Careers in Social Impact

The world will always need leaders, individuals who see needs in the world and strive to meet them, no matter the industry or sector. These are the individuals who make change in organizations, often making especially impactful change in nonprofit sectors. Organizations such as social enterprises, NGOs, art and cultural institutions, social service agencies, and volunteer programs are always seeking qualified, creative leaders to make a difference transforming systems and, in the process, human lives.

Working as a leader in the nonprofit sector can mean a wide variety of things, and changes drastically between specialization areas. However, one similarity that all social leaders share is the responsibility to manage and oversee organizations with important agendas and social purposes. The extent of that responsibility varies widely, but leaders are often tasked with financial management, along with relationship-building, fundraising, resource mobilization, recruitment, and staff management.

Salary and job outlook for leaders in the non-profit sector are difficult to track and predict, as the size, scale, and agenda of a non-profit organization will directly influence the funding the organization gets, and therefore the salary of employees.

Required Education for Social Impact

There is no particular degree that leaders must have in order to be successful, but programs such as online social impact degrees or online business administration programs often are very beneficial because they teach students the fundamentals of management, in addition to giving a well-rounded survey of economics, finance, business law, leadership, organizational structure, and fundraising. To be successful leader, however, there is no substitute for real-world experience — look for online programs that offer internships or provide networking opportunities.

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