If you want a feel-good career, look into international development jobs. You'll be getting paid to help others recover from conflict and build up their societies. If you'd like to work to help others of a different country-or you'd like to work directly with those people-there's an international development position out there for you.
"International development" is a very large category with a niche for almost everyone who's interested, provided they have the basic requirements.
What International Development Jobs Are
People who work in international development are striving to help out in underdeveloped countries, countries going through a radical economic change, and countries post-conflict (such as after Hurricane Katrina).
Some of the duties common to international development jobs include:
- Counseling and support
- Bringing about community awareness and necessary sensitivities
- Oversee financial activities, security, and administration
- Work with donors when necessary-both for physical and financial assistance
In some cases, international development jobs may encompass software development, nursing, economic analyzation, and more.
Searching for an international development job can be a feat. Since the title can mean different things, search engines will give you quite a few confusing hits. You may find yourself sifting through computer-related jobs, even thoughtthat's not what you want. Here are a few places to check before you start browsing through a Google list:
- DevNetJobs.org is a place to try if you're looking for a job in international development. It's specific to jobs in the field of development, so you won't feel bombarded by jobs that are nowhere near what you're looking for.
- International Jobs isn't organized like most of the other job search sites, but you may find something you're looking for by scrolling through the listings. Please note that the jobs listed on the homepage are not job openings; those positions have been filled and you will need to click on the link at the top of the page to find their current job openings.
You can choose to just look at the free listings or you can become a member and see the job listings the employers did not pay to make available to the general public. The difference between the two types may boil down to the strict job qualifications necessary within the free sites.
Some of the areas you can search here are:
- International Development & Assistance Positions
- International Health Care
- International Understanding; Education; Communication; Exchange
- Democracy Building; Governance; Foreign Policy
- International Program Administration & Foreign Language Support
- International Environmental Programs
- International Engineering & Computer System Support
- International Internships
- Don't forget the obvious: the Peace Corps. This is technically a volunteer opportunity, but you do have your living expenses taken care of, as well as loan deferment, medical coverage, educational benefits, and professional and career skill development.
The General Requirements
All jobs in international development won't have the same requirements, of course. In most cases, you will need to have earned at least a Bachelor's degree in a related field. Past that, how the skills and qualifications you have accumulated match up with the job at hand will depend upon what exactly that job is. If you're determined to find a job in international development and you have the basic qualifications and the passion to assist others in foreign countries (or even your own, especially after natural disasters and similar conflicts), you should be able to find a spot.