5 GREAT JOBS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Higher Education Jobs
- Admissions Office Director
- Financial Officer
- Fundraising and Development Officer
- Information and Systems Technology Manager
- Leadership and Administration
Not all jobs in higher education are teaching positions. The academe is a richly diverse workplace that requires the support of non-teaching staff to deliver on its mission to educate generations of future leaders, corporate movers and political influencers. Without the right people in these positions, colleges may experience challenges that will significantly affect their operations, their ability to attract qualified academics and their reputation in the community. Universities, whether they operate as for profit or nonprofit entities, need to maintain an organizational structure that ensures efficiency of all segments of its operations. Here are some positions that are integral to the success of an institution of higher learning.
1. Admissions Office Director
Recruiting the right mix of students has an impact on the university’s reputation and thus, its ability to attract funding from the government and private sector. This is often a stressful job because the marketing and recruitment process may involve traveling across the country and internationally. Although admissions processing peaks at certain times of the year, recruitment is a full-time effort to reach the target group of students who will enrich the academic culture. Admissions officers need to stay up-to-date on legal guidelines as well as social trends that may affect recruiting and admissions.
2. Financial Officer
Budgeting limited resources is a huge challenge for many universities that desire to help as many deserving students as possible while providing adequate compensation and benefits to the teaching and support staff. There are a myriad operations expenses to fund, including facilities maintenance, supplies and equipment, special events and many others to ensure smooth operations. Strong financial and accounting skills are required to qualify for this position, but negotiating skills and effective written and verbal communications are equally important to navigate among departments and personalities who may sometimes have divergent goals.
3. Fundraising and Development Officer
Fundraising is an important component of successful operations. This position may also fall under development management because the job essentially calls for identifying donors and maintaining the relationship on a long-term basis to make sure that the flow of funds support is sustained. You will need social savvy, if not social connections, to be successful in this position. That said, it is also important to be adept at negotiating and to have strong financial skills because you may be asked to prepare funding programs compatible with the sponsors’ financial goals.
4. Information and Systems Technology Manager
Technology is very much a part of today’s learning institutions. It is important in the classrooms as well as in the operations of all departments. Aside from systems maintenance, you may be in charge of systems security, maintenance of an intranet system and database management, which is a crucial process for each college and each department.
5. Leadership and Administration
Leadership positions serve as the public face of the entire institution. Possible job titles would be university president, chancellor, dean of school or provost for a college, department or function. They manage administrative and academic departments, having some say in staff hiring and firing especially for the higher level positions. They establish guidelines and protocols for administrative procedures, determine the institution’s research focus, participate in fund development and serve as the point of contact between the press, the public and the university. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, jobs in higher education related to non-teaching administrative positions will grow by 9 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is higher than average growth compared to all other jobs. Anticipated growth is due to the increase in student enrollment.
The stars on campus are usually the professors and other teaching staff, but support personnel are crucial to the efficient operations of a university. These are positions that may not require classroom management and course specializations, but all of these jobs in higher education call for exemplary communication skills, presentation and negotiation abilities and a client-focused mindset that will help deliver the institution’s mission.
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