Human Services Guide

Education Requirements for Community Economic Development

Helping a community to plan its economic development in a way that is sustainable, efficient and inclusive to all stake holders is a critical human service. This discipline requires that one have the appropriate training, skill set and knowledge base to be an effective leader that is able to bring together disparate members of the community and get them to buy into a particular vision for economic development.

Most Community Economic Development Officers are appointed by the local government who will look to hire the best candidates based on their education and experience. While some areas will be willing to hire those who have a Bachelor’s of Science degree, most city councils will be looking for highly qualified individuals that have at least a Master’s degree in a relevant field. During your Bachelor’s program you will want to consider a minor in Business Administration, Accounting or Statistics so you have additional skills and knowledge that supplement your major. In order to successfully be chosen for a Master’s program it is important that you have a degree in one of the following areas:

  • Public Planning
  • Urban Planning
  • Economic Development
  • Community Economic Development

Having a Bachelor’s in one of these areas will ensure that you have the appropriate baseline knowledge and training to be able to excel in a Master’s program. Fortunately, there are many universities that offer Master’s degrees in these areas with many of them now offering online courses so you can complete your Master’s from the comfort of your home and not have to move if no local University has a degree program that interests you.