The charity and NGO sector in Australia is extraordinarily diverse and includes a wide variety of over 600,000 organisations and institutions.
Graduates can contribute in a range of different capacities, including:
Volunteering and internships are a great way to gain access to job opportunities, as many organisations prefer to recruit existing unpaid employees who already know and understand the cause. Small organisations are more likely to recruit generalists, people who can fulfill a number of jobs, whereas larger organisations have the resources to employ people with specialist skills.
Few organisations in the charity and NGO sector provide training or graduate programs, so an internship or volunteer position can be a good way to gain these skills.
Graduate positions within the charity and NGO sector can be very competitive as most funding is spent on the cause. It is therefore important to build experience through volunteering and internships as many organisations will later employ previous volunteers and interns, or look for this experience when recruiting.
Since charities and NGOs are generally reliant on funding it is important for them to have their head offices located in major commercial hubs. As a result, the majority of graduate jobs within this sector are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
The biggest graduate employers include:
Salaries in the charity and NGO sector tend to be lower than other areas as funds are used to benefit the community, with the median graduate salary around $40,000.