- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Georgetown University Press (July 31, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1589012100
- ISBN-13: 978-1589012103
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development
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"It is a very good book that I think should be part of every campus career services library. Any young international education professional contemplating a career change or transition to another field will benefit from reading this book."―International Educator
"[A] rich compendium of advice and resources for those interested in pursuing a career in international education, exchange, or development ... this is a 'must-have' resource; it provides quick access to relevant organizations, resources, and websites that have been selected and critiqued by experts."―Journal of Employment Counseling
"[This] book is useful and inspiring. It is also a valuable reference guide to relevant resources, especially crucial while at a career crossroads. The multiple viewpoints presented enable readers to tailor their progression within the field in ways that work for them."―IATEFL Voices
The format of this new volume includes profiles and informal interviews conducted with experienced professionals in all fields; it discusses a range of key career issues and dilemmas; and provides an excellent listing in its chapters of both print and online resources. It is a very good book that I think should be part of every campus career services library. Any young international education professional contemplating a career change or transition to another field will benefit from reading the book.
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This book seems like a junior editor's glorified Googling project rather than a career strategy guide. A lot of the information is already present on the internet and while it may seem useful to have that information bound into a book, ready for perusal at your fingertips, it really isn't that helpful. For one thing, the information already requires the internet for use. Many pages are just links to websites where you can get more information and these websites are likely to pop up for you punch in a few keywords relating to international development, exchange and development. It would have been better off as a website since you would have to go onto the internet anyway.
Secondly, appreciating the fact that the fields of international X, Y or Z are very broad and ill-defined, it is understandable that a lot of the information is also very broad and ill-defined. It's difficult to write a career guide for a field that has blurry edges. That being said, the most one can say about this type of field, is jump and make your own path... which is what this book says and it's a message that doesn't necessarily require a book that is backed up mainly by hyperlinks and a few well-to-do figures in the field that rose to their position mostly by connections.
I do appreciate that the editors tried to include interviews from different people who are at different stages of their career but I felt that most of the interviews weren't that helpful and were more self-praising than anything. If you are fresh out of college, you may be a little confused at what your career path will be by reading these interviews because few of them actually started off in international education, exchange and development; rather, they somehow found themselves in the field later in the career. Again, this is due to the nature of the field and the changing international scene but it provides little insight for a fresh graduate or early career starter who wants to know how to get started from the bottom.
Like any field, the best way to get in is to jump in. Get an internship, study abroad, talk to people who are already in the field. This books gives you the advice and the resources to do that (but so does the internet). Save yourself a few dollars and just get on the internet and start Googling away yourself.
The majority of the career options mentioned are - especially in today's economic and job climate - limited to a very, very select few (and I'll say it, ELITE) individuals. Not a very practical book for us 'normal' Americans interested in establishing a career abroad. Case in point: the author Overmann's (a graduate of an elite university) account of how he just happened to establish a little international education newsletter that some how, some way became a large success. How did it become a large success? Likely the result of an established, elite network. Something a bit difficult for us rather 'normal' Americans to establish.
Moreover, a large number of the organizations, and company/organization lists, in the book are widely known; you can find out about most of them through a bit of online research (i.e., "[field name] + [international career]", etc). With that said, I suppose if you are strictly interested in/planning a career in NGO and/or government work, the book could provide some value. I have nothing against the authors as they seem like they mean well; the information/strategy provided just seems a bit dated/irrelevant for today, and one-sided.
My advice for a 20-something interested in establishing an 'international career' today? Go to China. There are tons of open positions, especially if you're interested in teaching. And it is beyond me why a book on international education fails to profile an international teacher!
Sounds easy, but where to start? And how to follow through and make my goal a reality? I won't go into the answers for you because this book takes care of all of that for me. I highly recommend that anyone interested in working in the international field (not only non-profits like me) take a good look at this book. It will help guide your way.