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Studies & Degrees in Rural Development

Choose where you would like to study Rural Development:

ArgentinaAustraliaEthiopiaIndiaNew ZealandSloveniaSpainThe United StatesZimbabwe

The term rural development is used to describe the actions and initiatives taken to improve the standard of living in non-urban environments like remote villages, neighborhoods, and the countryside. Families in such regions largely rely on agricultural products to support themselves. However, soil conditions, seed supply, and other factors are not good enough for successful farming, and this leads to poverty in the developing world. Rural development promotes the proper conditions for farming, so that planting, harvesting, and processing of crops can be done effectively. This is all initiated with the aim to reduce poverty and save lives.

One of the main challenges that rural development faces is soil that might have been damaged by overuse. Another component that relates to rural development is transportation - even if a farmer produces enough items for sale, if there is no means of transporting these to the market, the farmer cannot sell the crops and earn anything. There are regions, where roads and infrastructure cause such problems. Finally, rural development deals with research, technology, and political policy – all of which extend beyond the physical conditions for farming.

Personal Qualities

  • Have a sincere interest in social, economic, environmental and cultural issues
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Able to pay attention to details and work with accuracy
  • Show good analytical and problem-solving skills

Study Options

Rural Development can be pursued at the bachelor or higher level of study, and there are even universities who have dedicated colleges to Rural Development and Environmental Studies. This is due to the fact that approximately two third of the world population live in rural or semi-rural areas. Students who decide to pursue a PhD are most likely to be engaged in research in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern and Central Europe.

Numerous courses in Rural Development are also offered to mature students, giving them the opportunity to earn the degree online or part-time. In any case, a recommendation is that the institution you choose has the most recent information and materials, giving you a wide span of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience on the subject.

Career Options

Rural Development has become even more popular as a profession in the last ten years. This is due to the fact that governments have been paying more attention to the subject, while educational institutions have also started offering an increasing number of such and similar courses. These are the reasons why career opportunities in the field are wide. You can work in Government Development Agencies, Departments, or State Resource Centers. Other options include voluntary organizations, social development units of the corporate sector, national and international donor agencies; and last but not least, self-employment is possible through the means of running one’s own voluntary organization or doing research and project formulation as a freelancer. Some job roles within the area of Rural Development are trainer, researcher, consultant, and project coordinator.