Your guide to international development jobs

The concept of international development revolves around the idea that different societies and countries have opposing levels of development on an international scale. The classifications such as a developed country, developing country and the least developed country are the outcome of the concept of international development.

Funding and services are portioned out based on which countries and communities are considered to be most in need of help. In accordance with this, the international development sector’s job market covers a vast number of different and important vocations including (but not limited to) areas such as:

  • Food security
  • Aid workers
  • Democracy and governance
  • Economic development
  • Health
  • Education
  • Woman empowerment
  • Human rights
  • Sustainability

As the types of jobs available within this sector are so varied, and the volume of jobs is so high, international development is a great choice for anyone looking to apply their skills to a sector that makes a real and positive difference to the lives of other people from less fortunate backgrounds. Those working in this sector help people living near or under the poverty line to survive; they also help to empower them in several ways by providing them with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.


Several of the international development organizations also have different emergency response teams which all play a vital role in fundraising at the times of disaster and provide relief and humanitarian aid to the various affected regions. These teams work on implementing and planning long term solutions to the various problems being faced by the developing countries to cater to the needs of their people.

The international development market is huge and there is a lot of scope for job seekers looking to be a part of this sector. Numerous job opportunities in a wide variety of different fields are available. The attractive salaries and interesting/fulfilling nature or the vacancies available have made the sector popular amongst those looking to start a new career or job.

In many cases, the costs of relocation and frequent travel are also covered by the employer, NGO’s or the organization - which again only enhances the appeal of working within the sector.

In particular, there are three areas which are expected to experience growth, and consequently an increase in recruitment. They are:

  • Disability
  • Aged care
  • Family violence services.

So for those seeking an entry-level job in the international development sector, now is the ideal time to opt for one of the above-mentioned fields. The work is not always easy, but the demand for new recruits is there, the salaries are very competitive, and the scope to learn and develop is significant.

As the international development sector can be quite complex and trends change regularly, it is worth doing your research and reading up before applying. From the nitty-gritty ways people are attracted to the sector, to the many sub-sections such as job searches, interviews, career development programs, job qualifications, consultant worker or in volunteering jobs, there is a lot to learn and to know about international development. Fortunately, there are many up to date books and articles in which to do your research.

Along with the division of this market sector, it has also been localized and the humanitarian work or job has been made more flexible in regard to things like the length of the contracts or the hours of work. Many local and international agencies – including various different social work, humanitarian and civil society organizations - over time have worked in conjunction with NGOs in the recruitment process. They have provided more robust solutions to the problems being faced with international development – helping with exchanging jobs and providing jobs at either end of the spectrum.

These middle agencies have helped contribute to a boom in the international development sector over the last decade. Giving help to areas such as effective bond policy, transparency, learning, monitoring and evaluation of this international development community as a whole – the whole sector has effectively become far more professional and efficient in regard to the provision of proper systems and processes. Similarly, the number of aid agencies in operation over the past decade has increased dramatically. The scale and efficiency with which they are able to deal with humanitarian emergencies are now far greater than it ever has been. Rather than the previous perception of aid agencies as being dominated by “white men in shorts”, modern aid agencies are far more specialized and widespread. Whether it be disciplines such as relief campaigns, humanitarian emergencies, short- and long-term development programs, advocacy or the introduction of new academic disciplines, international development has come a long way in the last ten years.

Previously, working on humanitarian causes was primarily unpaid and was mostly considered to be a voluntary job. Whilst there remains a very important voluntary core to a lot of the humanitarian work that goes on, the advent of a more professional approach to much of international development has had a hugely beneficial impact on a number of people and communities. This being said, there remain improvements to be made within the international development sector. One of these improvements would be to provide entry schemes. Whether at graduate level, professionally sponsored or scholarship degrees, there is a demand for a live platform enabling NGO job seekers to search and apply for their desired job that needs to be met.

How and Where to find a job to become an aid worker?

Finding your perfect aid worker job is an easy task when you use our website. Simply search our site and you will find numerous advertisements posted by various international organizations and NGOs looking for candidates just like you.

Once you have found an ad that you are interested in and that meets your requirements, just click and apply – it’s as easy as that! Your submitted application will then be sent back to the employer that posted the advertisement and they will get back to you in due course. Alternatively, you can post your CV on our website, whereby prospective employers can browse your credentials for roles they may have available at any given time. If the skill sets, educational background, and the experience is in accordance with their requirements they will connect with you by using our website to discuss further details. This is how easy NGO Career has made job hunting in the sector for all of our clients.

Another means of searching for aid worker jobs is to keep an eye out for advertisements being made by the NGO you are interested in via local newspapers or by searching online. However, this approach can quickly transform into a challenging task as it can be difficult to know where to start. Another drawback to this kind of job hunt is that the job seekers can never be sure whether the jobs being posted are authentic or not. With NGO Career we direct you to verified job posts that clearly state the credentials of the employer and what they are looking for from their candidates.

You can improve your chances of getting an aid worker job by reviewing the courses and internship programs advertised on our website. The more experience a person has of volunteering, the better the chance they have of getting a job in the international development sector as a whole and as an aid worker specifically. By completing one of these courses or taking on an internship you’ll improve your chances of standing out in the eyes of potential employers.

Empathy is, of course, the key to landing a job as an aid worker. You will need to be able to display that you are an empathetic person with a real drive and ability to help people in need. A master’s degree in one of the related subjects will also assist you in securing an NGO role.

Whilst searching for your next NGO job it is important to be social. Interacting with others in the industry will ensure that you not only get your name out there but remain up to date with all the important goings-on, whether that’s the latest industry news or the most recent job openings. You can also keep up to date with all the latest news and connect with others in the industry via our website!

Skills required to enter the NGO Labour Market:

The most valuable skill you can possess for a non-profit organization is to be able to speak another language. Developing additional language skills is a significant advantage you can have while applying for jobs in the international development sector. This skill will enable you to communicate easily with different client groups, government officials, media and personnel. For instance, to work effectively in the United Nations you must be fluent in one of these languages, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Along with language skills, a cultural understanding of different countries is also very important. It is necessary to be able to adapt, manage difficult situations and resolve conflict in a foreign country as well as your native country. NGOs often provide internship programs which are highly beneficial for people who seek to proceed in international development. These internships will provide you with the necessary experience that you may require to work in an NGO.

There are a lot of NGOs looking for volunteers and interns. You can find an NGO which is looking for volunteers or interns right away, just subscribe to our website and gain access to the best career opportunities!

To apply successful for charity jobs and NGO vacancies, start by volunteering with a charity to improve or acquire new skills, knowledge and experience. You can also undertake internships in developing countries where large international charities operate. This will enable you to development experience required to apply for international jobs.

Career Opportunities and Prospects that exist within the international development sector?

It has been said that demand for new recruits into this sector can never run out. There will always be a group of people in every country and every community in the world that need help in various ways. As the requirements of those in need are so varied and complex; including issues such as dealing with conflict, disasters, economic crisis, educational crisis, environmental crisis, forced migration, gender inequality, domestic violence, child abuse, health crisis, human rights, security issues and much more besides, the opportunities for those looking to work in the sector are practically limitless.

Provided that new recruits have the right skill set, and a platform via which to enter the sector, there are numerous career opportunities available in the developing, underdeveloped and developed countries.

Some of the fields within the international development sector which have particular scope for growth include:

  • Food security and agriculture
  • Economic development
  • Democracy and government
  • Health, education
  • Suitable growth projects

As the developments taking place are happening quickly and consistently across the globe, with every passing day there are more and more interesting fields opening up and being developed within the sector. With these developments comes an abundance of new and exciting possible careers.

Working for an NGO can be demanding. You will likely be confronted with often very challenging and difficult situations. However, it is also incredibly interesting and rewarding. No day is the same and you will get to meet an array of people as well as see and experience some amazing places and cultures. NGO roles are typically well paid, and so the attractive packages help to balance out the time and energy invested.

In order to grow with your NGO role, it is vital that you keep developing your knowledge and skills. If you are good at what you do and know exactly which field or department you want to work in within the international development sector, then there is nothing to stop you from being hugely successful and having a fantastic career that you love.

Working for an NGO can act as a starting point for those looking to work in international organizations such as UN Agencies, World Bank, IMF, etc.

What are the requirements (skills, abilities, qualifications, experience) to start a successful career in the international development sector?

To be successful in the international development sector you will need a combination of certain skill sets, abilities, qualifications and experience.


It is vital that you can communicate well in English, and it is a definite advantage to be able to speak in at least one other language such as French or Spanish. Being multilingual will help you communicate with and reach out effectively to the people you are trying to help and will support you greatly in many situations that may be presented to you throughout your career in the NGO sector. Knowing native languages will also help you understand different the cultures, laws and practices of different countries in more depth.


Being able to understand and cope with various perspectives, points of view and social barriers is an essential part of being a successful international development aid worker. The successful candidate will need to deal with many vulnerable people – often those that have been victims to different kinds of abuse and trauma. Aid workers need to be able to resolve conflicts and support clients by empowering them towards a better and brighter future.

Analysis & Reporting

As well as having empathy for other people and being able to communicate with them, it is also important for aid workers to be able to write quickly, efficiently and comprehensively as they will need to report on all the interactions that they have had with clients in a detailed and appropriate manner. These details are vital in ensuring the proper care is given to clients and that an agreed process if followed in the provision of their care. The written reports will then be kept on record and can be used at a later date for a number of different reasons.

Experience in the voluntary sector

For beginners in the field looking to secure a job in international development, having experience of volunteering or in the social sector can be a great advantage. Examples of the kind of work that this can entail include partaking in or organizing fundraisers, anti-drug campaigns and charity activities. If you are of school-age, this kind of experience will look great on your CV for further down the line in your career when you are looking for a role in the international development sector. For those that already have some experience in the field, having had two years with any reputed organizations can be a great help to advancing in the sector.

As well as the above skills, attributes and experience, it also helps to have a clear idea of the path you would like to take within the sector. As there are a huge variety of different roles and responsibilities available, you will want to choose a direction that you will find interesting and rewarding. Once you are clear about the direction you would like to go in within the sector, you will be well on your way to achieving amazing things in your chosen role.

Why recruiters (NGOs, international Organizations, Charities, Voluntary sector) and job seekers should use this job board

There are multiple reasons due to which the recruiters such as NGOs, international organizations, charities, the voluntary sector, and the job seekers should use our job board. Here’s our top three:

1. We bring everyone together

We are the only platform that brings all of these groups, organizations and people together in one place. Whether you wish to apply for a job, post a job on behalf of your NGO, post an event that you would like others to respond to and attend, or share a news story of relevance, our platform enables you to do all of this in one place.

2. We make things easier

Posting a CV on our website is very simple to do. And once a CV has been uploaded on to our site it is equally just as simple for potential employers to access the application and contact the applicant in a quick, efficient and timely manner. Similarly, the organizations themselves can post their job offers which will then be made accessible to anyone browsing the options available on the website.

3. We shout about the good stuff
With so much great work going on in the sector we believe that it should be celebrated. Our platform not only brings together the best and brightest candidates, but it also provides NGOs with a platform to showcase their contributions to society and get their message across to millions of people around the globe.

NGO Career has it all. From volunteering opportunities to internships, and some very interesting and helpful career guidelines, NGO Career offers the whole package for those working in, or looking to enter the sector.

We improve the chances of candidates landing their dream jobs, and help to find organizations their ideal employees.

NGO Career is a game-changer for many individuals and organizations around the globe. As well as our website providing a platform that makes things easier for everyone, we will also host various career fairs in different locations in order to make our client’s lives even easier.

As well as all of this, our website offers jobs and internships for all kinds of social workers, whether they are just starting out in the industry, or have many years of experience and are looking to switch jobs for a career boost or change.

At NGO Career we offer numerous ways to keep connected with all of the important news and events happening in the industry, as well as hints and tips, such as how to make it in the industry (latest skill sets etc.), via regularly posted updates. Should clients wish to be updated about NGO jobs available locally, nationally or internationally via email they can also choose this option – making it even easier to know exactly when a new post relevant to them has been shared.

All of the jobs that are posted on the NGO Career website are 100% authentic and from NGO management, not third-party advertisements. We ensure that rigid checks are in place so that before any of the job posts can be displayed on our website they are fully checked and approved. This makes the whole process easier and more transparent for everyone involved.

If you are a candidate who is looking for a job in the NGO  and Charity sectors or an NGO looking for suitable candidates for your organisation, at NGO Career Poartal we have everything you need.

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