Careers With A Cause – 9 Humanitarian Careers For New Graduates


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If you want your job to deliver more than a paycheck, you aren’t alone. Over 80% of people surveyed said an employer’s purpose and commitment to social issues is important when deciding where to work. What humanitarian careers with a cause should you consider? 

The world needs people passionate about sharing their ideals. Here are nine humanitarian careers for new graduates where you can embrace a higher purpose. 

Photo via Unsplash

1. Nursing 

Nursing is a humanitarian career that can also be lucrative. It may be your ticket to the lifestyle of your dreams. Do you want to experience new horizons while seeing the country? Travel nurses often earn over six figures, a salary comfortable enough to afford rent even in pricier cities. 

This field offers multiple career options, depending on your degree: 

  • Nurse practitioners: Must have a master’s degree, undergo the required hours of clinical training and obtain state licensure. These individuals can prescribe medications and make diagnoses, where RNs cannot. 
  • Registered nurse: Must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, pass the NCLEX and obtain state licensure. Many travel nurses are RNs. Has authority to access and administer treatments but not prescribe. 
  • Licensed practical nurse: Undergoes a shorter training period, similar to an associate’s degree and provides more direct patient care. 
  • Certified nursing assistants: Often need no degree but must undergo a training program.

2. Home Care

Home care is a field related to nursing, although you may not administer direct patient care. Instead, you might assist older and disabled adults with daily living activities like preparing meals and doing light housework. Many people in the field hire on with an employer and undergo CNA training, although not all home companions do. 

There are also business opportunities here. Home care is expanding, and investing in a franchise is the perfect way to marry your love of a humanitarian career with entrepreneurship.

3. Teaching 

Teaching is another great humanitarian career, and educators are in high demand. Breaking into your first job shouldn’t be difficult, but you must carefully weigh the potential salary versus your degree expenses. 

Student loans can prevent you from achieving other life goals like buying a home or starting a family, and you can’t count on forgiveness. Investigate community colleges and distance education to keep costs low, as you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and state certification to enter the field. 

4. Environmental Engineering

Are you passionate about protecting the planet? Direct the energy from your climate change concerns into a career as an environmental engineer. Your daily work could entail anything from inspecting a mine design for safety to reviewing specs in the office. 

There’s a lot of flexibility for outdoor and hands-on fieldwork if you dislike shuffling paper. 

Photo via Unsplash

5. Environmental Law

If you love education and have a passion for the planet, environmental law may be the humanitarian career for you. Mother Earth doesn’t have a bankroll to hire a legal team — but without her, neither money nor humans would exist. She needs fierce defenders. Will you stand and deliver? 

6. Social Worker 

Social workers are in higher demand than ever. There’s a mental health crisis in America, and clinical social workers are the biggest administrators of such services. While this field isn’t known for high salaries, it’s easy to break into for people with big hearts. Most states require a bachelor’s degree, but some will accept associate’s, so explore low-cost options. 

You can choose to focus in several areas. For example, you could deliver services to people in hospitals or work in family homes to help folks develop healthier coping mechanisms.

7. Veterinary Technician 

Here’s a humanitarian career where volunteering may open doors — and let you work with puppies and kittens. Although veterinary technicians need at least an associate’s degree, helping out at an area shelter could help you get a scholarship that covers your schooling costs. AKC and Hartz offer options, and other private funds look favorably upon folks with a history of helping pets. 

8. Nonprofit Director 

You’re a natural leader, but you want a humanitarian career to go with your corner office. While your facility may not have all the bells and whistles of a downtown highrise, the role of nonprofit director makes good use of your managerial skills. 

You’ll also need a keen organizational ability. Filling out the required forms to start your enterprise and remain in compliance is a bear — but if others have done it, so can you.

9. Drug & Alcohol Counseling 

Substance use disorder was at record levels before COVID-19 and overdose deaths rose 30% during the pandemic. This humanitarian career may call to you if you’re in recovery yourself or have helped someone else overcome addiction. Although state requirements vary, you’ll often need a master’s degree, although you can become a peer counselor with no education. 

Careers With A Cause 

You want more than a paycheck. You want a humanitarian career with a cause — what are your options? Consider one of the above exciting fields. You can help make the world a better place. 

About The Author

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Check out @TModded for regular updates! 

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