International Development Studies Careers

An International Development Studies (IDS) degree will be, for many students, an entry point into the field of politics, law, or international development. Some students will major in IDS because they want to go to law school and practice law; more specifically perhaps, international or immigration law. Some will study IDS because they want to be the first on the scene after an earthquake, and IDS is a great degree to get their foot in the door of NGOs like ADRA, World Vision, and USAid. Some will choose a IDS degree because they want to combat issues like sex trafficking or global health and human rights issues. 

Why IDS?

Often students will major in IDS and another complimenting area, such as nursing. One of our current students is a double major in nursing and IDS. Her dream is to use her nursing skills in the development field to help tackle global health issues. Some students may want to add a major in social work, or in physical education, or in business. All of these strengthen your resume and make you vastly more marketable to potential employers for whatever given track you choose to pursue.

But many of our students also choose to continue on to graduate school after finishing a IDS degree.  Some attend law school, some obtain masters degrees in development, and others choose completely unrelated fields of work and study.  Whatever your career path, a IDS degree will make you more marketable.

Our graduates will enter the marketplace with theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and a broad grasp of global policy and development issues. There are few career paths IDS graduates would not be prepared to take, but many students who choose a IDS degree desire to work in law, international and community development, politics or policy planning, missions, and government service. Career paths include:

  • Advocacy / Outreach, both locally and globally
  • Government and diplomacy (think Civil Service, the Foreign Service, FBI, CIA, the military, the Environmental Protection Agency, Departments of Energy, Agriculture, State, Defense, Interior, Justice, Health and Human Services, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Education, and Homeland Security)
  • International aid / development
  • Local community development
  • Policy planning and research
  • Development and policy consulting
  • Field project management
  • Disaster rescue and relief
  • Law
  • Immigration agencies
  • The Peace Corps
  • Missionary
  • Political fields

Career Links

Relief Web. This link will be of interest to all of our majors, but IDS majors may find it especially useful. On this page you will find a searchable database of disaster relief, human rights, and development oriented jobs. These jobs include the full spectrum of possible development careers and include many NGO job-postings.

The U.S. Department of State. This will be useful to those seeking careers in government service, especially those interested in a career in the US Foreign Service. 

ADRA Job Opportunities. Adventist Development and Relief Agency jobs will be of interest to both history and GPS majors.

Check back soon. New links added regularly.

Useful Links on International Development

Below are just a few useful websites that should get you started and give you an idea what you can do with a IDS degree within the development field. 

Getting a job in international development

Prepping for an international development career

What can I do with my studies in International Development Studies?

Advice on entering the ID field

Development Worker website

Sustainable Development Events page (continually updated)

Academic Invest (with lots of useful information on development)

Check back soon.  New links added regularly.