Education & Culture

Navigating the Dev Sector in Bangladesh

Published : 20 Jan 2024 10:08 PM

The development sector encompasses a broad range initiatives, and projects aimed at fostering economic, social, and environment of a country. Being part of development sector we usually consider diverse fields such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, technology, and community development. Although development organisations mostly refer to the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), some other sectors also fall under this umbrella such as government agencies, international development partners, and private enterprises which work towards sustainable growth and improvement of living standards for the people of a country like Bangladesh.

Looking into the activities during last three decades in Bangladesh, NGO interventions were mostly regulated in the area of poverty alleviation, women’s rights, education, health and sanitation, family planning or reproductive health, environment, establishing an effective democratic process, etc.

It is believed that building career in development field in Bangladesh means fulfilling your desire for serving the people, as well as a decent payment. Therefore, many young people now-a-days are making their mind to work in development sector even since graduation time.

However, the scope of work in development organisations is very wide and tasks are diverse. There are opportunities to work in this sector by studying different disciplines in the universities starting from BBA/MBA to engineering and social sciences or development studies. Now that most of the campuses are closed, it’s a great time to try developing skills. Let’s discuss about the things that need to be kept in mind as a preparation for working in a development organisations.

You may pursue relevant and important educational qualifications, such as a degree in development studies, international relations, public policy, or a related field. Also, acquire specific skills that are needed in the development sector, such as project management, data analysis, and communication. Here are a few examples:

Know about the work

Working in development organisations require an understanding of the type of work. You may take advice from those who are currently working. You can get ideas from the members of the alumni group of the university. Find out the job opportunities in any field from teachers. Attend conferences, seminars, workshops, and any other related fields. Build a professional network by connecting with individuals who are already working in the development sector, both online and offline.

Be a volunteer

Like any other profession, jobs in development organisations are competitive. Therefore, those who have an idea about the work and know the techniques to express their skills, are more likely to be ahead in this field. You can start working as an intern from the time of studying in the university. Many development organisations now offer virtual work opportunities. Having work experience as an intern increases the chances of directly joining the job. So, start searching how to join any development organisation as an apprentice.

Get involved in the work

From the very beginning of university life, try to acquire various skills including communication skills, and project management to advance yourself as a professional. Get involved in a variety of activities. It will increase work experience as well as foster your confidence.

Seek job opportunities

It’s not just about what you studied at university, you have to work as a professional in a development agency. As a student of business administration you might have to work in the communication or admin department, and studying anthropology may lead to job opportunities in management. So try to learn to work on your initiative or interest. The scope of knowing and learning is widened by joining voluntary work while studying at university.

Learn important tasks

Nowadays, multitasking is required in development organisations and various corporate organisations. You must know the process fund formation, organising seminars, and writing reports. Try to learn these while studying in university. Understand research techniques. Learn how to store, collect and analyse data. Understand various aspects of institutional laws, policies, etc.

Master networking techniques

You may keep track of people working in development organisations. Keep track of institutional activities and contacts on Facebook-LinkedIn. Try to communicate with those who are working. If there is an opportunity to participate in a seminar or workshop, take it up. Learn how to increase your exposure. Get training in various technical subjects. Develop your personality related skills like presentation, problem solving and leadership qualities. Job opportunities in these organisations are not always easy to find in newspapers or online. Keep an eye on the organisations’ websites, social media and LinkedIn profiles. Tell your acquaintances that you are looking for such work. If necessary, keep a resume on the development agency’s career website. Understand the importance of work, learn the use of different software, work of graphics, making presentations.

Other things to note

Many development agencies conduct written tests or online tests during recruitment. Questions are asked on English speaking or writing skills, general knowledge, language and mathematical skills. Apart from this oral test is also taken sometimes. Intellectual questions are asked on study related and recent topics. Therefore, in preparation, one should have knowledge about multidimensional issues. Enhance and improve your language skills, particularly in English and even any other different most relevant languages that used in the international development context. Always keep and stay constantly up-to-date about the global and local development issues by reading a variety of publications, reports, and news articles. 

Follow reputable organisations and influencers in the development sector on popular social media and online platforms. Try to learn and understand and conceptualise cultural nuances, as the development sector very often involves working with diverse and different communities and stakeholders. Stay completely committed to continuous learning and professional development. Always try to attend a variety of relevant training programs, workshops, or popular online courses to keep your skills up-to-date and sharp.

By combining education, valuable practical experiences, successful networking, and ongoing learning, you will definitely be well-prepared to embark on a successful and thriving career in the development sector. Good Luck!