Graduate Degrees for Non Profit Work

Many people who are interested in pursuing and advanced degree or are wondering what kind of degree a nonprofit organization is looking for.

There are many answers to this question, and the type of degree that will help you land a nonprofit job will depend on what kind of job you are looking for.

MBA – Masters in Business Administration: You read that right; a business degree can really help you in your nonprofit career. More an more nonprofit organizations and agencies are interested in hiring managers with business savvy and skill, and many MBA programs are offering concentrations in nonprofit and public administration. What can you do with a Masters in Business Administration? With an MBA degree you can easily transition between the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, and many people find a perfect fit working in Corporate Social Responsibility and in public/private partnerships.

MPM – Masters in Nonprofit Management/Public Management: These degrees focus on management and financial planning techniques particular to the nonprofit sector. Typical classes include organizational management, budgeting for nonprofits, financial planning and strategic planning. What can you do with a Master in Nonprofit Management degree? Just about anything involved in nonprofit administration, all the way up to Executive Director!

MPP/MPA – Masters in Public Policy/Public Administration: Public Policy and Public Administration degrees are similar to nonprofit and public management degrees, but tend to focus more on the quantitative research skills necessary for policy analysis and implementation. Public Policy degrees focus more on government relations, while public administration degrees focus more on the business side. What can you do with a Masters in Public Policy or a Masters in Public Administration? Many people with MPP and MPA degrees enter the nonprofit workforce as policy analysts, directors or development, government or public relations officers and consultants.

MUP – Masters in Urban Planning: Urban planning refers to community and city revitalization and planning, and urban planning degrees teach the future generation of administrators how to most effectively use land and spaces to serve the community. What can you do with a Masters in Urban Planning? Many MUP graduates work in the government agencies in charge of housing and homelessness, regional planning and environmental sustainability.

MSW – Masters in Social Work: In order to become a social worker, students must graduate with either a Bachelors in Social Work, or a Masters in Social Work.
The MSW degree opens many more doors, but offering graduates the opportunity to supervise case managers and programs, and even become counselors in private practice. What can you do with a Masters in Social Work? MSW graduates can work in managerial positions in agencies working with children and family support services, adoption, rehabilitation and counseling, mental health work and education.

If you are thinking about going back to school to further your nonprofit career, remember that the decision is a very personal one, and that you should work to find the program that suits your long-term needs.

Many universities offer graduate programs that are much more specific to nonprofit organizations than the ones mentioned here, and the opportunities are truly endless!

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