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Indevmng

UCL v. Lund U. - Sustainable Dev. vs. International Development

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I was intending on going to Lund University's Masters in International Development and Management, but two weeks ago I got a late acceptance from UCL's Environment and Sustainable Development Program. I'm having a lot of trouble deciding because I'm not super sure how consultancies, development organizations, or multilaterals think in terms of hiring.

So far two professors in related fields (development econ and urban planning for low-income countries) have recommended UCL flat out. People I knew who worked in UNDP and UNEP both told me to go for the highest brand value due to how competitive the field can be. That being said, I feel a bit risk adverse because while Lund teaches project management techniques, data analysis and SPSS, ArcGIS, and ensures a three month internship as part of the course structure, UCL only briefly touches on mapping applications and has a heavier policy and case study emphasis. It seems though that I'm choosing between more skill development with Lund and better name recognition and networking opportunities with UCL, and it's hard to determine what will matter more. UCL is the same overall price (though carried in one year), and has the slight advantage of pushing me back into the job market earlier, meaning I can start paying down student loans sooner.

Looking for insight!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Indevmng

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I'd say go for Lund. The name of a university will mean less and less the further your career develops. Skills are for life :)

 

 

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I guess my concern is that, from my analysis of linkedin profiles, Lund students take longer to get their first job, and in the two year difference, I could get a lot of experience in jobs and internships and move faster towards having an established career with a one year masters under my belt. That being said, a lot of the ability to leverage UCL in such a way relies on networking as opposed to skills, which makes me nervous.

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Don't just use LinkedIn. See if you can talk to professors, current students, and recent alums from each program to get a better sense of the career trajectory, internship opportunities, etc. 

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