‘Development sector is full of great opportunities for the young bright students and offers careers in a diverse set of domains at competitive salaries’, was the conclusion of a thoughtful convening “Development Unplugged’ at India Habitat Centre. The event was attended by development professionals and organizations, placement representatives of Delhi University campus, academia, students and social entrepreneurs, and was organized by Youth Hub at Village Square in partnership with the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM).
‘Development Unplugged’ showcased the diversity of career opportunities in the sector in areas such as artificial Intelligence, data science, engineering, medicine, program management, marketing, business development, strategy development, talent management and behaviour change. In fact, it was realized that there was no CV that was not relevant to the sector. And, the domains were equally vast and diverse. These were in areas such as health, nutrition, rural development, climate change, environment, technology, innovations. advocacy, agriculture, livelihoods, education, community collectives, and many more. And, a vast array of the development organizations exist at the grassroots / community to national and international levels, think tanks and policy advocacy groups. Their compensations are comparable, sometimes even better than other sectors, based on skill-set, qualification, experience and the nature of the organization one chooses to join.
Development Deconstructed- Masterclass
A masterclass by Aditya Sethi, an investment banker in North America and Japan to a social technology leader and an entrepreneur in India provided a rare insight into his inspirational journey. His session offered the young audience a peek into the career of a young development professional across a wide variety of organisations, competitive compensation and the satisfaction of having made large scale impact.
In conversation with Young Development Changemakers:
A panel of four young changemakers shared their inspiring stories of growth and change within the sector. Saurabh Mehta, Founder of bioQ; Aakriti Parischa, Program Coordinator at Pravah, Tenzin Chorran at Think Though Consulting and Shuvopriyo Roy, AVP at Medha represented a variety of organizations and domains within the sector. They talked of wearing multiple hats while working in their current roles. The challenges they face and the motivations that help them overcome these were inspirational for the participants. They discussed the joys, hardships, and opportunities the sector offers and the reason they continue to work with passion. The panel was moderated by Swati Sethi.
This was followed by an open house for freewheeling discussion with the participants. There was discussion over the relevance of all educational backgrounds to the sector, soft skills like conflict management, leadership, deep listening that can be acquired in a variety of roles that a young professional can access. Apart from comparable compensation, this sector is known for work-life balance and employee friendly human resource policies.
Vinay Kumar, Director of Youth Hub at Village Square spoke of the initiatives in Youth Hub was involved in sensitizing the urban educated youth to issues, problems and opportunities in rural India and the development space. Deepti Dwivedi of ISDM spoke of their institute benchmarking roles to salaries and pushing organizations to pay comparable compensation to make the sector more professional.
Finally, there was a lively discussion about why young India shied away from this sector when they graduate out of college. It was largely because they had very little or no knowledge about the realities of the sector and their attitudes were shaped by stereotype image of this space. It was therefore important that the young should be exposed to this sector, its organizations and the jobs it offers and explode the myth that the compensation levels were low.