Postsecondary Community Development Program: Career Prospects

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    Feb 19, 2014
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Postsecondary Community Development Program: Career Prospects Photo by Pamela Wendell

Community development work typically includes helping communities in bringing about social changes and improving the quality of their lives. The professionals work with individuals, families as well as the entire community aiming to enhance their economic and social wellbeing.

Community development is an interdisciplinary field that incorporates economics, politics, cultural diversity and social psychology. The professionals more often act as a link between local authorities and communities while addressing the issues related to inequality, injustice, health and sanitation, education, employment, general administration and community development.

Career Prospects

Community development workers are employed with government, NGOs, international communities for social development, national or regional corporations or voluntary organizations. They can build their careers in the fields of public administration, politics, urban studies, social work, healthcare, anthropology, sociology and other related fields.

More specific careers in community work include fundraising, administration, human rights, consultancy, advocacy, environment, gender equality, sanitation, forced migration, relief work, planning, economist roles and negotiation and liaising.

The typical work activities include:

  • Promoting social and economic justice
  • Challenging oppression and discrimination
  • Managing and directing community economic development initiatives
  • Identifying the needs of communities
  • Raising funds for community development
  • Ensuring that the locals have their say
  • Mediating and settling matters of conflict
  • Encouraging locals to fight for their rights
  • Empowering locals to enhance their economic and social wellbeing

Community development work can be generic and specialised depending upon your qualifications and the organization you work with. However, to seek entry level positions with organizations in community development, you need to undergo formal education and have worked for the community.

Community Development Programs in Toronto

A community development program prepares students for careers in public, private and non-profit sectors in a variety of entry level positions. The program gives students the opportunity to gain in-depth understanding about society as a whole along with other related subjects including economics, politics and social psychology.

The two-year postsecondary diploma helps you build strong theoretical foundations in community development while providing you a lot of opportunities to work in "real world" field settings. Although there is no particular roadmap to serve the community but the program is aimed at helping students acquire the basic knowledge necessary to work effectively in this field.

The program covers a wide range of courses, such as sustainable community development, communication fundamentals, social psychology, community based research, community economic development, community engagement and participation, community development, global perspective in community development, community development policy, business essentials and general education.

The program combines classroom learning, seminars and actual field placements. What you learn in class can be put into practice during field placements.

Enrolling in a Community Development Program in Canada

Many colleges across Canada offer community development programs; however, not all expose you to the real world experience, which plays a crucial role in finding employment after the course completion. It’s important to make research and carefully select your college.

In order to apply for the program, you will need:

  • Secondary school diploma or equivalent
  • English Grade 12 C or equivalent

Graduates of this program are in better position to help communities in improving their overall social, psychological and economical status.

Author's Profile

Klaudia in this article talks about the community development program offered by Centennial College. She throws more light on how the program prepares the students to take up a career in community services.

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