Bella Dacosta

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  • #531

    Usu­ally any Social or Polit­i­cal Sci­ence is fine but, Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment is really one of the best majors to take because it is gen­eral enough to allow you to get into any aspect of devel­op­ment but, spe­cific enough to give you some sort of back­ground in the devel­op­ment pro­fes­sion. Most places now want a Master’s Degree (e.g. UN etc.) and hav­ing a Master’s can put you a cut above a lot of the com­pe­ti­tion. It would be good for you to do a Master’s that offers some type of work place­ment (e.g. in Canada, Carleton’s MPA has a co-op pro­grams, NPSIA has an intern­ship or the option to study or work abroad in a devel­op­ing coun­try, which is even better).

    In terms of a dou­ble major, Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment and Pol­i­tics or Eco­nom­ics is good. But, if you are inter­ested in a spe­cific aspect of devel­op­ment (e.g. rural devel­op­ment, health or edu­ca­tion etc.) you might want to do that as your other subject.

    #519

    To answer your questions:

    1. An MBA is use­ful in the devel­op­ing world espe­cially since Cor­po­rate Social Respon­si­bil­ity Projects are get­ting more pop­u­lar and Coop­er­a­tion with the Pri­vate Sec­tor as imple­ment­ing part­ners is becom­ing more com­mon. The whole fair trade side of things is tak­ing off as well. Most Devel­op­ment Orga­ni­za­tions, (e.g. CIDA) want you to have a Bach­e­lors and some e.g. the UN ask for a Mas­ters. Usu­ally they require “a Uni­ver­sity degree from a rec­og­nized Uni­ver­sity or an accept­able com­bi­na­tion of edu­ca­tion, train­ing, and/or expe­ri­ence related to the duties of the posi­tion to be filled”. You should also check out the New Devel­op­ment Offi­cer (NDO) program.
    2. If you want to work in Human­i­tar­ian Assis­tance or conflict/post con­flict areas I think a cri­sis man­age­ment course would be very use­ful. You should weigh the costs and ben­e­fits though (i.e. amount of time and money spent doing that vs. get­ting on-the-ground experience).
    3. It really is up to you and what you want to focus on. I did an under­grad­u­ate degree in Pol­i­tics and Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment and it didn’t get me any­where. But, doing my Master’s in Pub­lic Admin. with a focus in Inter­na­tional Devel­op­ment was good (what I would HIGHLY rec­om­mend is that if you are going to do more school — make sure you get some sort of coop­er­ant posi­tion or intern­ship with it — that is what will get your foot in the door, and give you the expe­ri­ence you need to get hired, and make contacts).

    The other option is to try and get into a devel­op­ment agency as a con­sul­tant by apply­ing for con­tracts online or by get­ting in as a term employee.

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