In the acting profession, there are jokes about never working with animals or children. Indeed, a special attitude and set of skills are needed to effectively interact with young people, especially if the ultimate goal is to nurture them into healthy, productive adults.
Understanding child development takes place on multiple axes: physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and linguistic. From birth to age 18, cultural, educational, and familial influences play a complex role in developing a child's behavior, attitudes, and relationships with others. If necessary, a child development graduate may well find themselves in a position to provide a positive influence to at-risk youth.
People who study child development are typically already comfortable interacting with children and youths, have great reserves of compassion, and feel a true need to make a difference in society. Several career paths are open to graduates. They may, for example, choose to focus on infant mental health, intervention for delinquent youth, or family support services.