Five Forces Analysis
The career area that scored most highly on my career interests analysis was international development. It is an industry that works to understand differences between countries and work to improve the conditions found in countries which are lacking in some areas. There are many key areas in which an international development specialist can focus, such as economic improvements, access to water, illiteracy, and life expectancy (Currie-Alder, Medhora, Malone, & Kanbu, 2014).
In terms of the five forces analysis, international development is an interesting area. The bargaining power of the suppliers is high, as there are few development agencies and the non-profit agencies such as the United Nations rely on these contractors for their work (Currie-Alder et al., 2014). The threat of substitutes is fairly high depending on the area: there is always the chance that the United Nations will provide these services themselves or a competing development agency will take over a contract.
In terms of the bargaining power of the buyers, this is complex. In terms of financial development, there is more competition and therefore the buyers have the power to choose between development agencies to work with. In other areas of development, there are morality issues on both the side of the suppliers and the buyers, as the aim is to make people’s lives better, rather than debate about the cost of the services. As such, the threat of new entrants in this area is also low.
This leads to the industry rivalry. There are many different development agencies that work for profit, and there are also global and local not-for-profit companies too. There is more of a rivalry in the for-profit sector than in the not-for-profit sector, as this work is largely taken on by NGOs like the United Nations.
Opportunities and Threats for Coffey
The main opportunities for this company are that the world is becoming more globalized and therefore we are gaining an awareness of how to improve the economics and living conditions in developing countries. It is also important to note that businesses may hire a international development expert in order to help them expand into different countries: again, this a major opportunity for someone looking for contract work in this industry.
The main threat is that international developers will reach their goal and improve the lives of everyone on a global scale, meaning that further international development is not necessary. Aside from this, which may be possible in the long-term, short-term threats include competition from other agencies and the involvement of non-profits.
Coffey is an international development company that offers a wide range of services to businesses and NGOs that are interested in international development. My strengths will help this company. Firstly, my strong skills in writing and editing, using languages, and negotiating are important parts of communication and are useful in almost any industry. I am also skilled in organization management and can lead, supervise, motivate, and make decisions. Again, this is helpful in any industry.
The area of strength that will most likely help Coffey is the research area. A lot of research needs to be done on the area that is being developed and the different ways in which I can help with this task. It is also important to research about the area in general terms, and what factors need to be developed. This strength is incredibly useful for helping an international development company.
My final area of strength is in human services. Obviously international development requires a certain amount of empathy and sensitivity, and the ability to use your intuition as to how best to work with people in developing counties. Again, I think that Coffey would really benefit from having someone that has human service skills on their international development team.
I recently attended a networking event that focused on how NGOs and for-profit organizations can work together in order to aid international development. It was a very interesting event because until this point I was not aware that there were two types of companies prevalent in international development: I thought it was mostly projects by aid developers and the United Nations. It helped me to understand that there is competition between for-profit agencies that work in research and sell this service to the NGOs.
The event made me realize that non-profit administration and business will be perfect for me. Although I found the work of the for-profits interesting, I think my skills in human services are most likely to help me in the non-profit sector. Communication skills will also be useful for developing projects that fall on both sides of the spectrum. I am also aware that it requires a lot of research and I have really been enjoying using this skill as part of my college assignments, so I think the international development industry is where I want to work.
I also like that there is a lot of variety in terms of the work. Many people work with organizing financial improvements for certain areas, but there is also the chance to work with aid agencies trying to improve access to healthcare and water. The ability to change focus in my career is appealing to me as I want to develop skills and interests across the board in international development rather than simply focusing on improving the economic situation in a country.
- Currie-Alder, B., Medhora, R., Malone, D., & Kanbur, S. M. R. (2014). International Development: Ideas, Experience, and Prospects. Oxford University Press.