Career in youth development

Ranjan K Baruah
Do you take pleasure in working with young adults? Are you passionate about helping young people to develop good character and life skills that will help them succeed in their life? Then, you may consider a career in youth development. Well, let us understand scopes and opportunities related to youth development in India and abroad. There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. However, more than half of all children and adolescents aged 6-14 lack basic reading and maths skills, despite the fact that the majority of them are attending school.
India is one of the youngest nations in the world and is expected to have a very favourable demographic profile in the near future. This is a great opportunity as well as a challenge for all of us. Transforming education is possible when young people take up their responsibility and they are not deprived of their rights. Apart from government, youth led organisation or organisation working for youth development may contribute positively for achieving targets of SDGs.
Professionals working in youth development do activities like Research, create, teach, lead, and support programs aimed at improving the lives of young adults, provide a safe and positive environment in which classes or activities are held, teach classes and facilitate workshops, lead different  activities, facilitate support groups, organize field trips and exposure programmes, etc .
Job titles commonly held by youth development professionals are youth development specialist, youth development program coordinator, youth development professional, youth development counsellor, program manager, program coordinator, program director, youth director, outreach director, etc . One may study courses like Master of Social Work or Development Studies. There are courses like youth development in India and abroad. Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development offers courses like M.A. Social Work (Youth and Community Development). Experienced persons may take up short term courses offered by specialised agencies on youth development.
Career prospects are in different avenues like in government projects and departments like youth development; professional practice in NGOs and INGOs; scope for advanced studies in youth in India and abroad, teaching in the field of youth studies, training and consultancy services, scope for development and practice-orientated research, etc. Professionals may explore innovative practices/modules for addressing youth issues and to ensure social inclusion and justice and they may also establish organizations in the area of youth development.
12th August is observed as International Youth Day and this kind of events bring more opportunities for people working in the field of youth development. Though there are courses but there are individuals who have done remarkable work without much formal degree. Passion is must and important if anyone wants to work with young people. Apart from qualification like post graduation it is important to have all required employability skills to excel in the field of youth development. Though some one may work without very formal degree but it is advantages to have degrees and academic qualification as the challenges of employability has increased.
Scholarships for Girls: DRDO has launched “DRDO Scholarship Scheme for Girls through Aeronautics Research and Development Board (AR&DB), DRDO HQ. AR&DB has been mandated to nurture quality aeronautics human power in the country since inception in 1971. This scholarship scheme would attract such women power from various institutes through a transparent process with an objective to tap the talent of bright students across the country.
RAC invites online scholarship applications from the Girls / Women students studying in first year of Under Graduate (BE/B.TECH: full time four year degree) and Post Graduate (M.TECH/ME: two year full time degree course) under “DRDO Scholarship Scheme for Girls in Aerospace Engg / Aeronautical Engg / Space Engg / Rocketry / Avionics / Aircraft Engg” through RAC website Last date is 10th September.
The author is a career mentor, skill trainer, motivational speaker and can be reached at 8473943734 or [email protected] for any career related queries