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As the country’s urban areas grow larger and the welfare system grows exponentially, the need for caring individuals to help with troubled youth continues to rise yearly. If you would like to pursue a life of service to youth in troubled or difficult circumstances there are some excellent college degrees that will help you on this path.

Education
The most obvious degree to working with troubled children would be a degree in one of the education fields (primary, secondary, or administration). An education degree opens doors to working with large groups of children in various environments from classrooms to private tutoring. Education has moved far beyond the textbooks to include the rapidly developing use of mobile technology. According to a report by Cisco, over 11 billion people will be mobile connected by 2020. This means that modern education – in addition to the standard subjects – must teach youth about internet safety and security, problems that many troubled youth fall victim to.

Athletic Training
A degree in athletic training allows you to work with a sports team which is a great way to reach troubled kids. Helping to develop a sense of teamwork and accomplishments has been proven to help children in difficult circumstances overcome their issues. This degree also lays the foundation for a masters in coaching psychology which would allow you to lead a team and even an entire athletic department.

Social Work
Working with troubled youth requires a deep understanding of the circumstances of their lives. You are usually required to travel to the location of your clients and work one-on-one with them. Social workers have been praised by adults who came from troubled backgrounds as their “guardian angels” to help conquer their issues.

Counseling
A degree in counseling will allow you to help troubled kids in a variety of ways; from school counselors at all age levels to one-on-one counseling and private “life coaches” – people who teach and coach individuals on their life choices.

Speech Pathology
Speech pathologists are in high demand in urban areas. Many troubled teens were not given help during the developmental stages of their early life and as such require corrective speech training well into high school. Speech pathologists work with individual students, forming a bond to help overcome nonphysical reasons for speech issues.

These options for degrees to help troubled youth all require hours of study in childhood development, psychology, and sociology as well as hours spent “in the field” where you can learn from accomplished professionals about the field as well as the types of clients you would be helping. These will help you to understand the circumstances of troubled children and teens which will then allow you to form a bond to help them.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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