Course Advice From a Nonprofit Entrepreneur –

What types of courses would be beneficial for students who want a career in nonprofit entrepreneurship?

There are several different types of courses I’d recommend, but the biggest by far are business classes. Most people do not realize that nonprofits are still businesses, just not businesses for which the goal is profit. However, business concepts and practices are critical to the success of any nonprofit entrepreneur.

Courses in basic finance and accounting are important to make sure your nonprofit runs efficiently and can be self-sustaining. Marketing courses are vital to get your messaging out, while business strategy courses will allow you to lead your nonprofit in making the biggest impact toward your mission. Overall, a social entrepreneur will be extremely well prepared if he or she majors in business, or at the least, take as many business school classes as possible. The skillset in for-profit business is exactly the same as is needed in the nonprofit world.

Also, if the nonprofit is more technically based, then computer science and engineering classes are extremely useful, especially since engineering talent is expensive to hire. You are three steps ahead if you have the skillset yourself.

Edited by Valerie Jones

Related: Schools with Nonprofit Management Degrees | The Story Behind Student Donate

Andrew Wilkinson began his career working as a Silicon Valley engineer in the high-tech industry. He also spent time as a management consultant to Fortune 500 technology companies before his foray into nonprofit entrepreneurship. Wilkinson is currently the executive director and co-founder of StudentDonate, a nonprofit whose mission is to help students afford a higher education.