International development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of "development" on an international scale. It is the basis for international classifications such as developed country, developing country and least developed country, and for a field of practice and research that in various ways engages with international development processes.
International Development is an interdisciplinary course using concepts from Sociology, Political Science, Resource Management, and Economics. International Development students seek solutions for social and economic problems like inequality, poverty, healthcare, or human rights.
Scope of International Development
International development is dedicated to improving the world's most economically disadvantaged regions, with the ultimate goal of addressing causes of poverty and empowering citizens with the tools and knowledge they need to improve the well-being of their own communities.
It strives for a greater quality of life for humans is the foundation of international development. Although the concept is not always clearly defined, its goal certainly is: to reduce poverty, boost prosperity, and ensure sustainable development in the developing world.
International development seeks to implement long-term solutions to issues in developing countries by arming them with the tools needed to achieve and maintain sustainable solutions. In other words, organizations involved in international development focus their efforts on long-term and sustainable solutions designed to promote economic development, education, global health, and infrastructure development.
Importance of International Development
International development includes both economic and social development and encompasses many issues such as poverty, gender and racial equality, integrity of government systems, improvement of infrastructure, and sustainability.
International development seeks to implement long-term solutions to issues in developing countries by arming them with the tools needed to achieve and maintain sustainable solutions.
Educational Requirements for International Development Careers
At the entry level, a graduate degree is essential to start a career in International Development. Some organizations will require a masters degree in International Development studies or an other related discipline. Also given the interdisciplinary nature of the field, employers seek fluency in at least two languages.
Skills and Competencies required in International Development Careers
There are a wide variety of technical skills that are always needed in international development jobs and can be transferred from other sectors:
- Medicine and health: HIV/AIDS specialists, anesthetists, surgeons, GPs, midwives and nurses, psychologists and nutritionists
- Public Health
- Finance, HR, fundraising, marketing, communications and IT
- Capacity building expertise
- Engineering, particularly water and sanitation engineering
- Climate change expertise
- Food Security
- Agribusiness and farming
- Economics and social policy
- Language skills
Personal qualities and soft skills that will help you determine if you are suited to the international development sector:
- Copes with stress well
- Cross-cultural sensitivity
- Ability to understand and respect different points of view
- Patience and ability to see the big picture and long term impact
- Able to build and maintain effective relationships, form strategic partnerships and network
- Level-headed and self-aware
- Awareness of personal limits to maintain health and avoid burnout
- Ability to relate to and communicate with a wide range of people
- Problem-solving in tough environments and the ability to operate effectively under pressure
- Management of both people and projects and the ability to motivate others
- Drive and determination to achieve results and initiate action
- Ability to manage the workload, prioritize tasks and delegate when necessary
- Ability to learn and to acquire new skills rapidly and the flexibility to transfer learning from one situation to another
- Operational decision-making skills
- Willingness to live and travel in basic conditions and difficult countries
Career Opportunities for International Development Graduates
- Community Worker
- Child Welfare Policy Analyst
- Community Economic Development Officer
- Development Service Worker
- International Aide and Development Project Analyst
- International Relations Specialist
- Consumer Advocate
- Event Coordinator
- Foreign Correspondent
- Foreign Service Officer
- Government Administrator
- Health Policy Planner
- Historical Researcher
- Human Rights Advocate
- Immigration Officer
- Institutional Researcher
- Labor Relations Specialist