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The United Nations Young Professionals Programme (UN YPP)

Application Deadline: October 31, 2020 (48 Days Remaining)

The United Nations Young Professionals Programme (UN YPP) is an annual recruitment initiative aimed at attracting highly qualified young professionals who are willing to start a career in the United Nations Secretariat as international civil servants.

As of today, it is the largest hiring program of the UN System and is the only opportunity for young professionals with limited experience to get a job in the Organisation as a permanent staff member. Depending on the staffing needs of the United Nations, applicants are invited to apply for different job areas (called “job families“) with different responsibilities, locations, and requirements.


  • Have the nationality of a participating country (changed annually);

  • Hold at least a first-level university degree relevant for the job family you are applying for (changed annually);

  • Be 32 or younger by the end of the examination;

  • Be fluent in either English or French.


At least a first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent of at least three years) relevant to the job family you are applying for. Your degree should be completed by the time you submit your UN YPP 2020 application. If your area of studies at the first-level university degree does not meet the requirements, but you have a completed advanced degree (Master’s, PhD) in the “relevant” area of studies, you are still eligible to apply for the UN YPP 2020.

Education requirements are specific for the exam area:

1) Management & Administration. Your degree should be in one of the following areas: Business & Administration, Computing, Education, Environmental Protection, Humanities, Law, Mathematics & Statistics, Security Services, Social & Behavioural Science, Social Services, Transport Services

2) Global Communication. Your degree should be in one of the following areas: Arts, Business & Administration, Computing, Journalism & Information, Humanities, Social & Behavioral Science

3) Political Affairs & Human Rights. Your degree should be in one of the following areas: Business & Administration, Humanities, Law, Security Services, Social & Behavioural Science.


  • ROSTER AND PLACEMENT: Young professionals who pass the examination will be placed in the roster of successful YPP candidates. They will be eligible for consideration for positions at P-2 level in any UN Secretariat duty station or peacekeeping operation. Job offers to successful candidates are made on an ongoing basis, but placement takes place on a quarterly basis and is conducted centrally 4 times a year. Candidates who refuse to participate in the placement exercise will be removed from the roster. The list of successful YPP candidates in the roster has a lifespan of two years from the beginning of the first quarterly placement taking place following the conclusion of the examination cycle. The UN warns that although every effort will be made to secure employment for successful YPP candidates, it cannot guarantee them a job. Placement from the roster is done in accordance with the needs of the Organisation and with the availability of positions.

  • ASSIGNMENTS AND ROTATION: First assignment. Initially, the selected candidate will be appointed for two years (Initial assignment). Prior to the beginning of the initial assignment, candidates will attend a two-week orientation programme. Second assignment. After the end of the first assignment, the candidate will be appointed for the second assignment in a different duty station.

  • REMUNERATION AND BENEFITS: Young professionals who passed the UN YPP examination and got employed in the United Nations receive an attractive remuneration package with competitive pay and benefits. According to the official UN data, an average salary for the entry-level (P-2/P-3) position in New York varies from $63,625 to $105,300 per year.


The UN YPP 2020 list of participating countries was announced on 7 May 2020. It includes the following Member States:

Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iran (the Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (the Federated States of), Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Venezuela (the Bolivarian Republic of).

What is the UN YPP process?

The recruitment procedure for the UN YPP differs from the one for any other job at the United Nations and consists of three stages:

  1. Application stage, when candidates are invited to submit an online application to the UN YPP job opening in one of the job families;

  2. Written Exam stage, when candidates take an online test to demonstrate their knowledge of subject matter in the selected job family;

  3. Interview stage, when candidates attend an online interview session to show their compliance with the core competencies and values of the United Nations.



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