Employability of Graduates from International Development Studies Programs at Canadian Universities
This project addresses the lack of quantitative and qualitative employment data for students who graduate from Canadian university programs in international development studies (IDS) at the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are two important consequences for IDS programs: -their ability to prepare students for future employment and citizenship activities cannot be effectively evaluated -IDS curriculums are being designed without this information Understanding career paths The number of IDS graduates in Canada is far greater than the availability of paid positions in the development sector (i.e., aid agencies, NGOs, and multilateral institutions). There is little data on how IDS graduates are using their degrees in academia and other fields outside the development sector. These include journalism, teaching, health, community services, law, and volunteer work, both in Canada and overseas. Knowledge to shape learning This study will collect and analyze longitudinal data on employment choices and pathways for different groups who have received IDS degrees in Canada. It will document the fit between their university training and the skills needed to perform their job, and seek their feedback for adjustments needed to current IDS curriculums. The goal is to obtain data on a large and representative sample of graduates from Canadian IDS programs. Some of these graduates may have held degrees in IDS for up to 40 years and will have a wealth of job experience. Others will be recent graduates with a more limited record of employment. Project leadership and results The Canadian Consortium of University Programs in International Development Studies (CCUPIDS) is coordinating the study. They will share findings through peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations to professionals in the field of development studies in Canada and internationally.