Career opportunities in the voluntary/nonprofit sector

By Costa Maragos Posted: June 2, 2015 11:30 a.m.

Dr. Gloria DeSantis, Voluntary Sector Studies Network Facilitator.
Dr. Gloria DeSantis, Voluntary Sector Studies Network Facilitator. (Photo courtesy of Angela Tremka).

Students considering job opportunities in the voluntary sector have received a big boost.
Luther College’s Voluntary Sector Studies Network has been awarded a grant worth nearly $210,000 from the Community Initiatives Fund, a program administered by the Provincial Government’s Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.

“This funding is huge,” says Dr. Gloria DeSantis, Voluntary Sector Studies Network Facilitator. “It will enable us to realize our priorities of community outreach, research and curriculum development including a new undergraduate certificate. The certificate is our top priority as Saskatchewan has not offered any post-secondary programs in the voluntary sector until now.”

Why a career in the voluntary sector? Look at the job opportunities. This area of the economy employs about 2 million people in Canada offering diverse career options for university graduates from executive director to marketing to policy analyst.  

Where are the jobs? Look at culture, sports and recreation, environment, health, business, professional organizations and many more

Saskatchewan is fertile ground for such organizations. Among provinces, Saskatchewan boasts the second highest rate of registered nonprofits and charities and the highest volunteer rate.

Here’s where the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) can help. It brings students and faculty together with people working in the voluntary/nonprofit sector.  

The program is administered at Luther College, a Federated College at the University of Regina. The program offered two courses in 2014 with financial support from Luther College and now plans to expand.

“In my second last semester, I took a class focussed solely on the voluntary sector, which showed me a whole new area to focus my career,” says Hanna Karman, an English studies student at the U of R. “A few months later I applied for a full-time job with a voluntary organization. I’m now guaranteed a full-time position, a job I wouldn’t have without first being exposed to the sector through these courses at Luther College.”

“This class has enhanced my love for the sector, and guided me even more so towards my future career,” says Maria Aman, a Psychology student at the U of R.
“We’re thrilled that VSSN creates opportunities for dialogue about the voluntary sector among diverse groups, both on and off the Luther College and University of Regina campuses,” says Dr. Bryan Hillis, President of Luther College.

“Given the strong alignment of the VSSN objectives with our own, it was an easy decision for our board to support this initiative,” says Tracey Mann, Executive Director of the Community Initiatives Fund.

For details on Luther College’s Voluntary Sector Studies Network and how you can apply please visit here.