Ask Devex: Our top career advice from 2016

By Emma Smith 19 December 2016

A scene at this year's Devex Career Forum held in Washington, D.C. Photo by: Jeff Mauritzen

Global development remains a competitive job market for both recent graduates and experienced professionals. In addition to having a great CV, it is important to know what skills are required, what college degrees will be most useful and what hands-on experience can help you get the role you want in global development. Throughout the year our resident career expert at Devex, Kate Warren, has answered your questions and shared tips to help you land your dream job. Here is a look back at some of her top career advice from 2016.

Can I be included in 2 competing USAID bids?
By Kate Warren
Receiving offers from multiple organizations means your skills and experience are sought after, a desirable position for any professional. However, when organizations are competing for the same USAID bid and asking you to join their team, you may have some concerns as to how to proceed. There are no precise rules when it comes to this conundrum, but there are a few factors you should consider before committing to one or more potential employers. Does your letter of commitment include an exclusivity clause? Are you critical to the organization winning the bid? Here are some other factors to think about and help increase your chances of being part of a winning bid.

When does experience outweigh education?
By Kate Warren
Whether or not to pursue additional education is a common dilemma facing both recent graduates and experienced professionals wishing to transition to a career in global development. While a graduate level degree has become almost a requirement for a global development degree, pursuing further education is a huge financial investment and time commitment and may not always be the best route for you. Kate Warren shares some tips to help you decide if further education is necessary to your job goals.

Do I need to speak Spanish to work in Latin America?
By Kate Warren
While English is the dominant working language in many regions, speaking a second language can give you a competitive edge when it comes to working in global development. This is especially the case in Latin America. With so many fluent Spanish speakers in the world, including the highly skilled professionals from Latin American countries, not having Spanish fluency will be a real roadblock to pursuing a career in this region. Read our advice here on what regions offer the most work opportunities in global development depending on the language you do — or do not — speak, and how to find a role that suits your current skillset.

Should I get a medical degree for a career in global health?
By Kate Warren
While it is common for medical staff to find rewarding careers working in global health, a clinical degree is not a requirement and may not be particularly helpful to your job search. If you have a background in a science or health discipline, there may be other postgraduate courses which would better aid your transition into the global health sector. Read our recommendations here for schools and graduate programs which are well suited to a career in global development and could help you land your dream job.

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About the author

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Emma Smith

Emma Smith is a reporting and communications associate at Devex, based in Barcelona. She focuses on bringing the latest career and hiring trends, tips, and insights to our global development community. Emma has a background in journalism and, in addition to writing for news publications, has worked with organizations focusing on child rights and women’s rights in sustainable development.


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