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Career Options After International Development Studies

What is International Development Studies?

IDS is an interdisciplinary field of study, based in Social Sciences, that introduces students to the broad and inter-connected range of issues and approaches within the field of critical development studies. IDS provides students with a critical understanding of development theories for addressing problems of power, inequality and oppression and prepares students who are interested in engaging themselves in the pursuit of social justice and driven to solve social and environmental problems.

What Makes International Development Studies at UTSC unique?

The Co-op option gives students an overseas work experience in the field of international development. Students are also encouraged to complement their IDS program with a major or minor in anthropology, environmental sciences, environmental studies, economics, geography, health studies, history, political science, public policy, sociology or women’s and gender studies. 

Skills of International Development Studies Grads

  • Understanding and explaining the broad connections among issues like inequality, poverty, and oppression
  • Recognizing the roles of historical, sociocultural, economic, and political power in social and economic progress in developing nations
  • Critical analysis of situation and context
  • Communication of complex ideas, both aurally and in writing
  • Research design
  • Project management

Entry-Level Jobs for Bachelor Grads

Common employment destinations include:

  • Outreach Worker in Community Services
  • Research Associate in Fundraising Agencies
  • Donor Relations Coordinator in Charities
  • Economic Development Program Representative in Government Services
  • Youth Programming Coordinator in Non-Profits
  • Outreach Speaker in NGOs
  • Policy Analyst in Environmental Organizations
  • Business Development in Travel Companies
  • Events Planner in various Corporations

The Career Directory

Graduate & Professional Studies

Popular further education opportunities include:

  • International Development – Master/Graduate Certificate
  • Public Policy/Global Affairs – Master
  • Geography/Urban Planning – Master
  • Environmental Science – Master
  • Public Health – Master
  • Law School – JD (Juris Doctor)
  • Medicine – MD 

Examples of Fields that "Fit" the Skills of International Development Studies Grads

  • Government (Federal, Provincial, Regional, Municipal)
  • Non-Government Organizations
  • International Organizations
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • International Business Management & Sales
  • Education
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Law / Legal Services

Your 4-Year Career Exploration Plan

1. Do Your Research

The databases below provide you with details about job prospects, nature of work, educational requirements, working conditions, pay and related career paths:

  • Career Cruising: Log into CLN, click on Resources, and click on Career Cruising to be logged in automatically
  • O*Net: (U.S. site)

Attend our workshop Discover Your Skills and Career Options, meet with a Career Counsellor, and use our resources to get to know your skills, values, personality and interests.
Use the advice on our tip sheets for gathering info:  

  • Information Interviews
  • Working On-Campus
  • Internships
  • Volunteering

2. Explore Career Options & Get Experience

Gain exposure to your options in the world of work and make connections while you’re a student via campus events and programs listed on and

  • Extern Job Shadowing
  • In the Field
  • Explore It! (course-based)
  • Partners in Leadership (4th year students)
  • iLead, uLead, weLead (Dep’t of Student Life)
  • Employer Information Sessions
  • Career & Volunteer Fairs
  • Departmental Student Association Events

Apply for Work Study jobs in CLN in Fall and Spring! You might also find work via SCSU. Find networking opportunities, internship programs and entry-level jobs via websites like TalentEgg and CharityVillage. As an upper year student (14+ credits), attend UTSC’s Get Hired Conference and participate in Jobs for Grads. As a graduate, explore internships and other trainee programs like CareerEdge.

3. Build Your Network

Explore Professional Associations and get involved: volunteer for their events and conferences, and get to know people in your industry of interest. These are your future mentors, supervisors and colleagues!

Please note: This document is a starting point for your further research into career options in this field of study. For more information on this program and course requirements, please visit the International Development Studies departmental website.