Youth work is a rewarding career that involves working with young people in a variety of ways. The thing that separates youth workers from other community workers is that young people are the primary consideration of their work.
There are a few different ways to become a qualified youth worker. The following information relates to youth-specific courses that are offered in Victoria.
A Certificate IV is a one-year, full-time course offered by TAFEs and registered training providers. Most Certificate IV courses include a work placement with a youth organisation or service, which provides a valuable opportunity to gain some basic experience in the ‘field’. A Certificate IV in Youth Work is generally an appropriate qualification for entry level positions such as residential care work or general youth work.
Find a TAFE providing the Certificate IV in Youth Work at the Victorian Skills Gateway.
Once you’ve completed a Certificate IV in Youth Work, it’s possible to take a further year of study to obtain a Diploma. The additional year usually includes a second work placement to give you an opportunity gain more diverse experience. Some training providers also offer direct entry onto Diploma courses. A Diploma in Youth Work is generally an appropriate qualification for most Youth Work positions. Further training or experience may still be required for more specialised or senior positions.
Training providers delivering Diploma courses in Youth Work:
A bachelor’s degree in youth work can only be obtained through a university. It’s completed over a 3-year period (usually full time, though part time study is often also available). Some bachelor’s degrees allow you to study in other topic areas as well as youth. There is usually also a work placement component. A bachelor’s degree will generally provide you with increased career prospects compared with a Certificate or a Diploma.
Training providers delivering bachelor’s degrees in Youth Work:
A master’s degree is suited to those who want to take on more senior positions within the youth sector. It will help develop skills in management and supervision; establishing social enterprises; managing budgets; and using current technology.
Masters of Youth Services Management Victoria University (Footscray Campus)
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