If you want to make a difference in your community, a career in economic development may be for you. Economic development professionals work to improve the quality of life in their communities by creating jobs, increasing income levels, and improving the standard of living. There are many different ways to enter this exciting field, so no matter what your background is, there is sure to be a path that’s perfect for you. In this article, we will discuss the various career paths available in economic development and provide some tips on how to get started.
What is economic development and what do economic developers do?
Economic development is the process of improving the economic well-being of a community by creating jobs and attracting investment. Economic developers work to achieve these goals by doing things like:
– Conducting market research
– Attracting businesses and investment
– Promoting entrepreneurship
– Assisting with business retention and expansion
What are the different types of economic development?
There are many different types of economic development, each with its focus. Some common types of economic development include:
– Business attraction and retention: Working to bring new businesses to the community or helping existing businesses expand. This can be done through things like marketing the community to potential investors or providing assistance with permits and regulations.
– Workforce development: Helping to create a skilled workforce that meets the needs of businesses in the community. This can involve working with local schools and training programs to ensure that residents have the necessary skills for available jobs.
– Infrastructure development: Ensuring that the community has adequate infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer systems, and broadband internet access. This can be a big undertaking, often involving public-private partnerships.
– Housing development: Working to create affordable housing options in the community. This can be done through things like developing new construction or rehabilitation projects or providing down payment assistance programs.
The career path for economic developers is fast-paced and has a lot of growth according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. The median pay for an economic development specialist was $68,740 in 2016, and the job outlook is expected to grow by six percent from 2016 to 2026.
How to become an economic developer
Usually, the education for economic development can be obtained at the master’s degree level, and most economic developers have a degree in economics, business administration, or public administration.
There are many ways that you can get involved in economic development in your community. You can start by volunteering with local organizations or nonprofits that focus on economic development. You can also look for internships or entry-level jobs with economic development organizations.
If you want to make a difference in your community, consider a career in economic development! Economic developers work to create jobs and improve the economy in their communities. With the right education and training, you can become an economic developer and make a positive impact on your community.
What are some careers in economic development?
All kinds of careers have a working knowledge of economic development but success is measured differently for each individual. A career in economic development could be the perfect way for you to make a difference in your community!
Here are some examples of careers in economic development:
Urban and regional planners are responsible for the development and growth of cities and regions. They work with government officials, business leaders, and citizens to create plans that promote economic development and improve the quality of life in communities. Urban planners are similar to being a program director but an urban planner typically has more of a focus on the physical development of an area while also considering economic factors. Economic development planners typically will attend class at a university for majors such as urban studies, planning, geography, or economics and acquire a master’s degree.
The average salary of urban and regional planners is $72,780 per year.
An economic development director is responsible for the overall economic development of a community or region. They work with government officials, business leaders, and citizens to create plans and programs that attract new businesses and investment, promote job creation and economic growth, and improve the quality of life in communities. A bachelor’s degree is common for this career.
The average salary of economic development directors is $95,840 per year.
A community development specialist works with government officials, business leaders, and citizens to develop programs and initiatives that improve the quality of life in communities. They may work on projects such as affordable housing initiatives, small business assistance programs, or community revitalization efforts. A bachelor’s degree or master’s is common for this career.
The average salary for community development specialists is $53,490 per year.
A local economic development officer works with businesses and government officials to create jobs and improve the economy in a specific city or county. They may work on projects such as attracting new businesses to the area, assisting small businesses, or developing industrial parks. Most business development officers have a college degree.
The average salary for local economic development officers is $61,150 per year.
A community planner creates long-term plans for the physical growth of communities. They consider factors such as population growth, land use, transportation needs, and environmental impact when creating their plans. Aside from land development projects, being one of the community leaders with local governments also means being responsible for other aspects of the municipality such as social programs, emergency services, and infrastructure development. Most community planners have a college degree in urban or regional planning.
The average salary for community planners is $72,780 per year.
A career in economic development also means having the opportunity to shape policy at the local, state, or federal levels. Policymakers work with legislators to develop laws and regulations that will impact economic development initiatives. They might also work on incentive programs designed to attract businesses to certain areas or help small businesses grow. Many policymakers have a law degree or a master’s degree in public policy or business administration.
The average salary for policymakers is $84,290 per year.
Program directors develop and oversee programs that aim to improve the economic conditions of a specific area or population. They might work on initiatives like job training, small business development, or affordable housing. Many program directors have a master’s degree in public administration, urban planning, or economics.
The average salary for program directors is $81,830 per year.
Research analysts research economic trends and issues to provide information that can be used in policymaking decisions. They might collect data, analyze statistics, and write reports. Many research analysts have a bachelor’s degree in economics or a related field.
The average salary for research analysts is $63,230 per year.
To learn more about careers in economic development, check out our website or contact us today! We would love to chat with you about how you can make a difference in your community through economic development.
The benefits of a career in local economic development
Many benefits come with a career in economic development and local businesses. Economic developers help to create jobs, improve the economy, and make their communities better places to live. They also enjoy a variety of other benefits, including:
-The ability to work in a variety of industries
-A flexible work schedule
-The chance to work with a variety of people
-The opportunity to make a difference in their community
If you are interested in pursuing a career in economic development, there are many ways to get started. You can look for job openings and you can also look for internships or entry-level jobs with economic development organizations.
Work locally and attend classes or seminars on economic development. You can also join professional organizations such as the International Economic Development Council or the National Association for Business Economics. These organizations offer networking opportunities, job postings, and resources to help you get started in your career.
With the right education and training, you can become an economic developer and make a positive impact on your community!
Economic Development Jobs Near You
Skills and qualities necessary for a successful career in economic development
A career in economic development requires a unique mix of skills including:
– Strong communication skills: You’ll need to have the ability to clearly explain the benefits of investing in the community to a variety of different audiences.
– Relationship building: You’ll be working with a variety of different partners, from elected officials to business leaders to community members. You must be able to develop and maintain strong relationships.
– Project management: Economic development projects can be complex, often involving multiple partners and moving parts. Strong project management skills are essential for success.
– Financial analysis: Understanding financial data is critical in making the case for investment in the community. You’ll need to be able to put together a compelling financial analysis to make your case.
If you have these skills and are looking for a way to make a difference in your community, choosing an economic development career has great employment opportunities.
Challenges and opportunities faced by those working in this field
Career opportunities come with pros and cons for any industry and economic development is no different. Some of the challenges and opportunities they face are:
– Opportunity: Making a difference in people’s lives and the community.
– Challenge: Long hours and work outside of the traditional nine to five.
– Opportunity: Variety in projects and tasks.
– Challenge: Dealing with different levels of government.
– Opportunity: Diverse range of skills needed including policy analysis, project management, marketing, and more.
There are a lot of other job opportunities like working in the private sector and being able to support local businesses or with government agencies and decision-makers to help shape policy. It’s a very exciting and interesting field to be in.
The best part about this career is that you can have a huge impact on the lives of others and the community as a whole. If you’re looking for a way to make a difference, this is it!