Career in Indian Social Sector: Equip yourself with the right skills through PGP-DM

| 23 February, 2024
Career in Indian Social Sector: Equip yourself with the right skills through PGP-DM
Published: 23 February, 2024
Career in Indian Social Sector: Equip yourself with the right skills through PGP-DM

The urge to find meaning and purpose in one's work has led to a significant shift in societal priorities in recent times, with an increasing number of individuals attempting to match their employment with social issues. The social development sector has grown significantly because of this increase in interest, as illustrated by the budget's substantial increase, which for 2023–24 in India alone reached an astounding Rs 8.28 lakh crore ($100.77 billion). The absence of efficient management in the development sector, however, remains a significant obstacle in the face of this growth.

To confront this challenge head-on, the social sector requires a paradigm shift towards development management—an approach geared towards enhancing societal growth and fostering economic and social freedom. Unlike traditional corporate management, development management transcends individual projects, focusing instead on implementing process-based systems to drive innovation and eliminate stagnation in public service delivery. To address this demand, a group of seasoned professionals from various backgrounds joined forces to found the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), India's first institution devoted exclusively to the study of development management. Understanding how important it is to professionalise management and leadership in Social Purpose Organisations (SPOs), ISDM launched the Post Graduate Programme (PGP) in Development Management to give prospective changemakers the tools they need to successfully negotiate the intricacies of the social sector.

What is the Indian Social Sector?

The social sector in India is evidence of the country's tenacity and development in the seven decades since independence. India has progressed significantly from its disadvantaged initial stages, which were characterized by extreme poverty, a shockingly high proportion of illiteracy, and poor infrastructure. Today, the country is transformed, with an increase in life expectancy, and literacy rate with a continuing decline in poverty as per various UN reports. The active participation of India's social sector has been essential to this journey. It has championed progressive reforms such as the Right to Information and Right to Education, and has contributed to the formulation of a forward-thinking Constitution encapsulated beautifully in its preamble.

However, the path to social development in India presents unique challenges that defy conventional business management approaches that go beyond mere economic considerations. It includes understanding and negotiating the complicated network of community and cultural norms, societal dynamics, and difficult issues relating to livelihoods, health, education, and other facets of life. When it comes to social well-being, conventional measures like Return on Investments (ROI) have a distinct meaning. A rising number of practitioners and stakeholders are in favour of Development Management being recognised as a separate discipline in acknowledging the necessity for a specialised approach to governance in the social sector. The Indian School of Development Management (ISDM) has risen to bridge this crucial void, offering a fieldwork experience for prospective transformators to obtain the essential abilities, and understanding to manoeuvre through the intricacies of the social domain.

Why should I look forward to Development Management Skills?

The field of Development Management offers a unique array of opportunities for you within the social sector, dispelling the misconception that it lacks job prospects. With a surge in funding driven by increased philanthropy and CSR mandates, there is a growing demand for specialised talent. Beyond mere remuneration, the Social Sector offers profound job satisfaction and a sense of purpose, particularly in an era where meaningful work and work-life balance are paramount. Though there exists the program of Masters in Social Work it differs significantly from PGP DM.

The Development Management program ensures you are equipped with the skills and networks necessary to secure jobs aligned with your values, empowering you to make a tangible impact on society. The program uniquely integrates management concepts such as design thinking and financial perspectives with social sector requisites like ethics and sustainability, producing authentic development of professionals with both managerial prowess and a deep commitment to social causes.

Learning from sector pioneers is invaluable in mastering management within the social sector. The program offers a dynamic educational journey where you get the opportunity to hone your analytic and collaboration abilities through a variety of projects, workshops, and rural immersions. This multi pronged strategy guarantees that graduates are prepared to take on the challenges of the social sector.

The program is inclusive, welcoming both seasoned professionals and freshers. While recommending two years of work experience, it also values volunteering experience with NGOs, making it accessible to a broader audience. Open to professionals from diverse backgrounds, the program accommodates a spectrum of skills, shedding light on leveraging existing knowledge for effective contributions to the Social Sector.

PGP-DM What is it?

The Post Graduate Programme in Development Management (PGP DM) at ISDM is an ideal foundation for an exciting and revolutionary journey into the field of social impact and development management. Our curriculum, which has been painstakingly created by eminent academics and professionals, strives to empower you to become dedicated, influential professionals who can successfully negotiate the challenges of the social sector. Let us explore in more detail the unmatched advantages that await you on this enlightening educational journey.

What Benefits Do I Get?

ISDM's PGP-DM program provides a wealth of unmatched advantages, transforming students into skilled leaders equipped to address the intricate problems facing the social sector:

  1. Strengthening the Foundation of the Social Sector: Our program goes above and beyond personal development, building professionals who can lead long-term change and strengthening the core of the social sector.
  2. Developing On-the-Ground Understanding: We make sure that you have a deep understanding of social sector organisation management through immersive learning approaches, equipping you for issues you will face in the real world.
  3. Encouraging Mentorship: Our unique Mentorship Program will pair you with business executives, offering priceless advice and mentorship to help you successfully navigate their career path.
  4. Holistic Learning: At ISDM, we take a holistic approach to education, making sure that you get practical insights from interactions with thought leaders and hands-on experiences in addition to theoretical concepts.
  5. Context-Based Collaborative Learning: We give context-based learning a lot of weight since it enables you as a student to develop durable solutions that are specially tailored to the unique issues the social sector faces.


A career in the Indian social sector presents a unique opportunity to achieve both professional fulfilment and a meaningful impact. Fueled by rising philanthropy and CSR regulations, the industry offers options for meaningful work connected with personal beliefs, with different roles spanning areas like health, education, and advocacy. Individuals can acquire a broad range of skills through programs such as ISDM's PGP-DM, which integrates management theories with development concepts and provides practical advice from top industry executives. Professionals in this field may immediately address urgent societal concerns, which promotes effective leadership and teamwork for change.

There are many opportunities for major transformation, but the Indian social sector also faces several problems. Increasing capacity building and scaling up programs to effectively reach marginalised groups are hampered by limited funds and resources. Long-term sustainability is still an urgent challenge, made worse by the lack of supportive governmental frameworks and restricted access to trustworthy data and technological infrastructure. But amid these difficulties, there are chances for creativity and cooperation. Together with technological improvements, the growing trend of charitable donations offers opportunities to promote inclusive growth and constructive change.

The Indian social sector offers several opportunities for professionals in research, policy analysis, communications, program administration, community development, fundraising, and other related fields. Through a range of strategies, such as grant writing, project management, stakeholder involvement, and other grassroots initiatives, practitioners support constructive social change.

In India, the pay scales for positions in the social sector are highly variable and rely on various aspects, including the organisation's size, location, financing sources, and the individual's experience and ability. Salaries for entry-level jobs, such as project assistants or field coordinators, might range from 2.5 to 5 lakhs annually. Program managers and communications specialists are examples of mid-level jobs that normally pay between ₹5 and ₹10 lakhs annually. Directors and department heads are examples of senior-level professionals who can pay up to ₹10 lakhs annually; those in larger companies or with more experience may receive even higher salaries.

To forge a career in the Indian Social Sector, consider scholastic pursuits in disciplines like development studies or social work. Participate in volunteer activities and internships to obtain practical experience. Attend events, make connections with industry people and organisations, and look for mentorship. Continue learning and become an expert in your passions. Demonstrate your influence with observable results and remain dedicated to promoting social change. Success in this fulfilling industry requires tenacity, fortitude, and unflinching dedication.

The PGP-DM program's suitability for you relies on your career goals in the social sector. The program fits your goals if you are looking for a thorough education that combines management with development ideas, if you want to lead social organisations or push for policy changes, and if you are dedicated to creating a meaningful impact through networking and hands-on learning. The PGP-DM program might be the best choice for you if you are enthusiastic about investing in your professional growth and bringing about positive change.

The PGP-DM program stands out for its distinctive pedagogy, providing an 11 months curriculum that combines development theories and management principles. Two weeks of on-field training are part of its novel method, which offers practical experience in real-world situations. The PGP-DM program is a top option for prospective social development professionals because it provides graduates with the tools they need to create significant change in the social sector through mentorship, practical projects, and connections with leaders in the field.

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Admission open for PGP-DM