International Development Studies

Are you concerned with the discrepancies that exist between developed and developing nations? Do you want to make a difference in the developing world once you graduate? A degree in International Development Studies will allow you to foster this passion by pursuing studies of the complex social issues and developmental challenges facing many contemporary nation states. You will delve into the heart of the theory of development studies as well as the practical and pragmatic approaches of development taken by various world organizations, groups and governments.

Career Options in International Development Studies

This list is not exhaustive but provides an idea of the options graduates have and what they have gone on to do. Some options are more directly associated with a International Development Studies degree than others.

  • Activist
  • Author
  • Community Worker
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Editor
  • Event Coordinator
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Fundraiser
  • Government Administrator
  • Health Policy Planner
  • Historical Researcher
  • Human Rights Advocate
  • Immigration Officer
  • Institutional Researcher
  • Journalist
  • Labour Relations Specialist
  • Labour Union Representative
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Secretary
  • Legislative Aid
  • Lobbyist
  • Media Correspondent
  • Mediator
  • NGO Director
  • Non-profit Administrator
  • Policy Researcher
  • Politician
  • Population Studies Analyst
  • Public Affairs Consultant
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Speech Writer
  • Translator

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through an International Development Studies Degree

A background in International Development Studies ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • An understanding of the issues facing the developing world and the problems governments face in trying to bring modern medicine and technology to impoverished areas
  • Knowledge of the functioning of non-profit organizations and international bodies such as the World Bank
  • An interdisciplinary comprehension of socioeconomic obstacles faced by different regions around the world

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
  • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
  • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
  • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
  • Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.