A major in Child Development and Psychology involves the study of child and adolescent behavior. Many of your classes will explore the impact of genetics and environmental influence on the growth and development of a person. Other subjects of study are the mechanisms and process of learning and thinking; this includes encoding, decoding, and processing information.
There are many concentrations in this major. Depending on what college you go to, you may have the opportunity to specialize in Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics; Comparative Psychology; Developmental and Child Psychology; Experimental Psychology; Personality Psychology; Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology; Social Psychology; Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology; or Psychopharmacology.
Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills will be important in this major as you work with professors, peers, and patients. Practice active listening and empathy as you interview patients, observe behavior and write accurate reports and papers on your findings. Compassion and understanding is necessary as you encounter people from diverse backgrounds who could suffer from mental disorders. You will be relied on to be trustworthy, approachable and keep information in confidence.
A psychology major involves time spent in the lecture hall, as well as lab work and research. This requires mathematical and science skills. You will need to memorize theories and formulas and use them to solve real-life issues. Logic and analytical skills will help you evaluate data and complete research.
Many programs require students to work at an internship or do fieldwork through participating organizations. Take advantage of any opportunity for experience in the field. This will help you when applying to grad schools or future jobs.
Many graduates continue their education to achieve a Master's or Doctorate in psychology. This can lead to a career as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Psychology grads also work in schools, research, counseling, or clinical studies. Those interested in child psychology may be interested in becoming a school psychologist or family counselor.
Graduates with a degree in Child Development and Psychology average $32,273 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $52,060.
Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Child Development and Psychology might open up.