Associate’s Degree 44
Undergraduate Certificate 10
Basic Certificate 9

What Child Development & Psychology Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, child development majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Child Development Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in child development should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Child Development Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to child development:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Child Development Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a child development student include the following:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Child Development & Psychology Major?

People with a child development degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists 10.3% $100,770
Psychology Professors 15.1% $76,710
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
School Psychologists 14.2% $76,990
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development & Psychology?

11,247 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
77% Percent Women
44% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Child Development and Psychology runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #47 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2019, about 11,247 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. This major is dominated by women with about 77% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of child development majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Child Development Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1,662
Black or African American 741
Hispanic or Latino 1,930
White 5,332
International Students 731
Other Races/Ethnicities 851

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Child Development, too. About 6.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • India
  • Hong Kong

How Much Do Child Development & Psychology Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in child development have a median salary of $29,500 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,625 (25th percentile) and $31,625 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to child development.

Salaries According to BLS

Child Development majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $85,340 to $95,610 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Child Development & Psychology Major  ( 85340 to 95610 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with child development require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to child development have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.5%
Some College Courses 0.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 32.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.0%
Master’s Degree 22.7%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 7.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.9%
Doctoral Degree 10.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 19.4%

Online Child Development & Psychology Programs

In 2018-2019, 264 schools offered a child development program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 6 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 2 2
Bachelor’s Degree 18 4
Post-Baccalaureate 6 0
Master’s Degree 140 9
Post-Master’s 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 124 4
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Child Development & Psychology Worth It?

The median salary for a child development grad is $88,490 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 122% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $971,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to child development.

Major Number of Grads
General Psychology 130,917
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 30,532
Other Psychology 3,056

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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