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Hi, due to the lack of consolidated info regarding Development Practice, I thought to create this topic to discuss and compare Development Practice programs! I recently got accepted in UC Berkeley's MDP and Columbia SIPA MPA-DP and would like to discuss which do you think is better, in what aspect and why? as well as employment opportunities? networking? Financial Aid options?
Hello, hive mind! I wanted to know the pros and cons of going for a lesser known STEM program (UC Berkeley Master's in Development Practice) v/s a better known non-STEM MPP/MPA (e.g. Harris, SIPA, etc.). I'm not eligible for most scholarships, and the chances of receiving financial aid from either school are quite slim. STEM OPT is useful for international students who could potentially accelerate their career by working with reputed organisations in the States for a few years - and help in paying off education loans a lot sooner (compared to working in my home country post-Master's). However, in terms of placements and getting a foot-in-the-door at the very least, a better known program will likely open doors for more number of opportunities. Both degrees are useful in terms of offering the flexibility to customize the degree as per one's desirable focus area. Aptitude for STEM coursework is also not an issue, even though I'm a Business and Liberal Arts major. Welcoming guidance from anyone and everyone who has an opinion on this choice! My background: have 2+ years experience in field research with multilaterals + US university-affiliated DevEcon research firms in a third world country - mostly in the area of poverty reduction. I wish to continue working in organizations and nonprofits but as an early career professional, I'm sector-agnostic at this point. By that, I mean that while I'd ideally like to proceed with my work in international development, I'm also open to switching to other focus areas (e.g. gender, energy) if my interests match Thank you in advance!
I got accepted to Berkeley’s Master of Development Practice and Johns Hopkins’ SAIS DC. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. Though I haven’t had relevant professional work experience, I attended community college meanwhile to take classes for my own interest. Berkeley’s tuition is about $48k/year and offers small funding ($3k/year) while SAIS DC’s tuition is about $47k/year with no funding. Cost of living in DC and SF bay area are similar. I know UC Berkeley very well and it seems like I may have some advantage getting campus jobs that I may be able to graduate debt-free. While these two programs are not exactly the same, they will help my career goal, which is to work in international organizations focusing on Latin America in the long-run. Here are pros and cons I see from each school: Berkeley Pros: Campus jobs that will help me financially Bigger campus, more departments such as ERG and Latin American studies Fellowship opportunities for the second year Cons: I spent 4 years there. I am not sure if there’s much I can get out of this school. But Berkeley is a big school and being a graduate student is different from undergrad. So I’m not sure if it’s a big con. SAIS: Pros: Being in DC SAIS is more known and prestigious than MDP. Emphasis on quant skills Cons: I have no clue how I can minimize student loan (or if possible at all). What do you think? I would like to get some advice from others.