Graduates of our HE programs will have unique knowledge, skills and attitudes that are highly desired by both non-profit (NGOSs) and for-profit organizations. But you have to remember that your commitment to humanitarian engineering is for the long haul so your first entry job might not be directly related to community development or corporate social responsibility. So here are general considerations to begin your career in ways that allows you to be financially stable, develop your knowledge/skill set, and integrate your interests and passions for both engineering and positive social change.
SEEKING A JOB
If you are seeking a job after graduation:
- Make sure that you know how to highlight your HE background in your resume and job interviews. (Remember that if you completed the Peace Corps Prep Program, you will receive preferential treatment if you apply for a Peace Corps volunteer position)
- Find a first interesting and challenging job that will help you pay your student loans (and other debt) while ensuring that the company’s values, location, work schedules, etc. will allow you to remain committed to your passion for humanitarian engineering.
- Once you have begun developing your knowledge/skill set, consider careers in the non-profit sector and in international development while making sure that you understand their implications for your career as an engineer.
- After a couple of years gaining experience as an engineer, you could consider joining the Engineering Service Corps.
If you would like to attend graduate school:
- Consider applying to graduate programs that will allow you to deepen your interest, knowledge and skills in HE-related fields.
If you follow this advice, your career over the years could look something like this, with your ability to land positions with high relevance to HE increasing after you have established your credibility in jobs that offer important skills and experience even if they do not directly relate to HE.
ENGINEERING GRAD PROGRAMS
Engineering for Developing Communities, University of Colorado at Boulder
Engineering for Developing Communities, University of Colorado at Boulder: A research, educational, and outreach program designed to develop globally responsible engineering students and professionals who can offer sustainable and appropriate solutions to the endemic problems faced by developing communities worldwide.
Development Engineering, University of California-Berkeley
Development Engineering, University of California-Berkeley. This is an emerging field of research that focuses on technology interventions designed to improve human and economic development within complex, low resource settings.
D-Lab at MIT
D-Lab at MIT. The program’s mission is pursued through interdisciplinary courses, research in collaboration with global partners, technology development, and community initiatives — all of which emphasize experiential learning, real-world projects, community-led development, and scalability.
Masters Program in Human Centered Design and Engineering
Masters program in Human Centered Design and Engineering, University of Washington: A graduate degree focused on the practice of designing and building innovative technologies and systems. “Putting people first, HCDE students and faculty research, design, and engineer interactions between humans and technology. With a focus on understanding human needs and interests, HCDE students and faculty work together to solve engineering design problems and build engineering solutions.”
Graduate Concentration in Engineering for International Development Program in Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida
Graduate Concentration in Engineering for International Development Program in Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida. One year at USF taking coursework that includes global health, applied anthropology, and a Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WaSH) engineering. Long-term (1-2 years) overseas development experience serving with a Nongovernmental Organization or in the Peace Corps or three year Master’s Degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering with Concentration in Engineering for International Development
Sustainable Futures IGERT program : Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship
Sustainable Futures IGERT program : Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship: This program aims to integrate the disciplines of green engineering and social sciences to produce professionals who will achieve future environmental, industrial, and societal sustainability. IGERT students receive an annual stipend of $30,000 and a cost-of-education allowance used to pay tuition and fees.
NON-ENGINEERING GRAD PROGRAMS
Masters of Science in Global Technology and Development, Arizona State University
Masters of Science in Global Technology and Development, Arizona State University. The Master of Science in global technology & development focuses on international socioeconomic and political change, emphasizing technology and the current processes of globalization.
Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development, Penn State
Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development, Penn State. With Penn State’s online MPS in Community and Economic Development, you can gain the knowledge you need to navigate the complexities of communities and community organizations and inspire positive changes on a local, regional, and national level.
Humanitarian Academy, Harvard University.
University of Washington – Law of Sustainable Development Graduate Program
University of Washington – Law of Sustainable Development Graduate Program: This is the first graduate program at a U.S. law school to focus on sustainable and international development. The program offers courses in areas of the student’s interest including law, public policy, economics, political science, international studies, sociology, public health, and environmental studies.
The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, Michigan Tech
The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, Michigan Tech: Formally recognizes curricular breadth in policy, societal and economic systems, environmental systems, and industrial systems. Students also have the opportunity to achieve specialized education in engineering, forestry, science, social sciences, humanities, business, and economics.
PROGRAMS BEYOND THE US
Masters of Science in Engineering for International Development, University College of London
Masters of Science in Engineering for International Development, University College of London. Students gain understanding of infrastructure design and delivery processes in resource-limited settings, and learn how to mobilise technical expertise to develop solutions with local stakeholders in a global context. The wide range of taught modules also provides opportunity to critically engage with the complexities and ethical dilemmas of working as an engineer internationally.
Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden: This program has two parallel study majors, both having a strong environmental focus: Sustainable Power Generation and Sustainable Energy Utilization in the Built Environment. Students learn state-of-the-art education in the fields of power generation and energy utilization in the built environment by means of economically and environmentally sustainable systems.
Development and Emergency Practice, Oxford Brookes University
Development and Emergency Practice, Oxford Brookes University. The Development and Emergency Practice (DEP) course provides a unique academic setting for the study of international development, conflict, disaster management, urbanisation, humanitarianism and human rights. With its emphasis on practice, the course offers students the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes in the rapidly changing fields of development and emergencies.