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    I am a bit of a jam. I accepted my offer to SOAS this fall for the MSc in Violence, Conflict, and Development with much enthusiasm about three months ago while I finished up my BA in Economics and Minor in Peace Studies in the US. ( I was also accepted into the MA Poverty, Conflict and Reconstruction at Manchester)

    I am currently doing an internship with UNDP in Timor-Leste. My time here has allowed me to interact with a wide range of people from various UN agencies and other international NGO's. More and more I am thinking the program that I chose is less and less relevant to working in this type of field. In a post on TSR, I saw the a conversation about Dev Studies vs Dev Economics, one tells you whats wrong, but the other tells you whats wrong and gives you the understanding to fix it. (placing the emphasis on economics).

    I have found out very quickly that "you can throw a stone in any direction in this country and his someone with a development degree". To really be useful, you need technical skills or to have a specialization in particular area's of development. This makes specific programs such as Manchester's MSc in Environment and Development, Poverty and Development, etc look very nice because you get a greater deal of education then the general "Dev Studies" degree.

    On the other hand I am considering declining all offers, and reapplying for Development Economics, or Environmental Economics programs at SOAS, LSE, Manchester. Or in the different but similar vein, since technical skills are needed, applying to the Water Science, Policy Management program at Oxford and a similar one at Yale.

    So many people these days are getting Development Studies degrees, but what is the worth when you hit the real world? It doesn't seem to be much from the people I have spoken too. You might have better chances working in development with a engineering or public health degree.

    I guess im looking for some feed back about postgrad programs at Manchester, the normal Dev Studies track at SOAS and the Development Economics track at SOAS.
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    (Original post by ChumbleyMKE)
    I am a bit of a jam. I accepted my offer to SOAS this fall for the MSc in Violence, Conflict, and Development with much enthusiasm about three months ago while I finished up my BA in Economics and Minor in Peace Studies in the US. ( I was also accepted into the MA Poverty, Conflict and Reconstruction at Manchester)

    I am currently doing an internship with UNDP in Timor-Leste. My time here has allowed me to interact with a wide range of people from various UN agencies and other international NGO's. More and more I am thinking the program that I chose is less and less relevant to working in this type of field. In a post on TSR, I saw the a conversation about Dev Studies vs Dev Economics, one tells you whats wrong, but the other tells you whats wrong and gives you the understanding to fix it. (placing the emphasis on economics).

    I have found out very quickly that "you can throw a stone in any direction in this country and his someone with a development degree". To really be useful, you need technical skills or to have a specialization in particular area's of development. This makes specific programs such as Manchester's MSc in Environment and Development, Poverty and Development, etc look very nice because you get a greater deal of education then the general "Dev Studies" degree.

    On the other hand I am considering declining all offers, and reapplying for Development Economics, or Environmental Economics programs at SOAS, LSE, Manchester. Or in the different but similar vein, since technical skills are needed, applying to the Water Science, Policy Management program at Oxford and a similar one at Yale.

    So many people these days are getting Development Studies degrees, but what is the worth when you hit the real world? It doesn't seem to be much from the people I have spoken too. You might have better chances working in development with a engineering or public health degree.

    I guess im looking for some feed back about postgrad programs at Manchester, the normal Dev Studies track at SOAS and the Development Economics track at SOAS.

    I heard peopel telling me to focus on particular subject such as economics, environment study, education etc to pursue your career in int'l development or something related to humanitarian issues. So if I were you I would gain more experiences and apply other schools.

    In my case, as I have keen interest in protecting human rights of civilians in war torn countries, I applied for conflict studies and received offer from several schools (LSE, KCL, BRadford etc). I looked for schools focusing on certain subject but I couldnt find school that specializes on certain issue. However before doing so, I gained some experiences in human rights ngo, gov, think tank and Int'l org, so I can make connection between two subjects. Hope I can find the position that deals with such issue after finishing study
    BTW how did you apply for UNDP field office? I want to do internship in UNHCR field office and I was just wondering if I have to just wait after applying?
 
 
 
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