Missouri State University confers an online Master's in Child Development that was built specifically for professionals who are interested in working in social services at an advanced level. This is a 100 percent online program that delivers asynchronous courses through the school's virtual portal. The program can be completed in two years with the full-time study; part-time students often complete the degree in three years. The curriculum discusses policy, social justice, diversity, and research in various forms, enabling students to get a well-rounded look at the field of child development. Students can expect to complete 32 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Programming and Policy Issues for Early Childhood Settings, Children and Families in a Diverse Society, and Inquiry in Early Childhood and Family Development.
9 Most Affordable Master’s in Child Development Online
An online Master’s in Child Development is the perfect choice for any professional who wishes to advance in their career of working with children. With social services providing aid to children from a variety of different backgrounds and who need assistance in different ways, there is always room in this growing field for passionate individuals who care about children. And with more and more organizations calling for graduate professionals, it is a good time to consider online programs.
Online programs are the perfect fit for working professionals. Often more flexible and affordable than traditional programs, these degrees offer professionals a freedom they are not yet used to in terms of their education. And with so many professionals seeking affordable online programs that they can complete while continuing to work full-time, it was clear that a ranking was needed.
Top 9 Most Affordable Master’s in Child Development Online
|1||Missouri State University||Springfield, MO|
|2||University of North Carolina at Greensboro||Greensboro, NC|
|3||University of Nebraska at Lincoln||Lincoln, IL|
|4||University of Southern Mississippi||Hattiesburg, MS|
|5||University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|6||University of Missouri||Columbia, MO|
|7||University of La Verne||La Verne, CA|
|8||Capella University||Minneapolis, MN|
|9||University of Minnesota at Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN|
This ranking used research tools that are publicly available on the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database. NCES provided 15 schools on the initial list that offered distance learning programs. Nine schools were then chosen based on their in-state graduate tuition rate. They are listed below in descending order according to their affordability.
Accredited Online College Programs
Ranking Low-cost Child Development Master’s
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Master’s in Child Development Degree?
An online Master’s in Child Development can go a long way to advance a professional’s career. It can also open up a professional to various new opportunities, which can span industries and sectors. Some of these options include:
- Social Worker
- Child Development Consultant
- Research Assistant
- Director of Educational Programming
- Preschool Teacher
- Foster Care Coordinator
- Substance Abuse Specialist
- Developmental Play Specialist
- Nonprofit Program Manager
- Child Development Specialist
- After School Program Director
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
The child development field can range from anywhere between $25,000 to over $100,000. This may seem like a large range, but that’s because child development professionals have the ability to work in various settings and in both the public and the private sector. This range also takes into account a professional’s career position, work experience, the area of residence, and more.
The highest paid positions in child development come from the education sector. Directors of Educational Programs at private schools and even public charter schools regularly make between $80,000 to $100,000 a year. On the lower end are Day Care Directors and Child Development Specialists, each who make around $40,000 after years of work experience.
What are the Various Disciplines of Child Development?
Child development is a multidisciplinary field that focuses mainly on child development. This covers all disciplines, including health, psychology, education, mental health, counseling, social justice, politics, law, and more. It is a field where specialists are often in demand because the number of disciplines at play can be overwhelming.
For instance, a child development professional who works as a social worker will have to contend with political science, accounting, human resources, psychology, nutrition, government, law, and regulations. Another professional who works as an elementary school teacher may have to contend with education, policy, regulations, sociology, diversity, inclusion, and more.
There are far too many disciplines to list here, but professionals will get a sense of what disciplines will play out in their particular position within the field once they start looking at different programs that offer exactly the specialization that they need.
Is Practical Experience Necessary for an Online Master’s in Child Development Degree?
Some programs do require practical experience in the form of an internship, clinical hours, a practicum, a field experience, or work placement, but not all do. Students will find that practical experience may be required for only certain concentrations or specializations within a degree. Therefore, they should take the time to check to see if practical experiences are necessary for their degree and specialization track.
Most programs will require at least a semester-long internship that correlates to a part-time job. The majority of these programs are focused on early childhood education and so the internship must be taken within an elementary school; students must also possess a valid teaching license in their state in order to participate.
Other programs require clinical hours should a student be undertaking a degree that has a concentration in mental health. These programs require the hours to take place in a setting approved by the department and under the supervision of a preceptor. For these programs, students must hold a valid counseling license in their home state in order to participate.
There are some programs in this field, however, that does not require any sort of practical experience. While this can be a benefit to many professionals who are working full-time jobs, it comes with some caveats; first, these programs generally require students take on a thesis or applied project instead of an internship and in some cases even extra coursework. Two, because programs don’t offer practical experiences, it will be difficult for students to earn any type of specialized certificate or a pathway to licensure with that degree.
Who Should Consider Taking on This Degree?
This is an advanced professional degree that was designed to advance the careers of professionals already working in the field. It is also possible to find programs that offer acceptance to non-child development professionals. So, who should consider the degree indeed?
The most obvious answer is any professional currently working in social services with young children who do not yet have a graduate degree in the field. These professionals most often work with young children and their families, helping them through tough situations. The advanced education would help a professional learn to evaluate a child and their situation and implement a plan that would be a right fit for the child.
Professionals who work in early childhood education are also great choices for this degree. Working with young children in an educational context requires a great deal of patience and understanding, but also a lot of education. Teachers fall into this category as well and often find themselves in online programs that cater directly to them.
Other types of professionals who should seriously consider taking on this degree are child psychologists, therapists, and counselors. These professionals are on the front line of helping children with their mental health or behavioral issues and therefore need an advanced education that centers on their needs. Finding a degree that also provides licensure or certification options is also common in this field, so professionals will be well taken care of.
Child development professionals are in-demand, but most are acknowledging the need for graduate education. Those who work with children understand that education in this field can only enhance their ability to become a positive change agent in the lives of the children they are tasked with helping. An online Master’s in Child Development can advance their careers, giving them the career they always wanted.
This concludes our ranking of the Top 9 Most Affordable Master’s in Child Development Online.
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