Striving for a better, fairer world

Do you want to pursue this goal in your professional life? Whatever your academic background, you can find opportunities in Switzerland and abroad.

Find your way in international cooperation

There are rarely well-defined procedures for a career in international cooperation. It is more like a winding path, where professionals encounter unexpected twists and turns that can be confusing, but usually also enriching. Which is why knowing how to orientate yourself is an art.


Drive your career choices by answering the following questions:

In which professional fields can you contribute?

Organisations in international cooperation are on the lookout for new talent who bring them added value. To which work area(s) can you make a contribution?

Advocacy? Finance? Education? Environment? Health? etc. You can find all work areas on our job portal cinfoPoste.

Which SDGs are you interested in tackling?

Organisations contribute to different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, choosing an employer and a job means prioritising some SDGs over others. As a job seeker, ask yourself: "Which SDGs am I interested in tackling?"

Which employers do you have the most affinity with?

International cooperation is not just about NGOs! Where would you like to work?

What field are you most interested in?

Previously distinct, humanitarian aid, development cooperation and peace promotion are converging. Today, their boundaries are often unclear. Do you still have a favourite field?

  • Humanitarian aid provides emergency assistance in acute and deteriorating natural distasters and violent conflict. It tends to work in the short-term and under time constraints. However there is an increase in long-term engagements in chronic conflicts for the purpose of risk prevention.
  • Development cooperation, which also includes economic cooperation, aims to reduce poverty and foster sustainable development and growth. It is based on partnerships and active at all levels (local, regional, global). It addresses long-term, structural change – but often still operates in fragile contexts.
  • Peace promotion establishes or reinforces the basic conditions required for sustainable development. Promoting peace includes both military and civilian measures. Examples of civilian peacebuilding: supporting fair and transparent elections, strengthening human rights, building an independent judiciary, etc.
Which modes of intervention are you most comfortable with?

Organisations use different modes of intervention, or a combination of them. Which mode(s) do you feel most comfortable with?

At what level can you imagine your contribution?

Not all professionals working in international cooperation are in direct contact with beneficiaries. At what altitude can you imagine your contribution? Rather at the micro- or macro-level (context building)?

  • in the field, in permanent contact with beneficiaries
  • in the field, without directly interacting with beneficiaries
  • at headquarters, with more and less frequent field visits
  • at headquarters, working on global issues
  • in research, with potential field studies

Inspiration for your career – Read The Gazette

More resources

  • Orientation map – finding your place in international cooperation starts with knowing yourself: use these questions to reflect more deeply and find the information you need. The orientation map is also available in German or French.
  • Job advertisements – find examples of various entry positions to understand what is usually needed or required.

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