Community Economic Development Degree

Community economic development is a field which focuses on studying and encouraging community involvement in the development of economies. This differs from traditional economic development in that rather than concentrating on what governments and private enterprises alone can do to further development, it actively seeks the involvement of members of local communities in shaping their own future. The goal of community economic development is to encourage a holistic view of development, taking into account the needs and opinions of local residents and their social, ecological and cultural environment. This course is generally a postgraduate degree which is taken after having gained a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree does not necessarily have to be in a related subject, but previous study of economics, sociology or another related field would be very useful.

How to Become a Community Economic Developer

The ideal first step on the path to a career in community economic development is to take an undergraduate degree in a subject closely related to economics, which includes classes on the principles of economics, as well as mathematical courses like calculus and statistics. Following that, a person interested in this career should study for a master’s degree or graduate certificate in community economic development.

Community Economic Development Degree Curriculum

Classes which are likely to be part of a community economic development degree include:

  • Principles of Community and Economic Development
  • Community Organization and Decision Making
  • Population and Land Use
  • Municipal Finance
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Community Project Design and Management

These classes draw from work in the fields of economics and sociology and teach students how to navigate the complexity of working in local communities with multiple perspectives and interests. The subjects aim to teach students how to meet the needs of communities and facilitate their development.

Community Economic Development Degrees and Certificates

Those who graduate with this qualification can expect to take up community economic development jobs with government and non-governmental organizations. Community economic developers offer guidance to communities and act as a liaison between the various stakeholders in an area’s economy. The salary for community economic development graduates varies depending on the sort of job they obtain. A community economic development manager can expect to earn a salary in the range of $62,691 to $93,392.