Hi All, welcome to Brain Checker’s blog, in today’s article we will be talking about Social Sector: A promising career path. I am Keya Raje, a Counseling Psychologist and Co-Founder, Brain Checker, I have been working as a Career Counselor and Mental Health Professional for last 10+Years. In this article, we will be talking about Social Sector: A promising career path. So let’s begin.
Social Sector: A promising career path
The world health crisis has had an impact on everyone in one or the other way. During a pandemic like this, many came forward and helped the ones affected by the lockdown. A simple act of helping others results in a ripple and hence this kindness spreads. Ever imagined what if you get to help others every day, and be a bridge between the people who need help and the ones who can provide help. Do you want to be a voice for the voiceless or an advocate for the ones who are less fortunate?
To be all these you can enter the field of the social sector. Gone are the days when the social sector had very few opportunities, today the social sector is a hub to a diverse variety of opportunities. In a world full of chaos, there are a lot of problems which need experts to solve them, you can be the people who solve these problems to make this world a better place. Be a part of problem-solving, work for a cause and also you get to work with people from all walks of life.
Being in a social field would help you make a difference in society. Apart from this, you get to learn a lot of new skills like leadership skills, listening skills, being patient. When you join a Social Science college, this will be a different experience from other colleges, as here fieldwork experience is given more importance and you also learn a lot of theories which you can implement on the ground. For example, Participatory Rural Appraisal is a tool used to interact with the villagers when you visit a village for the first time, this tool not only helps in interacting with the people but also you get to know the social status of the village along with the livelihood patterns and health status in the village. This helps you in planning development strategies for the village. Working with diverse stakeholders also is an addon experience you get, and if you like to travel and interact with new people then this career will definitely lead to that path. Imagine going to remote places and interacting with tribal communities, staying with them, experiencing their culture and observing their lifestyle, their bond with nature, and being the facilitator for them. Not only in rural areas, but you can also work in Urban, with the government or corporate companies or development organisations. Unorganised sector workers are present in large numbers in cities and being in the social sector you can plan social security schemes for them and help them in many ways.
Whenever the social sector is talked about the first thing that comes to mind is NGOs and a myth that NGOs don’t pay. There are many NGOs which pay well and also allow you to work at the grassroots level and also research along with working. Also, the social sector doesn’t mean only NGOs, there is an adverse variety of roles which you can get once you are hired in the development sector. The social sector is related to the development sector as both works for the well being and development of the society. About the diverse role, you can work as a program manager, fundraiser, and if you have good communication skills you can also work in marketing, as marketing is really for any social venture to grow and raise funds.
Let’s divide the opportunities in the social sector and simplify the diverse roles available
- On Ground Practitioners: These are the organizations who work at the grassroots level, also here a lot of interaction is done with the beneficiaries.
This includes NGOs, Government organizations like NITI Aayog, State and Central Government Mission. For example- RURBAN Mission, Livelihood Mission. And you are paid well in these organizations and you can build a career whose outcome would be the development of communities and society. International organizations like UNICEF, UNDP and other UN organizations also hire people from social science backgrounds for various programs.
- Fundraising Organizations: The main objective of these organizations is crowdfunding and providing this fund to local development organizations, NGOs or provide loans to social entrepreneurs.
This includes Tata Trusts, Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, etc. These are few foundations and there are many international and national fundraising organizations. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) also helps to give funds to NGOs and helps them in the implementation of funds on the ground.
- Consulting and Advisory firms: These are the intermediaries consultants which provide consultancy to private as well as government bodies. The main focus of these firms is capacity building and knowledge. Environmental consultancies working in collaboration with social consultancies like GREENPEACE work for environmental and social causes.
- Think Tanks: Think tanks are the best place for research enthusiasts and they are the place where policies are planned. Centre for Policy Research is one of the top think tanks in India, and by studying in the social sector and can work there as a policy planner.
To conclude I would like to mention that once you enter any development organization, for example, your role evolves every year, you can be a fieldwork officer for a few months and then you can be the content head for making reports, writing proposals etc. Being in the social sector will give you first-hand insights for sure. I’m from a social science background and I had an opportunity to work with many development organisations in India including Narmada Bachao Andolan and the Government of Odisha. I have had experience in both the private and government sector, and both experiences are memorable and have helped me learn many skills. If you are the one who hates a typical 9-5 job and likes to travel then I must say you should keep social sciences as a career option. Ever wondered how the UN Agreements are planned and do you wish to work with organizations like UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP etc or do you want to be an international diplomat then the social sector will be a path leading you to these destinations working for the well being of the society.
There are many social science colleges in India, like Tata Institute of Social Science, Azim Premji University, Nirmala Niketan Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru University etc. All the institutes and colleges have online entrance examinations, you can visit their official websites and get details.
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