1. This one blogger questioned why nonprofit folks are getting MBA's and an advanced education. My response to that is, it won't hurt us one bit to learn about competition and marketing. Yes we are different than businesses, however the nonprofit sector is getting more competitive and as I said in my post about nonprofit confidence, nonprofits need to do something to improve their marketing to raise public awareness which will raise public confidence in nonprofits.
2. These bloggers seem to be forgetting about the nonprofit specific masters degree programs, there are 242 colleges and universities that offer Masters level courses in nonprofit management and 157 that offer graduate degree programs in nonprofit management. Mine happened to be in a school of business and while I was pursuing my Masters of Management in Nonprofit Administration I had many classes with MBA students. We all did projects together and I enjoyed teaching corporate folks about nonprofits and vice versa.
3. So there are some bloggers or commenters on Give and Take blog discrediting nonprofit masters and MBA degrees alike because they were disconnected from the real world. I agree that some masters degree programs are not in touch with the real world, however the programs that I have been through have been for successful working professionals and we learn as much from professors as we do from one another. Also one thing that sets nonprofit degree programs apart from others is the amount of real world experience and applied projects the students do. My colleague Emily Davis did so many amazing projects for various nonprofit organizations during her Nonprofit Masters degree program that she was able to start a successful consulting business. In other words people who earn graduate degrees in nonprofit management have an advanced degree and lots of real world experience too.
4. I really like Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist Blog, however I'm going to challenge her post on seven of her reasons for graduate school being outdated.
- Graduate school is an extreme investment for a fluid workplace-WRONG-nonprofit graduate degree programs are discounted by almost 50% and they provide a massive amount of scholarships.
- Graduate school is no longer a ticket to play-WRONG-just look at my last post about how 89.1% of alumni had a career change because of the NLM graduate degree program at USD.
- Graduate school requires you to know what will make you happy before you try it-WRONG-there are many jobs in the nonprofit sector, check out idealist's nonprofit career guide for first time job seekers and sector switchers and you don't have to decide right now.
- Graduate degrees shut doors rather than open them-WRONG-I can speak from personal experience also, this seems to be a repeat of above, the statistics show otherwise that a nonprofit graduate degree opens doors.
- If you don’t actually use your graduate degree, you look unemployable-WRONG-the nonprofit graduate degree is good even if you are volunteering and makes you a better board member.
- Graduate school is an extension of childhood-WRONG-as I mentioned above I go to school with adults in my graduate degree program, my program has provided me real life experience and taught me to be more patient, calm, and a better leader. Plus we challenge the work of our professors and other scholars alike--we are engaging in inquiry.
- Early adult life is best if you are lost-WRONG-again, you don't have to know what you want to do the great thing about grad school is the inquiry and exploration process. If you do know what you want to do then you can be more specific with what you read and study. It works either way.