Higher education programs train students to work in postsecondary education administration. Specific job duties will vary depending on which area of the institution you manage, whether it’s admissions or student life. Your responsibilities in this role may involve overseeing student services, academics, and research at colleges and universities. Explore higher education degree programs now if you would like to forge a career in education administration at the postsecondary level.
Higher Education Degree Requirements
Higher education degrees are available at the master’s and doctoral level. Although bachelor’s degrees in disciplines like social work, marketing, and accounting may be acceptable for some entry-level jobs, a master’s or doctoral degree in the field is often required for higher-level positions. Master’s degrees take approximately two years to complete, while doctoral degrees take around three to five years to finish.
Admission to graduate programs in higher education is competitive. Prospective applicants are typically required to have an outstanding academic record, a completed bachelor’s or master’s degree, competitive GRE scores, relevant professional experience, and strong academic and professional references. Many programs are available online, making it easier for working adults to achieve their learning goals.
Curriculum of Higher Education Degree Programs
Degree programs in higher education are designed to prepare practitioners and scholars for research and leadership in the field of higher education. They focus on developing practitioners who are familiar with the core of higher education, the way colleges and universities are organized, and the way that societal influences shape these institutions. Ultimately, the goal is to produce higher education administrators who are capable of leading the field of higher education both in research and practice. The curriculum for higher education degrees typically includes courses such as:
- Introduction to higher education
- Applied inquiry
- Student affairs administration
- Student development theory
- Organizational theory
- Leadership in higher education
- Law of higher education
- Higher education finance & budgeting
Students are typically encouraged to participate in internships in order to gain practical experience in their areas of interest. Gaining experience through internships is crucial since employers often require candidates to have relevant work experience.
Higher Education Career Options
Higher education administration encompasses all non-faculty jobs at a university. It is a non-academic career that may include positions in student affairs, program coordination, alumni relations, institutional research, and more. Provosts and deans often must have a PhD in the field, although some start as professors with PhDs in the subjects they teach and then later move into administration. Some higher education administrators may be promoted to higher-level positions and go on to become college presidents.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for postsecondary education administrators was $86,490 in 2012. The employment of postsecondary education administrators is expected to grow 19% from 2010 to 2020 due to increased enrolment.
Higher education administration positions are available to people from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds, but earning an advanced degree in higher education can boost your job prospects significantly. If you enjoy the atmosphere of a college campus and would like to work with students, faculty, and staff on a regular basis in a job that does not involve teaching or research, enroll in a higher education program today!
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