Why the Social Sector is the Next Place To Be
For us to understand Development Management, it is important to know what we mean by development. Development is often construed to be about growth, political, and social ambitions put together. However, It goes a step further. Development is a continuous process that looks at societal development and results in their emergence from the depths of deprivation through increased productivity, economic and social freedom. Development being an ongoing process, it is also key to have a thought process that is self sustaining and not project based.
Development management took roots from the application of pure management principles to the running of development activities. Over a period of time it was felt necessary to introduce a process based management system that would remove stagnation in the public service systems of large underdeveloped countries such as India. Thus, evolved the study of Development Management. It has evolved from the days of traditional development administration, and moved on to deliver an accelerated, responsive and customized approach to complex situations and conditions.
Development Management has a much wider canvas and includes -
- Management of specific issues and tasks in development interventions.
- This management of development should look to work towards development ideals in a clearly defined context of development.
- Besides getting the task at hand completed, it also involves creation of a self-sustaining capacity for future interventions through institutions that rely on experience and a knowledge based model.
- Development Management, thus is involved with management, planning and policy-making aspects of the development process.
Social Science has been keenly working on the dynamics of the processes involved in the transformation of societies as they embark on the road to development. History shows us that the transformation of any society is a process that diverges from a simple task oriented process to a holistic development effort. The transformation of any society is structural, complex, continuous and dependent on a host of factors that fuel the change.
In a structurally diverse country such as India, development is driven through a management process that requires a deeper understanding of the dynamics of a mixed economy with an agenda that is led by populist government policies and intervention . One thing is clear. In development, there is no end game. Transformation is a continuous and cyclical process of change that evolves over a period of time.
With demographic, ethinic, social and economic diversity all the models in development economics somewhat fail to capture the complexities of transformation that are not only incentive driven but are also driven by “social formations' ' and “social processes' '. India, with its huge population is a developing country with “Unlimited Supplies of Labour ''.
We are still in the thought process where the dual-sector model of W. Arthur Lewis is often applied in planning models and looks - the subsistence sector and the capitalist sector. Unfortunately, the complex process of development goes beyond the rather simplistic approach and requires a deeper understanding of the development management process.
Social Sector - The Next Place To Be In
The younger generation of today is seeking fulfillment at their work. While money is important these youngsters look to be part of a bigger picture. Leading a balanced life that offers them happiness and satisfaction, takes overriding priority over money. At the St Gallen Symposium, a global conference for leaders, students were asked as to what motivated them in the career. Almost 50% leaders of tomorrow responded that work which had a positive impact on society was the most important criterion as against a mere 14% who were motivated by income levels. These findings reflect the shifting attitudes of today’s students who are now keen in applying management skills to shape society.
The development sector in India is now maturing with thrust coming from the government as well as the corporate sector. With the government realising that it is no longer possible to follow the development agenda given the sheer size and numbers, the corporate sector is also coming forward. The professionalization of this is a natural corollary. Even the way of doing business is undergoing a paradigm change with factors such as sustainability, culture, social responsibility and governance coming to the fore. To manage this transition, there is an increasing demand for people who are educated and possess the right skillset.
Why should you consider a career in the social sector?
- The development sector has rapidly grown in India with organizations/ initiatives like domestic and international NGOs, foundations with a social focus, CSR activities, social consulting, social research organizations etc. coming forth. This has thrown up a host of opportunities with managerial and structural roles getting specialised. Requirements for roles in strategy, communications, fund-raising, project management, programme leadership, CSR partnerships and operations and others have led to the social development sector to evolve as one of the primary career destinations.
- With the millennial wanting to pursue a meaningful and purposeful career, the roads have opened up the development sector. The changing career opportunities in the sector have led to opportunities with remunerations that are at par with the best in the industry. A case in example is ISDM (Indian School of Development Management) has been regularly placing its students in the social sector with more than 100 reputed development organizations and corporates coming to the campus. The packages offered to the students are at par and in some cases better than other high profile professions like IT.
- With alternate funding avenues (like CSR) now getting directed to the social sector, the demand for professionals and managers is on the increase. Working in this area gives the professional to deliver sustainable social impact and the opportunity to tackle the most complex social issues facing our nation. For youngsters who are passionate about social issues, the development sector promises a career full of substance.
We now take a closer look at the PGP- Development management offered by ISDM, a premier institute offering learning in real-world management and leadership skills, ethics, development of social conscience in an effort to lead and manage organisations with a social purpose. The ISDM has been in the news for pioneering a curriculum that is focussed at creating professionally equipped Development Managers to contribute to the Indian social sector. The institution has been crafting a process driven approach for the development sector, one that looks at developing professional, socially-aware, deeply sensitive and reflective managers and leaders.
The People Behind ISDM
ISDM is a not-for-profit Section-8 company and has aspirations to build this institution and an enabling ecosystem to achieve impact at scale for the development sector and society. Their belief is that this vision is attainable only through collective wisdom and collective philanthropy. Hence, the Founder members of ISDM are carefully identified and play a role to shape the legacy institution by being a part of the Advisory Board. In a short span of 4 years, we have been backed by brilliant people and key influencers in the sector.
What are the differences between ISDM's PGP-DM Program and an MSW Degree
We now examine some differences between the two programs that offer post graduation in Social Work.
Masters of Social Work (MSW) is a postgraduate course that prepares people to work in the social sector. It provides a broad and comprehensive framework of professional social and development practice. The MSW degree focuses on imparting learning in the field of development with emphasis on marginalised communities, women, children, disabled, disaster affected and the underprivileged to put it broadly.
While the ethos of a Masters of Social Work essentially is the same across courses, there are a few differences which young aspirants should know of to make an informed decision.
The traditional MSW course is geared at familiarizing students with working at a grass root level and doing field work. On the other hand, PGP-DM Program offered by ISDM goes a step further and imparts management and leadership skills required to work in the Social Sector. ISDM’s PGP-DM Program trains students to manage and lead in the development sector in a variety of roles in areas such as research, CSR, advocacy, management, marketing, or entrepreneurship, and in thematic areas ranging from health and education to water, sanitation and gender etc.
In that sense, the minute difference in the two programmes hinges on the career aspirations of the student. ISDM’s PGP-DM Program offers the student a wider canvas to grow professionally and also pursue a meaningful and purposeful career.
Career Opportunities after ISDM’s PGP-DM Program
Post completing the ISDM’s PGP-DM Program, students get opportunities with leading national and international organisations where they work in different functions including program management, fundraising, communications, research, Corporate Social Responsibility engagement, strategy, partnerships, and human resources. There is a sizable demand and requirement for management professionals in social enterprises/NGOs and corporations in diverse areas such as solar power, health, livelihoods, education, and waste management etc.
ISDM has over 150+ placement partners in the development sector and, as a result, were able to assure 100% placements in the previous batches. The placement process at ISDM is unique in that it is student-centric, and not organisation-centric. During the placement process at ISDM, students indicate their organisational preferences and roles to the placement team. Using this information, relevant job offers are sought and presented to them.
Besides, the students that pass out from ISDM continue to be a closely knit community even after graduation. The alumni continue with mentorship, career guidance, attending talks and lectures at ISDM, and many even work at ISDM!
A career in the social sector is now not only for social science graduates. With the emergence of the Development Management program, students from diverse backgrounds are being attracted to drive social change as part of their careers. These courses like the ISDM’s PGP-DM are bringing forth quality education that is specifically directed for professionals wanting to pursue a career in the Social/ Development Sector.
The time is ripe to look beyond MBA and glamorous corporate sector jobs. Careers here are transitioning from charity to rewards. It is time for the millennial to realize that there is more to social work than the drudgery of field work. The Indian School of Development Management’s PGP-in Development Management gives the theory and practical tools to drive transformations and create self-sustaining institutions that look at alleviation of deprivation traps.