Why work for the UN?

The United Nations offers a broad range of employment opportunities for professionals with diverse backgrounds, aspirations and aptitudes.

Besides the opportunity to build a career within your field of expertise, a career with the UN can offer a fulfilling environment that gives you satisfaction by contributing to peace and security, human rights, and sustainable human development.

The UN allows you to work in different countries and get to know different cultures as part of a challenging, global and diverse work environment, with people from all over the world working towards the same goals.

These opportunities are offered in a variety of fields, including:

  • management and administration (including finance, audit, human resources)
  • economic, social and development
  • political, peace and humanitarian (including human rights, elections)
  • information and telecommunication technology
  • law and governance
  • public information and communication
  • security and safety
  • supply chain and transportation (including procurement, logistics, engineering)
  • public health
  • environment and climate change

Almost any highly qualified professional can find a meaningful job within the UN system.

The requirements for qualified professionals keep changing. Today, the UN increasingly seeks qualified candidates with private sector background to be able to effectively and timely deliver their services. Newly emerging profiles include specialists in logistics, supply chain management, finances etc. 

Each organisation may also have preferences in terms of requirements and sought profiles. 

UNDP for example regularly seeks experts in public policy and environmental sciences, while UNICEF has a high demand for child protection and nutrition officers. Similarly, certain organisations require field experience while others consider experience working in the private sector an asset.

Challenges

Working conditions at the United Nations may present challenges. Examples are lengthy application processes, complex bureaucratic structures, and duty stations that for security reasons may not allow family accompaniment.

Job security is also not a strong point of the UN as assignments are usually of limited duration and further employment is often subject to budgetary constraints and political decisions of member states.

In addition, the UN requires its workforce to be flexible, geographically mobile, and available often at short notice throughout the entire career.

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