If your compassion and consideration for causes has been interrupted by the thought of a lucrative career, it should no longer hold you back. For the past few years, a career in the not-for-profit sector, which was traditionally considered charity, has gradually grown into a profession with good rewards along with a sense of gratification.
The industry received a push with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) regulations under the Companies Act which required companies to set aside some funds for philanthropy. “The industry is growing and developing fast.While a lot of companies have already invested money as part of CSR, we are hopeful that more will follow suit. While involvement earlier would be restricted to just donations, companies now have their own projects as well. This is only expected grow in the coming years,“ said Pooja Taparia, founder, Arpan, a Mumbai-based non-profit which works against child abuse.
The non-profit sector has career opportunities for a varied range of professionals as job profiles include ground implementation of government schemes, fund raising for NGOs or foundations, community engagement, research, managing CSR funds, etc.
Sanitation, climate change, disaster management and education are some areas which offer great opportunities.“The sanitation sector has got a push by the government. There are also a lot of organisations involved in livelihood, climate change and skill-development. A lot of companies are pumping funds into these sectors,“ said Taparia. Academicians said students can look at government as a big employer too. “The government has several schemes which need to be implemented and this requires a lot of trained people. Even if one programme needs to be implemented at the panchayat level, thousands of people are hired across the country,“ said S Parasuraman, director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which offers courses in development studies, disaster studies, social work, etc.
He added while one might not be able to make a quick buck, remuneration is not very low. “Students can start with a salary of Rs 4 lakh per annum. At TISS this year, the lowest salary during placements was Rs 5 lakh. In the future, we will require more social science graduates than engineers as the industries continue to get automated,“ he said.
With the varied job profiles that the industry has on offer, professionals feel there is no set academic path. “The industry is not very specific about the educational qualifications. Students can, during college join or visit organisations to understand what various causes that need attention. They can then decide on what they feel passionate or motivated about and a lot can be learnt on the job.But, one cannot enter the industry with just self-growth in mind,“ said Taparia, who by education is a graphic designer.
Educators also felt students will require to do a lot of self-learning.“Skills such as planning, programme implementation and people’s skills are some of the basic requirements and are often not taught at the universities. Students will have to learn by doing or use open source courses to acquire these skills,“ said Parasuraman.
Source : The Times Of India