Have you thought of a career in International Development?

Posted in: Sector Insight

I really enjoyed reading Nipuni Perera’s blog post on attending the One Young World Summit in Dublin which inspired me to shine a light on the breadth of job opportunities available to graduates within the International Development sector.

international development


International development is about engaging with economically disadvantaged regions in the world to empower people to improve their lives and address poverty. The sector is diverse and offers opportunities in governance, policy, healthcare, finance, campaigning, disaster preparedness, education and much more! Broadly speaking organisations involved in international development can be grouped into:

  1. Government Organisations such as The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
  2. Multilateral Organisations such as the United Nations
  3. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) such as BOND (British Overseas NGO’s for Development) or Oxfam.
  4. Academic Organisations & Research Institutes such as the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
  5. Consultancies such as WYG.

You may want to consider reading this very helpful guide explaining the types of development employers published by Devex. Roles within the sector are diverse and constantly evolving. Broadly the roles fall into the following categories:

  • Support: HR, Finance, Logistics, IT, Administration etc
  • Advocacy / Outreach: campaigning, lobbying, PR and fundraising.
  • Practitioner: project management, field work, relief work etc

There are also a growing number of roles within Policy and Research offering opportunities to work at government and country specific level. There are lots of ways to get into the sector but it worth remembering it is a competitive field! Often the first step into most organisations is through volunteering! It will pay to clarify what your strengths are, what roles in the sector interest you and research ways in! These tips from the Guardian on getting into International Development are excellent! The Careers Advisers at Bath have put together an excellent resource which provides information on all aspects of getting into the sector and specific insights into working in Local Government, Charities and much more!

Good Luck! If you need any further help just pop in and talk to one of our Careers Advisers.

Posted in: Sector Insight


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  • Thank you for the very informative post!

  • Many thanks for the comment Patricia. Do let us know if we should be writing other topics that may be of interest.