Listen up tech graduates! The nonprofit sector is a growing need for those with degrees in technology. Every organization, nonprofit and for-profit alike, depends on technology. It permeates all of an organization’s operations. Thus, there’s demand in all industries for technically minded professionals. However, many misconceptions surrounding nonprofit jobs prevent qualified graduates from exploring this sector. There are several reasons why tech graduates should pursue nonprofit careers.
Reasons For Tech Graduates to Explore Nonprofit Careers
1. Nonprofit Pays Well: The biggest misconception about nonprofit careers is that they aren’t profitable; however, nonprofit organizations provide adequate compensation. According to Payscale, nonprofit positions often pay the same as their for-profit counterparts. TechRepublic found that many of the same factors found in for-profit careers affect the salary potential of a nonprofit career: job experience, the position itself and size of the organization. An IT support or related position related position in a medium- to large-sized nonprofit organization will pay approximately the same as one in a for-profit organization.
2. More Job Openings: A survey conducted by the research firm The Bridgespan Group found that nonprofit organizations are still hiring, despite the economic downturn. This survey indicated that 50 to 75 percent of the roles needed to be filled are related to traditional business skills: finance, general management and technology. A nonprofit organization will gladly accept a candidate with a masters degree in computer science in order to fill such a vacancy.
3. Degree Is Valued: As tech graduates, you may be tempted to work for a traditional technology company. In such a position, each of your peers will have a similar degree and similar responsibilities. Conversely, the Bridgespan Group survey indicates that nonprofit organizations constantly struggle to find qualified technical candidates. Nonprofit organizations typically attract different degrees, such as sociology or nonprofit management. Your degree in a technological field will be an asset to your employer, and they will regularly seek your opinion in technical matters. Most nonprofit organizations can benefit from your technical knowledge and skills.
4. Expand Outside Your Specialty: Most nonprofit organizations require more out of their employees than job descriptions state. This is because these organizations tend to be smaller than their for-profit counterparts. They need employees to fill multiple roles. So, while tech graduates may be hired as an IT specialist, you might be called upon to organize a group of volunteers or take part in a fundraiser. Not only does this enhance your overall work experience, but you may discover a new passion. You, being tech graduates, may decide to earn your masters of public administration online during your employment to pursue a different career.
5. Enjoy a Rewarding Career: The foremost difference between a nonprofit and for-profit organization is the central goal, or mission statement, that the organization works toward. In a for-profit organization, the mission statement is related to profit. The mission statement of a nonprofit organization is built on a certain cause. Each nonprofit organization is formed on the goal to advance this cause. Whether it’s a wish to shelter the homeless, end starvation in developing nations or help the environment — it has a central cause that unites the organization’s operations. Pursuing a career with a nonprofit organization dedicated to a cause that you believe in will provide for a rewarding career. Every day tech graduates will work to better the world on some level, instead of to simply earn a profit.
Don’t Limit Yourself Tech Graduates
As tech graduates, it’s easy to consider a career with a traditional, for-profit company. However, multiple surveys indicate there is an increasing need in the nonprofit sector for candidates with technical degrees. Don’t limit yourself strictly to for-profit careers — consider exploring a nonprofit opportunity.
This is a submitted article by Henry Wilson who is a contributing writer and an IT grad student who works part-time at a nonprofit organization.