So you want to be an International Developer?

When we sat down and took career aptitude tests in high school, nowhere on the chart was the choice of ‘International Developer’, in part because I made up the term. However, the fact remains that there is no pre-existing career path for those who want to pursue international development. Wayan Vota was incredibly helpful in giving a sort of how-to guide as far as pursuing a career in International Development. One thing he brought up that truly changed the way I was planning my future was not to attend grad school unless it’s paid for, and what truly matters is experience not achievements on a resume.That was huge. I love that International Development is based on getting your hands dirty not wasting years in institutions learning that the best way to make change is to go out and get your hands dirty! Honestly hearing Wayan Vota really inspired me to take the leap and go head first into the unknown. All in all, I think this is the main lesson I have taken away from International Development- the best way to help it is first to immerse yourself in it. Programs like One Laptop Per Child failed mostly because of lack of information on ICT, cultural and social infrastructure. Also, based on the disaster response work we did, it seems that we truly learn the best ways to help once we are in the situations ourselves. So, if I had to sum up ICT4D what would I say? ICT has unlimited development potential. The fishing Industry in India, voting in Jordan and radio in rural Africa are testaments to the amazing potential that ICT has to affect development. However, first things first, the infrastructure of the country must be known and research must be done. Knowing development on paper is crucial, but knowing development first hand is invaluable.

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One response to “So you want to be an International Developer?

  • NPHule

    I so agree with so many things you’ve written here. I had no clue that by wanting to promote organic farming amongst rural farmers in India, I was planning a career in the ‘development’ sector or ‘social’ sector as it is called in India. I got my Masters before I did field work and I now think that I learnt more in the farms about development than during studies. I am presently looking for a job in the ICT4Ag sector and it is kinda crazy because this career field didn’t even exist when I was in high school!

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