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What does a Director of Development do?

As director of development, you can nearly be the star of your own show! The director of development is a top-spotlight professional spanning a range of career titles, including director of community development, director of industrial relations, and director of human resources. Do a quick Internet-news search on “director of development” to see how this career makes the spotlight:

  • “Urban Mission Fills New Director of Development Position”–It is a big role and inquiring minds want to know.
  • “EDC Director Says Economic Recovery in Area is Slow”–The director of development must ease concerns of employees, investors, and anyone else who might be concerned.
  • “Director of Community Development is Fired”–In this high-stakes job, you are held to high standards. Of course, the spotlight is no fun in these instances.

director of development

If you are ready for the spotlight, find out more about becoming a director of development

To shine in this profession, it is vital for you to have the following qualities:

  • Communication genius, on paper and in person
  • Master of tact, as in, no gossiping (especially about employees)
  • Natural-born (or at least well-learned) leader for your specific director title, because to direct means to lead
  • Hard worker. Yes, it is good to be this for virtually any position. But you will work hard as a director of development, sometimes more than 40 hours a week
  • Fantastic fundraiser. This will especially be essential if you direct a non-profit organization

Taking the right classes: director of development education

Your education will be important, too, to prepare you for the career and to make you stand out in the resume pile. Most often, to be a director, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree, and some employees require masters’ degrees. But there are multiple paths toward this career, and directors of development come from diverse backgrounds. However, degrees and/or courses in the human resources, industrial/labor relations, business administration and social sciences can best prepare you for the career. Knowing a second language is also helpful; and in some jobs, technical or scientific backgrounds–such as in computer science, engineering, law, or finace–are desired in candidates.

Director of development job outlook and salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that, for human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists, job growth is expected to be excellent: 22 percent job growth is projected. Jobs in the non-profit sector (advocacy, grantmaking, and civic organizations) are projected to grow by 14 percent during the same period.

Some of the top earning director of development careers include:

  • Human resources managers
  • Training and development managers
  • Public relations and fundraising managers
  • Administrative services managers

As you begin your new career, keep in mind that salaries vary by industry, geography and employer.

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