Careers in the caring and health professions
Making a difference to those in need
Overseas development officer /Aid worker: There are many challenging issues to be tackled in the developing world, among which are terrible problems such as AIDS, famine, lack of education, and the tragedy of human conflict. As an overseas development worker, you will help in the fight against these problems and make a difference. There are no direct career paths in this sector, and you may decide to volunteer over a summer holiday, but if you are keen to make a career of it then you will need qualifications and experience. The developing world needs expertise as well as passion.
Experience and qualifications in the following fields are in demand:
- advisory (economists/ business experts/ academics)
- executive (administrators/planners)
- technical (agriculturists/water engineers)
- health (doctors, nurses)
See our pages on business skills, science degrees in agriculture, ecology, environmental science, engineering qualifications, teaching, and healthcare options for expertise and training that will make a difference to societies less fortunate than our own.
Organisations like VSO will be able to point you in the right direction, but a starting point is often volunteer work, so get stuck in!
Charity fundraiser: As a charity fundraiser you won’t necessarily be working directly with patients or in the caring profession, but your role will be of huge benefit to people in need. Charity fundraisers are employed, directly or indirectly, by a charity or related organisation. They are responsible for achieving an agreed money-raising target by approaching trusts, major donors, individuals and other sources, and by running events. Fundraisers work with individuals, communities, businesses and charitable trusts to raise awareness of the charity's work, aims and goals. Ultimately, their job is to increase the contributions of those individuals and groups by building relationships and exploring new fundraising ideas. The money you raise will affect lives! You will have a good business head on your shoulders, and excellent negotiating skills, but will put those skills towards the benefit of vulnerable groups, rather than the profits of private companies. See also the business pages.
Human rights lawyer: Working as a human rights lawyer is a branch of law that deals with the Human Rights Acts and other injustices of civil liberties. Like any branch of law you will need to train as a lawyer and then specialise. To find out more go to Government and Law.
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