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What's Your Career?

A Day in the Life of a Development Analyst

When you think about development, many things come to mind, whether it is urban/ rural development and design, construction among other things. For Shannique Perry, Development Analyst and guest for Episode 3 in our What’s Your Career Video Series, development means the advancement of a country, population or a group of people. A part of the daily activities of working as a Development Analyst at the Planning Institute of Jamaica includes tracking the progress of the country’s national development plan-in this case, Vision 2030 Jamaica. Shannique helps to track achievements, things that are lagging behind, areas of improvement and focusing on special groups like people with disabilities, children, youth and the elderly based on the organization’s plan.

Skills/Qualities Needed to Enter the Field of Development Planning

“We’re heavy on critical thinking here,” Shannique remarked and she believes analytical skills, particularly data analytics and being able to present data in a way that people understand are integral to function effectively as a development analyst. You must be able to observe and also ask questions as to why a plan may not be working and steps that can be taken to create better outcomes.

Subjects to Consider in High School

According to Perry, the subjects she believes are vital for this field include History, Social Studies, Sociology, Principles of Business, English Literature, the Sciences and other mandatory subjects like Math, English, and Information Technology.       

 Field Entry Requirements

Social Policy and Development is a degree offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of the West Indies and matriculation is based on the completion of 6th form studies in Social Sciences.

Length of Study and Tuition Estimation

A first degree in Social Policy and Development takes 3-4 years to complete based on where you study. This degree is heavily subsidized by the government of Jamaica and other CARICOM countries which may result in you paying about $250,000 per year. International scholarships are also available on the United Nations’ website.

Benefits of Becoming a Development Analyst

Perry credits the benefits of becoming a Development Analyst to networking opportunities with politicians, key senior technocrats, key CEOs of various non-governmental organizations, presidents of international development partners, among others. She also loves that learning is constant within the field and considers the pay scale to be very attractive.

Most Challenging Part of Being a Development Analyst

Within the field of development, you engage different stakeholders and different personalities while trying to appease everyone and make different presentations which is a challenge for Perry. She loves working behind the scenes but doesn’t enjoy being in the forefront. She also mentioned that the length of time it takes to make decisions is another challenge so patience is key.

The Likelihood of Recommending This Career to Others

For persons with a natural interest in development planning, Shannique Perry highly recommends a career in Development Planning. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, Shanique gave this career a 10.

Where to Go for Added Information Within the Field

“You must live on the United Nations and World Bank’s website!” Shannique advises. She also encourages interested persons to stay up to date with current affairs and believes that renowned books in Sociology and History will help to form a fundamental knowledge base that will be useful within the field.

Advice to Those Interested in Development Planning

A development analyst contributes to development planning at different levels and helps to create a future for upcoming generations, so if you want a more active say based on evidence, key research and skills, consider this career. If you are passionate about injustices in certain areas like inclusion, inequalities and inequities this may be the right field for you. 

Watch the full interview here: 

What s Your Career Video Series – Development Analyst – Shannique Perry

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