Career Info for a Degree in Public & Nonprofit Organizational Management

Oct 07, 2019

A graduate with a degree in public and nonprofit organizational management can look for a career as a human resources manager or as a market research analyst, among others. Both of these careers require only a bachelor's degree to begin work, although nonprofit organization (NPO) management studies are usually at the graduate level. Both human resources managers and market research analysts can expect strong job growth over the next decade.

Essential Information

Many NPO management programs are at the graduate level, and are offered as concentrations within Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Public Policy (MPP) programs. Many aspects of social policy, organizational culture and business management are incorporated into these programs. Students can take courses in strategic planning, financial management, public policy and nonprofit leadership. Some graduates of these programs may be required to participate in internships where they can learn team-building skills and learn how to resolve conflict within an office.

Career Human Resources Manager Market Research Analyst
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree; master's degree sometimes required Bachelor's degree; more advanced research roles require a master's degree
Other Requirements Several years of experience Voluntary certifications
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 7% 20%
Mean Salary (2018)* $126,700 $70,960

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Students who get a degree in public and nonprofit organizational management can work for organizations that push for social reform or hope to change public policy. Below are descriptions and overviews of two possible career options for public and nonprofit organizational management graduates.

Human Resources Manager

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that human resources managers look for highly skilled workers that will enhance organizations' overall productivity ( By understanding the needs of their organizations, human resources managers can determine which candidates have the skills needed for specific positions. Furthermore, human resources managers often try to improve employee retention rates by making sure well-trained workers are placed in appropriate positions within the company.

According to the BLS, open positions for managers in the human resources industry were expected to increase 7% between 2018 and 2028. While this is a faster-than-average growth rate, the best prospects should go to job applicants with master's degrees. In May 2018, human resources managers earned a mean salary of $126,700 annually, according to the BLS.

Market Research Analyst

Although many market research analysts focus on examining the behaviors of consumers, analysts also examine information like public opinion related to major social issues. Analysts use surveys and reports to examine large demographics of potential customers and voters. Government agencies often have market research analysts conduct surveys to see how citizens will react to certain changes in public policy. Nonprofit organizations may utilize the work of market research analysts to determine how to raise funds or awareness for certain projects.

The BLS predicted that open positions for market research analysts would increase 20% from 2018-2028. This strong growth would be as a result of businesses' increasing reliance on market research to determine what the public wants, as well as the effectiveness of past marketing campaigns, and to increase the success of future marketing campaigns. The BLS also reports that market research analysts earned a mean salary of $70,960 per year in May 2018.

Degree Programs in Public and Nonprofit Organizational Management

Most degree programs that focus on public and nonprofit organizational management are at the graduate level, and many of these programs are offered as concentrations within Master of Business Administration or Master of Public Policy programs. Many of these programs are structured with multidisciplinary approaches that incorporate aspects of business and management, social policy and organizational culture.


Common coursework related to public and nonprofit organizational management includes public policy, strategic planning, nonprofit leadership and financial management. Many programs offer electives that allow students to specialize in certain areas of public and nonprofit management, including nonprofit law, community outreach, social enterprise, philanthropy and public relations.

Most public and nonprofit organizational management graduate programs require students to participate in related internship programs. Internships with public entities and nonprofit agencies help students develop effective team-building skills, learn strategies for resolving inner-office conflicts and gain a better understanding of the organizational management climate.

A degree in public and nonprofit organizational management provides a combined understanding of business, management, and organizational strategies, all of which are needed by human resources managers and market research analysts. Human resources managers search for the workers that their company needs and create programs to ensure they stay with the company. Market research analysts research and report on human behavior, which can be helpful when devising fund-raising strategies or awareness campaigns.

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