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Strive to Make a Difference: Pursue a Career in Development


If you are determined towards making an improvement in this world & being the change that the world needs, don’t feel that you cannot build a career around the same. Well, you can. This blog talks all about the career in development and how to become a development practitioner.

The world today is constantly in the process of increasing development but there’s also a side of this world, ignored, trapped in the hinges of poverty, education, corruption, lack of water, climate change, over-population, gender discrimination, increasing crime and other global issues. Let us remind ourselves, India is not immune to these obstacles and they are hazardous to the growth of our country.

Today due to our actions, humanity is under threat. There is one non-governmental organization (NGO) for every 400 people in India, but where is the development? These NGOs raise 40,000 to 80,000 crores per year, but it ends up in whose pockets? It’s spent on paying the staff. It’s the bittersweet truth; all NGOs have not been created for altruistic purposes.

There are certain NGOs that are doing their best but due to lack of innovative ways of voicing their requirements to the people and mobilizing them towards a cause, they suffer from the same old problem of inconsideration from the people of India and are unable to raise funds. To attend to these knots of our nation effectively, we need realistic policies and policymakers who work towards sustainable development. These people are called Development Practitioners.

To pursue a career in development all you need is a Bachelor’s degree in this discipline, but it’s recommended to pursue a Master’s degree or specialized course certificate in Development Practice. To go higher, you can opt for MPhil and/or Ph.D., which will allow you the ability to attend Union and state examinations.

Career Path

To pursue a career in development you must have completed class 12th in any stream. In order to understand a precise career pathway to become a development practitioner, read the below-mentioned flow chart:

After completing your education as a Development Practitioner, you can work in these departments:

  1. Rural and Urban Planning Departments
  2. Consultancy firms
  3. Research Agencies
  4. Non-government Organizations
  5. Corporate Social Responsibility Cells of companies

Preference in this field is given to those who have worked for the social sector and civil society institutions.

There are numerous educational institutes on an international and national level, offering specialized degrees in this field, which can help you build your career.

Top Indian Institutes for Development Practice

Fees of the institutions would depend on their standard, location, and courses. The average range of the total cost will be from INR 50,000 to 200,000. Fee structure keeps changing though and is dependent on the institute in question.

Ambedkar University in collaboration with PradhanSpecialized course in Development PracticeMasters with 55% in the Social Sciences, Humanities and Natural Sciences or professional degrees like law, agriculture engineering and medicineRs. 16,500 per semesterDelhi
Teri University M.A. in Development PracticeBachelor’s degree from any discipline2 lakhNew Delhi 
Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth DevelopmentM.A in Development PracticeBachelor’s degree from any disciplineRs.10,800Chennai, Bangalore, Beemanthangal, Sriperumbudur
Tata Insititute of Social SciencesM.A. /M.SC Development Policy, Planning, and PracticeGraduate in any discipline2 lakhs (including all semesters)Hyderabad, Guwahati, and
Annamalai UniversityM.A. in Development PracticeGraduate in any disciplinePlease check with
Babasaheb B.R Ambedkar University (BBAU)M.A. in Development PracticeGraduate in any disciplinePlease check with
BhagatPhool Singh MahilaVishwavidyalayaM.A in Development PracticeGraduate in any disciplinePlease check with the
Birla Institute of Technology ManagementSpecialized course in Development PracticePlease check with the schoolPlease check with the
Azim Premji UniversityMasters in Development PracticeGraduate in any disciplinePlease check with the

Top International Institutes for Development Practice

The fee differs from location to location, but on average it is estimated to be around 15,000 US dollars. The fee structure keeps changing though.

SIPA (School of International and Public Affairs)MPA-DPPlease check with school24,470 US dollarsColumbia,
University of WaterlooMaster of Development PracticeGraduate in any discipline8,400 CAD dollarsOntario,
Monash UniversityMasters in Development PracticeGraduate in any disciplinePlease check with schoolMelbourne, Australia
Dublin City UniversityMasters in Development PracticeGraduate in any disciplinePlease check with schoolDublin,

Skills Required

One must be able to conduct research and take in an immense amount of information. Skills of public speaking, writing, and communication have a major role in working in this field. Patience, responsibility, promptness, passion, intelligence, discipline, a realistic attitude, creativity, sharp mindedness, critical thinking, and problem-solving are a few qualities that should be possessed.

Job Opportunities

You can work in the following specialized areas as Policy Analysts, Development Planners or Development Practitioners:

  1. Economics
  2. Political Science
  3. Philosophy
  4. Psychology
  5. Business administration

You can work for,

  1. Non-governmental aid organisations: You can work in ‘Third World’ countries on development projects, or in “Western” countries running campaigns, lobbying, raising money, and development education.
  1. International development institutions: You can work for international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.
  2. Government policy: You can work in public service at all levels developing policies and programs concerning development and aid.
  3. University research: You can continue studying in the university doing postgraduate research, or work as academic teaching and research in development studies. For example, see National Centre for Development Studies.
  4. Consultancy: You can work as a kind of free-lance ‘expert’ for various organizations on various projects. For example, see SAGRIC International.  

Salary Structure

The average salary of a policy analyst in foreign countries is from USD 36,000 to 100,000 annually.  In India, salary differs according to the specialized area and qualification of the person. The average salary is around Rs. 350,000 for NPO to upwards of Rs. 600,000 for business development managers. Please note that the average salary will depend on what career path you plan to pursue after you get your degree.


Visionaries can realize their vision through this field. You can systematically approach problems. It won’t be a walk in the park, but it’ll sure be worth doing as it will be for the greater good of society. Use the platform that this profession to build a bigger vision and inherently do your part in changing the world for the better. Hence to pursue a career in development, all you need is passion and determination .

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