Overview

Careers in education, nonprofit, and social service offer opportunities to use advocacy, service, and leadership to enhance the human condition, help others realize their potential, and make the world more just—whether it be working at an elementary school, a large foundation, a social service agency, or beyond

Our industry-focused cluster will provide you with knowledge and resources to pursue a career in K–12 public/charter/independent education, higher education, counseling, social work, nonprofit administration, ministry, and volunteer service. Within this cluster you will find a specialized career coach as well as a community of peers, alumni, faculty, and staff to support you on your journey. 

As a Boston College student you are already gaining the skills most sought after by employers in these industries, regardless of your major—including leadership, global/intercultural fluency, critical thinking, communication and more. We invite you to explore this cluster to determine if it is a good fit for you and leverage our services to prepare and act on your interests.

 

 

 

Meet Your Career Coaches

Specialized career coaches are available throughout the year to meet with you individually about any aspect of your career journey—from exploring career opportunities, to researching graduate programs, to launching a job/internship search.

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Where Boston College Graduates Have Landed

14%

of 2018 graduates who are in graduate school are pursuing a degree in education

4%

of 2018 graduates who are employed are working in K-12 or higher education

6%

of 2018 graduates who are in graduate school are pursuing a degree in social work

2%

of 2018 graduates are engaged in service or volunteering

Connect with Alumni Working in Education, Nonprofit, and Social Service on Eagle Exchange

Explore Opportunities in Education, Nonprofit, and Social Service

K–12 Education—Opportunities With Certification

A wide variety of teaching options are open to those with state teacher certification, including the public school districts, independent and Catholic schools, public charter schools, and English language international schools.

The Boston College Career Coach for this industry cluster can help you: identify your strengths as a teacher, prepare your written application materials, identify summer and post-grad opportunities, find the type of school that best fits your values, strengths and interests, and apply to graduate school.

Types of Positions

While most students graduating with a teaching major find jobs as lead classroom teachers, some either feel they need more experience in the classroom or have difficulty landing that first lead teaching job in a competitive market like Boston (this is particularly true at the elementary level). These students may find work for a year as classroom aides or paraprofessionals, often working one-on-one or in small groups with students with special needs.

Where BC Graduates Land

Public Schools:

  • Boston Public Schools
  • NYC Department of Education
  • Newton Public Schools
  • Teach For America
  • Cambridge Public Schools
  • Lexington Public Schools
     

Catholic, public charter, and independent schools draw BC teachers, and each year, a handful of teacher candidates teach abroad, often with the Peace Corps, a Catholic service organization or an international school.

Graduate School:

  • Boston College is by far the school of choice—75 of 101 students entering a master’s program in education in 2017 or 2018 chose BC.

Do I need to go to graduate school?

62% of seniors who graduated from the Lynch teacher education program in 2017 and 2018 went directly to graduate school for their master’s degree. At the elementary school level, this is often recommended to gain additional experience working with students with special needs or English language learners and to be a more competitive job candidate in a difficult market (including the Boston area).

In Massachusetts, teachers must obtain their master’s degree within five years of obtaining their initial license. The master’s degree typically adds $5000-$6000 to a teacher’s starting salary.

Graduate School

K–12 Education—Opportunities Without Certification

At the secondary level, independent, Catholic and public charter schools all hire teachers who have not participated in a formal teacher training program or passed state certification exams. At the elementary level, most schools prefer state certification and an elementary education major. Students without certification can also work in non-teaching roles such as admissions, development, and operations, and they have many opportunities to teach English as a second language abroad.

The Boston College Career Coach for this industry cluster can help you: identify your strengths as a teacher, prepare your written application materials, identify summer and post-grad opportunities, find the type of school that best fits your values, strengths and interests, and apply to graduate school.

Types of Positions

Classroom Opportunities:

  • Lead Classroom Teacher
  • Teaching Fellow (under a lead teacher)
  • Classroom Aide
  • Paraprofessional
     

Non-Classroom Opportunities:

  • Admissions Office
  • Development Assistant
  • Alumni Relations Assistant
  • Administrative Assistant

 

Where BC Graduates Land

  • Match Charter Public Schools
  • St. Joseph’s Preparatory School
  • College Advising Corps
  • Diocese of Gary
  • Breakthrough Greater Boston
  • Teaching Assistant Program in France
  • Worcester Academy
  • Lighthouse School

Do I need to go to graduate school?

Students who did not major in education while at Boston College have a wide variety of choices. The most common are the M.Ed. or M.A. in Elementary Education or Secondary Education, and the Master of Arts in Teaching, which requires more coursework in the discipline subject matter and somewhat less in pedagogy.

There are alternatives to the standard graduate degree—programs like Urban Teachers and Mississippi Teacher Corps offer the opportunity to work at a school as a teacher apprentice while earning a graduate degree, usually at a reduced cost.

Graduate School

Higher Education

A wide variety of job and career opportunities are available in colleges and universities, most notably in student services, including academic advising, residential life, student activities, study abroad, career services, and financial aid. Most professional jobs in these areas require a master’s degree, though opportunities are available at the bachelor’s level in admissions, alumni services, development, finance and other areas.

Experience working or interning in a college office or program in direct student advising or program development will improve students’ chances of landing a job post-graduation.

Types of Positions

  • Residence Assistant
  • Career Advisor
  • Financial Aid Counselor
  • Academic Advisor
  • Student Activites Coordinator

 

Where BC Graduates Land

  • Harvard University
  • Boston College
  • Colibri Boston
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Northeastern University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Chicago

Do I need to go to graduate school?

The most popular degrees for students planning on a career in higher education are the master’s in student personnel administration; counseling; or higher education administration. However, for many roles in higher education, any master’s degree will suffice—employers are often more interested in the applicants’ work experience and the skills they’ve developed than the exact nature of their degree.

Graduate School

Counseling, Psychology, and Social Work

Professionals in these fields work in partnership with individuals, families and groups to treat a wide assortment of mental, behavioral and emotional problems and disorders. Opportunities are available in schools, hospitals, community mental health centers, addiction treatment centers, elder care systems, private practice and other settings.

Types of Positions

  • Many students seeking professional careers in this field take a year or two to gain practical work experience prior to applying to graduate school. This experience can give you the opportunity to figure out the types of clients, issues and settings best suited to your talents and values.  For students hoping to attend a doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology, a year or more of research experience in a professional setting is usually recommended.
  • For graduating seniors, typical roles include:
    • Case manager—typically do intake interviews and then connect clients with people, organizations and resources that match their needs. In this role, you can gain a wide exposure to potential career paths.
    • Psychiatric hospitals—entry-level employees typically assist patients in following daily treatment plans, going to appointments, and taking medications.
    • Residential treatment (often group homes, shelters)—opportunities abound working with adolescents with mental health or behavioral issues; people seeking recovery from addiction; and adults with mental disabilities.
    • Research assistant or program manager—often in a university or hospital lab or research center.

Where BC Graduates Land

  • Riverside Community Care
  • Eliot Community Human Services
  • The Home for Little Wanderers
  • Bay Cove Human Services
  • College Advising Corps
     

Do I need to go to graduate school?

An advanced degree is necessary for the fields of psychology, counseling, and social work.

Graduate School

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofits come into existence primarily because a group of people feel that the government or the private sector is not doing enough to move the dial on a problem that they feel passionate about. Nonprofits are mission-driven, as opposed to profit driven organizations; exist to fulfill almost every social need; and offer you the opportunity to have a positive impact on society, communities and individuals.

Though nonprofit organizations thrive in many industries (including education, museums and the arts, social services, healthcare, the environment, communications and politics), here we define nonprofits as organizations involved in significant research, policy work or advocacy related to a particular cause.

Central to getting work in a nonprofit organization is demonstrating a commitment to and passion for their mission-driven work. This commitment can be demonstrated through coursework, research topics, and involvement with related student groups (for example, a leadership role in EcoPledge or Climate Justice BC). Internships in a related nonprofit organization will be invaluable, especially if they provide experience in project/program management, financial management, IT, HR, or development/fundraising.

Types of Positions

From a broad perspective, there are two types of jobs at nonprofits: operations and programs. Students can find internships and post-graduation jobs on either the operational or the programming sides of most organizations.

Operational positions:

  • Fundraising and Development
  • Finance
  • IT
  • Communications
     

Programmatic positions:

  • Research and Policy
  • Educational Programming
  • Advocacy
  • Counseling
  • Client Care

Where BC Graduates Land

  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Middle East Institute
  • American Enterprise Institute
  • Victory Programs
  • WorldBoston
  • Grassroots Campaigns
  • Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
  • Community Reinvestment Associates

Do I need to go to graduate school?

Graduating students should generally get several years of experience in the nonprofit world before choosing an advanced degree. Most managers and directors of nonprofit organizations have graduate degrees relevant to the field appropriate to their organization; for example, a grant maker in the arts may have a Master’s in Fine Arts in sculpture, while a community development directors may have a Master’s in Social Work. A Master’s in Public Affairs or an MBA with a nonprofit focus can be necessary for those seeking leadership roles in the field (although MPA programs tend to focus on the governmental sector.)

Graduate School

Ministry and Theology

Types of Positions

With the right experience and a bachelor’s degree, some roles in parish ministry, youth faith formation and K-12 teaching are available. Adding a master’s degree can open up roles in health care and hospitals, mental health and family counseling, educational administration, campus ministry, retreat direction and spiritual direction, and lay church leadership roles.

 

Where BC Graduates Land

  • N/A

Do I need to go to graduate school?

A master's degree in ministry covers advanced topics in theology, communication, and spiritual development, and the graduate curriculum equips students with the wisdom and skills needed to effectively serve others through positions of spiritual leadership.

Graduate School

Post-Graduate Volunteer Service

Upon returning from a transformative service/immersion experience as an undergraduate some BC students wish to contemplate the realities and the questions they faced in a deeper and more intentional way, while also exploring potential career and personal goals for the future.   Post-graduate service allows you to commit a year or more of your life to living and working alongside underserved people and communities, either in the U.S. or abroad, as part of an organization committed to social justice.  Potential volunteers can choose from faith-based or secular organizations that are both international or domestic.  Many programs ask volunteers to live in a supportive and reflective community with one another, while other programs ask volunteers to live on their own.  Most of a volunteer’s expenses - housing, food, health insurance, etc. - are covered by their job placement. . A personal stipend is also typically included and transportation costs are often partially covered as well. Types of Positions

Full-time service offers graduating students the opportunity to work alongside  , people of all age groups, families, and communities through education, social service, healthcare, leadership and advocacy roles, and more.

Types of Positions

  • N/A

Where BC Graduates Land

  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest
  • City Year
  • Peace Corps
  • Americorps/VISTA
  • Amate House
  • Augustinian Volunteers
  • MercyWorks Volunteer Program
  • Colorado Vincentian Volunteers
  • Cristo Rey High Schools
  • Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE)

 

Do I need to go to graduate school?

An advanced degree is not necessary to pursue post-graduate service opportunties. 

Graduate School

#18

Boston College Among Top Volunteering-Producing Colleges and University for the Peace Corps

Boston College is ranked #18 among medium-size schools, with 19 BC alumni currently volunteering in countries around the world. BC has ranked among the top 25 medium-size schools (defined as having between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates) every year for the past decade. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, more than 800 BC alumni have served abroad as volunteers.

BC News

From the Career Center Blog
Consider Teaching in an International School  Link to article
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Finding a Fulfilling Career —Tips From a Recent Grad  Link to article
Being first can be hard. As a first-generation college student, I dreamed of going to college for so long that
October 30, 2019
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Can I Afford to do a Year of Service?  Link to article
During my senior year of college, I was thrilled to be offered a position working for Advocates for Children of
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