After Graduation: Non-Profit Sector

According to numerous studies of job growth in the United States over the past decade since 2001, non-profit organizations have been the fastest growing sector of the economy. The non-profit sector is essentially organizations that are neither government nor business, but may have direct impact on both. Sometimes they are referred to as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or civil society organizations (CSOs). They include a broad range of very different sorts of organizations such as charities, foundations, think tanks, professional associations, labor unions, social welfare organizations, religious organizations, lobbyists, and advocacy groups. The jobs and tasks that an English major might get a job doing include research, analysis, fundraising, development, communications, grant writer, event planner, community organizer, advocate, and many more. Such organiations have a long-standing tradition in America as part of the foundation for its freedom and democracy, most fully explained in Alexis de Tocqueville in the second volume of his book Democracy in America, published in 1840.

The non-profit sector relates to numerous interests and affects the governmental and for-profit sector, including business, arts and culture, the environment, health, civil rights, poverty, family, and international relations. There are several websites for getting started looking for careers in the non-profit sector:

Wagner College has also created a Center for Leadership and Service to help students develop these skills and work with various local organizations. The English department has created a special scholarship award for students who combine academics and activism.


Perspectives from Wagner Alum