Listen to the sixth episode of our DevProWomen2030 audio series.

BARCELONA — Global development professionals should pursue lifelong learning in order to prepare themselves for future changes in the sector, according to Ebony Lee, managing director of graduate programs at 2U, an educational technology company that works with nonprofit colleges and universities to offer online degree programs.

There is an increasing demand for new roles that are cross-disciplinary and incorporate more technology, data, business, and analytics, Lee said.

“Some jobs are here now that were not 10 years ago,” she said, explaining that this requires those working in the sector to continue building their skill set to be better equipped to do the job required at the highest level.

And for those entering the sector?

“It’s important to go into the field knowing you can’t predict exactly what you’re going to need, but you can arm yourself with a variety of skill sets that will prepare you for the unknown,” Lee said, citing collaboration and the use of technology and data.

Online learning is one way of building that skill set. Working with people remotely, collaborating through different modalities, and engaging across cultures and timezones, are hugely important in international development, Lee said.

Through the audio series, DevProWomen2030, Devex is speaking to women professionals to find out how changes across the development landscape are impacting women and what advice they have for those entering this space or looking to climb the ladder.

Listen to the sixth installment on why lifelong learning is critical on SoundCloud.

Devex, with financial support from our partner 2U, is exploring the skills and education development sector professionals will need for the future. Visit the Focus on: DevPros 2030 page for more.

About the authors

  • Rebecca Root

    Rebecca Root is a Reporter and Editorial Associate at Devex producing news stories, video, and podcasts as well as partnership content. She has a background in finance, travel, and global development journalism and has written for a variety of publications while living and working in New York, London, and Barcelona.
  • Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Reporter at Devex. She covers all things related to careers and hiring in the global development community as well as mental health within the sector — from tips on supporting humanitarian staff to designing mental health programs for refugees. Emma has reported from key development hubs in Europe and co-produced Devex’s DevProWomen2030 podcast series. She holds a degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University and a master's in media and international conflict. In addition to writing for regional news publications, she has worked with organizations focused on child and women’s rights.
  • Naomi Mihara

    Naomi Mihara is a Video Journalist for Devex, based in Barcelona. She has a background in journalism and international development, having previously worked as an assistant correspondent for Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and as a communications officer for the International Organization for Migration in Southeast Asia. She holds a master's degree in multimedia journalism from Bournemouth University.