Will I Be Able to Work for an NGO with a Sociology Degree?

Will I Be Able to Work for an NGO with a Sociology Degree?If you’re contemplating the study of sociology, you may be wondering if you can work for an NGO with a sociology degree. NGO stands for non-governmental organization. There are about a million and a half NGOs in the United States, along with many other international organizations. When an organization is referred to as an NGO it simply means that the organization isn’t an official part of a government or run for profit. Many different types of non-profit organizations fit within the NGO umbrella. Most of them are involved in humanitarian kinds of work, serving and empowering communities who have different kinds of economic, social, and health needs. Some NGOs are community-based and involve teaching communities so they can be part of coming up with practical solutions that work for their area.

A Wide Range of Educational Preparation

With such a wide range of organizations falling under the designation of NGO, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of different ways you can prepare for such work. Recently, some undergraduate degrees have been developed that focus specifically on preparing for NGO work. These often have NGO in the degree title and focus on things such as social change or international relations. However, you don’t have to have such a degree in order to work for an NGO. Basically a variety of different degrees could help you as prepare to enter this field, with different degrees more helpful for certain types of NGO work. Sociology is certainly one of the social science degrees that could prove useful (please see: Best Top 10 Online Sociology Degree Programs). But other degrees might also prove useful, such as education, health care, or business. Many people who work in NGOs have a master’s degree in a specific subject area that allows them to specialize in a certain skill.

The Importance of Experience

Perhaps just as important, if not more important, than the kind of degree you have is how much practical experience you have. Internships and volunteer experiences are invaluable preparation for a career with an NGO. Organizations not only prize specific skills in business, health care, public policy, and other subjects, they prize people who have shown leadership skills, the ability to work as part of a team, and cultural sensitivity. Fluency in another language could also be a plus.

One piece of advice, if you are just starting to look into this kind of work long-term, is to find a local NGO in your own area and volunteer with them. If you are interested in working with an NGO internationally, see if there are local organizations already working with people and issues related to the area of the world where you ultimately hope to serve.

A sociology degree is one of the many degrees that can help prepare you for work with an NGO. If you’re interested in learning more about career options that will utilize your background in sociology, it might be a good idea to visit the career page of the American Sociological Association, which provides many resources for those wanting to explore what they can do with their degree. You can certainly work for an NGO with a sociology degree, and there are other career paths that might interest you as well.