Degrees in community development can teach you more about the different sectors of society and how they are affected by change. In this career field, you may be responsible for analyzing the needs of communities in order to implement change programs or assess the effects of growth on your designated area.
In some area, community development specialists may be part of a team that assesses a need for a specific service, such as a new hospital or changes to the school systems to fit the needs of the community. If you are the type of person that loves to analyze issues and suggest areas for improvement, this could be a fitting degree program for you.
In the guide below, you can learn more about the most popular levels for students in community development degree programs. You can also see a little about potential career options and average salaries for positions in this field. You can use this information as a foundation during your decision to pursue a specific degree program in your future.
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Online Community Development Degrees
The recent boom in technology has created a whole new platform for higher education. Online degrees in community development can provide students with the opportunity to explore graduate programs without the need for missing time at work or relocating to a college campus.
If you were to engage in a community development degree program in the online setting, you might spend some of your time completing assignments listed on the online campus each week, discussion class topics with other students on virtual discussion boards, and testing via the online timed test tool.
A lot of the information covered in online community development programs consists of research into the structure of societ and real-world studies that have been conducted to learn more about how change can affect society. Your curriculum can be easily accessed via your program's webpage for further exploration.
The most popular level of degree for upcoming community development specialists is the master's degree. This level can include topics related to the implementation of services within a community as well as some topics regarding management of development teams in the social domain. Read more below to learn more about master's programs.
Masters Degrees in Community Development MPA
The Master's in Community Development seeks to build upon general knowledge gain in undergraduate programs to create educated and prepared professionals. Once you have completed an undergraduate degree in public administration or another related field, you may be prepared to engage in more focused learning at this level.
Most master's-level programs can take anywhere from 1-3 years to complete, sometimes depending on whether or not there are internships required for graduation. You are always encouraged to truly look closely at the programs you are considering for enrollment, so that you will know what is expected of you as a student.
Another important factor to consider prior to enrolling in any program is whether or not it is accredited. The NASPAA accredits public administration and public policy degree programs in the U.S. and is often considered the most reliable resource for degree programs in this field.
Our team of educational experts took the liberty of searching for relevant online master's programs in your field that have received accreditation from the NASPAA. A few example programs were extracted from the NASPAA website and listed below for your information. Check out a few of the programs that you could consider enrolling in below.
- The University of Missouri: Online MPA - 2 years to complete
- The University of Nebraska: Online MPA - 2 years to complete
Typical Community Development Coursework
New students at the master’s level are most often interested in learning about what type of courses might be involved in their upcoming program. The curriculum is essentially the most important factor in a degree program, since it is within it that students learn the most about their field.
Classes in community development might consider the importance of financial planning for community officials, as well as operational leadership within community management agencies. Some courses can even explore the different types of services that can be offered to communities in order to ensure great public health and service availability.
The planning process for community change is also a complex and vital aspect of community development. Students in this program can take a look at what this process looks like from a new learner’s perspective, which can be beneficial when entering into a career in this field.
Community Development Career Options
Community development degree programs are great training options for upcoming community leaders. There are numerous leadership positions available in cities and local government that could be excellent domains for exhibiting your skills. Some areas may call upon community development specialists to help plan new technologies, architecture, or businesses for the community.
In other areas, community development professionals may move from place to place, providing contract services relevant to community expansion or growth. These types of services can be utilized consistently by cities that are showing remarkable growth and are in need of specialists to help manage the transition along the way.
If you are interested in management positions as a result of your degree program, you can partner your education with experience for the best possible shot at obtaining these prestigious career options. In some cases, elected officials may have degrees that focus on community growth, development, and wellness.
The salary information below was gathered from real-world professionals in the field of community development. Completion of this degree program could possibly lead you into any of these career options after graduation. Read more below to see which career options might be the best option for you.