WHAT IT TAKES: a degree in nonprofit management from a business or public-administration school will give you a leg up
TOP SCHOOLS: Case Western Reserve University, Harvard University, Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Syracuse University, University of Minnesota, University of Southern California (School of Policy, Planning, and Development)
WHAT IT PAYS: $0 (for volunteers) to $60,000 or higher depending on education, experience, and size of organization
WHO'D BE INTO IT: quick-learning, workaholic leaders who like to wear many hats
HOT SPOTS: cities of any size, although state capitals and Washington, D.C., have especially strong employment potential
ROLE MODEL: Tanya Seaman, age 40, cofounder and executive director of PhillyCarShare in Philadelphia
PLANETARY POWER: For each of its 400 cars, more than half of which are hybrids, the nonprofit takes 26 cars off the street, saving one million gallons of gas. In 2004, the city of Philadelphia joined the program, becoming the first government to share cars with residents and saving taxpayers $6 million in the process.
WORDS OF WISDOM: "Balance an understanding of your mission and the market. Marketing to people in a way that addresses what they're looking for is key."