III. EXPLORING POSITIONS
Description: Researchers are involved in the evaluation and study of children and programs. Research in the field of early education can take many directions: child development, impact of societal forces such as media and trauma, curriculum, teacher evaluation, and program evaluation.
Knowledge, Skills and Disposition: Advanced education in research area (regarding child development) and research methods, strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to communicate clearly.
Employment Settings: A researcher is most often employed by a university, private agency or a public organization. They may be employed on a consultant basis as an impartial observer and evaluator. The settings may be completely isolated from children and families, focusing on data and statistics or it may be in the form of human research using observation and surveys to gather data which is then analyzed leading to some change in policy or practice.
Qualifications: The researcher has a deep knowledge of a specific content area, the ability to organize and report data, statistical analysis, and written communication skills.
Preparation: Research positions typically require an advanced degree usually a Ph.D. or Ed.D. Typical courses include child development, research methodology, and statistics.
Alternate Pathways: Someone who is exceptionally perceptive and has excellent logic and mathematical skills can do the work of a researcher in early childhood. The design of the type of research may or may not require early childhood as a knowledge base.
Job Outlook: The continual need for outcomes-based program evaluation, assessment, and scientifically-based teaching techniques should result in increased opportunities for researchers.
Earnings: Earnings in this area vary greatly and are dependent on several factors including the type of research being addressed, the funders of the project and their priorities, as well as the potential implications of a study.
Opportunity for Advancement: The researcher may advance to lead research teams, determining the focus of the research. Researchers share their findings with the interested public through writing and public speaking so the opportunity is there for authoring articles and books that can enhance the earning potential and renown of the researcher.
Providing Information Goods and Services – College and University faculty/teaching.