For professionals who are interested in working for a nonprofit, the question of where to begin to build the necessary skills to become an asset in the sector is an important one. Preparing for non-profit work can be an exciting but challenging process, one that requires, for most executive-level positions, a graduate degree. Here are a few of the best degrees to earn for employment at a nonprofit organization.
Master of Public Administration
The public sector’s equivalent to the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Public Administration is a great degree for those who are interested in working in the nonprofit sector. The degree, which is a professional post-graduate degree, prepares students to serve as administrative leaders in the nonprofit sector by placing a focus on the investigation of executive organization and management. It’s an interdisciplinary degree with a curriculum designed to pull together the worlds of politics, economics, sociology, law, and more in order to build a comprehensive understanding of how the public sector works and operates.
Master of Urban Planning
A master’s degree in urban planning is one of the best ways to begin your career at a nonprofit, especially if you’re interested in working in impoverished areas or solving environmental problems. This degree focuses on how a city is planned and built as well as how certain crises are addressed by city officials; specialties also offer the opportunity for students to understand how policy is shaped. It is a degree that is in high demand from local and state housing agencies that assist the homeless; the degree is also sought after by international organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations.
Master of Public Policy
The master of public policy is a degree that was created to provide advanced concepts in politics, economics, management, statistics, and communication together as a way to become professional public policy advisors and analysts, most often working with the government at the local, state, or national level. The degree, which comes with specializations like education policy or economic development, is a perfect fit for the nonprofit sector; these professionals can work as policy analysts or directors of research in organizations to help them find solutions for the issues it is involved in.
Master of Social Work
A Master of Social Work can provide various opportunities for people who are interested in working on the national or international adoption system, social work, or mental health counseling in the nonprofit sector. This degree requires at least one year of field work, ensuring that students enter the field with some work experience; it can also lead to managerial positions in nonprofit organizations that work with children, allowing them to be a positive influence in crafting policy and delivering aid where it is needed the most.
While these degrees do require considerable time and effort, it is also possible to earn them online or through nontraditional means, making the degrees more accessible than ever. The degrees ensure that candidates are responsible and ethical when working in this sector, as well as providing nonprofit organizations with the chance to work with skilled professionals who understand the unique needs of working within the sector. For anyone seriously considering working for a nonprofit, these degrees may be exactly the advantage that will see them succeed.