What Can I do With a Degree in Community Development?

The information on this page is designed to help you explore possible careers. Use the links below to navigate to different areas of the page. We recommend working with a career counselor to help you identify careers based on your skills, interests, and values.


Community Development Organizations and Resources

Community Development Organizations (Portland Area)

  • Beneficial State Bank — A public benefit corporation that reinvests "any distributed bank profits back into the community that the bank serves." Certified B Corp.
  • Central City Concern — Mission is "to provide pathways to self-sufficiency through active intervention in poverty and homelessness."
  • City of Portland Housing Bureau — Mission is to "solve the unmet housing needs of the people of Portland."
  • City of Portland Bureau of Community and Civic Life — This mission is to promote "a culture of civic engagement by connecting and supporting all Portlanders working together and with government to build inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities."
  • Clackamas County Community Development Division — "...strengthens and improves neighborhoods throughout Clackamas County through the use of federal grants."
  • Community and Shelter Assistance (CASA) of Oregon — "By working alongside community organizations, we provide programs and resources that strengthens families’ financial well-being."
  • Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) — "CPAH creates and maintains safe, healthy, and sustainable housing with services for diverse residents including families, seniors, and people with disabilities in Washington County and SW Portland."
  • Community Housing Innovations (CHI) — "...provides housing and human services that support social and economic independence...with the end goals of housing permanency and stability."
  • Hacienda Community Development Corporation — Mission is to strengthen "families by providing affordable housing, homeownership support, economic advancement, and educational opportunities." 
  • Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Oregon
  • Home Forward — Formerly Housing Authority of Portland. "First priority is to make sure the people of our community are sheltered."
  • Housing Development Center — "Housing Development Center’s mission is to strengthen opportunities for low-income families and individuals by developing, preserving, and sustaining affordable housing and community facilities."
  • Human Solutions — "Human Solutions counters the forces that keep people and communities in poverty by building relationships and assets that create opportunity."
  • Innovative Housing, Inc. — "...provides high-quality affordable housing to individuals and families, along with services to help our residents maintain their housing, access opportunities, and break the cycle of poverty."
  • Metro — "Metro protects open space and parks, plans for land use and transportation, and manages garbage disposal and recycling for residents in three counties and 25 cities in the Portland, Oregon, region."
  • Northwest Housing Alternatives — NHA "mission is to create opportunity through housing. NHA provides affordable housing options for families, seniors, and people with special needs across Oregon."
  • Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon — Working to end hunger in Oregon.
  • Portland Community Reinvestments Initiatives, Inc. (PCRI) — "Preserve, expand, and manage affordable housing in the City of Portland and provide access to, and advocacy for, services for our residents."
  • Portland Habitat for Humanity — "...revitalizes neighborhoods, builds affordable and sustainable homes, and empowers families through successful homeownership."
  • Portland Housing Center — "We believe everyone deserves access to home ownerhship. We make it possible through quality home buyer education, one-on-one guidance, financial services, and a variety of other resources to make homeownership a reality for Portland-area residents."
  • Proud Ground — "Utilizing the Community Land Trust model of permanent affordability, Proud Ground expands homeownership opportunities for families, with low to moderate incomes, so that they can live or remain in the community of their choice."
  • ROSE Community Development Corporation — "builds affordable housing and creates neighborhood opportunities for residents to thrive."
  • SE Works: One Stop Career Center — "Our mission is to strengthen the economic health and well being of our diverse community by facilitating successful connections between job seekers and employers."
  • Sabin Community Development Corporation — "Sabin CDC works toward social equity, stabilizing and improving the livability of culturally diverse Portland neighborhoods by assuring the availability of long-term affordable housing for low and moderate income residents, encouraging community partnerships for local economic development, and offering youth and senior programs."
  • Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Corporation — Mission is to "collaborate with the SE Portland community to build informed, inclusive, and participatory neighborshoods that support our social and ecological well-being."
  • The City Repair Project — "...fosters thriving, inclusive and sustainable communities through the creative reclamation of public space."

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Community Development Organizations (National/International)

  • Community Development Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco — "Our economy can only reach its full potential when everyone is educated, healthy, and has an affordable place to call home. Addressing the complex, long-standing challenges that limit opportunity requires collaboration across sectors and disciplines. The SF Fed’s community development department works with a wide range of organizations to cultivate this collaboration and promote the economic resilience and mobility of lower-income Americans."
  • Housing Assistance Council (HAC) — National nonprofit organization "that helps build homes and communitites across rural America."
  • National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) — "Working to end homelessness and housing poverty...dedicated to solely achieving socially just public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes."
  • Peace Corps — An agency of the federal government devoted to promoting world peace and friendship.

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Community Development-Related Resources

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List of Employers and Job Titles developed from Job Postings in Handshake for Community Development Majors

Students who major in community development develop skills that are valued by employers. These skills include: research, analysis, writing, oral presentation, critical thinking, synthesis, problem solving, advocacy, and the ability to take initiative. Students and alumni may find employment in government, nonprofits, social services, educational institutions, and businesses, depending on their skills and experience. Internships or relevant part-time jobs may be a prerequisite to finding employment.

The following list of employers and job titles was derived from Advising & Career Services' jobs database where the employer specifically requested community development majors. This list does not reflect all potential places of employment or kinds of jobs for community development majors. This list does not reflect current openings.

  • Bureau of Development Services, City of Portland — Development Services Technician 1
  • City of Beaverton — Neighborhood Association Committee Outreach Coordinator
  • City of Madras — Community Development Director
  • City of Portland — Development Services Technician I, Right of Way Agent III
  • City of Salem — Neighborhood Services Specialist/Community Services Counselor
  • Ciy of Seattle Office of Housing — Community Development Specialist
  • City of Vancouver — Urban Forestry - Neighborhood Canopy Restoration Coordinator
  • Clackamas County — Project Coordinator (Homelessness)
  • Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission — Project Implementation Coordinator
  • Columbia Sportswear — Corporate Relations Specialist
  • Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services — Housing Developer, Home Ownership Program Assistant, Microenterprise Program Coordinator, Housing Development Coordinator
  • EnviroIssues — Project Coordinator
  • Equity Foundation — Executive Director
  • Home Forward — Community Revitalization Director
  • Human Services Council — Planner/Program Coordinator II, Program Coordinator, Program Manager II
  • Impact NW — Community Coordinator III
  • King County Community & Human Services — System Performance Evaluation Coordinator (Program/Project Manager IV)
  • Klamath County — Planner
  • Lane County — Community and Economic Development Coordinator
  • League of Oregon Cities — Staff Associate
  • McKinsey & Company — Organization Survey Analyst
  • Mercy Corps — Small Business Loan Officer; Program Coordinator, Asset Development Services; Assistant Program Officer, Southeast Asia
  • Multnomah County Office of Sustainability — Sustainable Purchasing Coordinator
  • Neighbors West-Northwest — Community Outreach Specialist
  • Oregon Food Bank — Volunteer Coordinator-Learning Garden, Statewide Services Manager
  • The Rebuilding Center — Deconstructionist
  • Outside In — Youth Specialist 1--Housing Program
  • Prosper Portland — Associate Project Coordinator/Project Coordinator, Economic Development Director, Ezone Assistant, Senior Project Coordinator - Gateway URA Team
  • Portland Bureau of Transportation — CSA II - Transportation Planning
  • Raphael House of Portland — Project Coordinator
  • SOLV — Project Coordinator, Director of Outreach and Member Services
  • US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — Program Assistant
  • Vancouver Housing Authority — Executive Director-Columbia Non Profit Housing
  • Worksystems, Inc. — Director of Community Investments
  • YWCA of Greater Portland — Program Manager

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Professional Associations

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