Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Higher Education: Career in Admissions

Have you ever wondered what is it like to work in admissions? Whether you gained experience as an ambassador or campus tour guide, there are several things you need to know about a career in admissions. Prospective students talk to admissions counselors to learn more about a college or university's programs and admissions procedures. There are several advantages and disadvantages of working in admissions. (Note: This post is not about careers in financial aid, which has a different set of responsibilities.)

  • A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for an entry-level position. (Professional schools like public health and social work may require a master's degree in the field).
  • Can advance into higher administrative positions (director roles require a master's degree).
  • Positions are available in institutions of all sizes (from community colleges to universities) and types (professional schools, public colleges, private colleges, etc.)
  • May enjoy reduced work hours during non-peak recruitment season (summer months).
  • Opportunities for professional development are available (both on-campus and conferences).
  • Some employers require previous experience in admissions.
  • Mobility (across schools) is a key factor, though not required, for advancement.
  • Low salaries lead to high turnover (The average admissions counselors stays in their position for three years.)
  • May require extensive travel (overnight, regional, and cross-country).
  • High volume of work requires multi-tasking and flexibility.
  • May require long hours of work during peak recruitment season (evenings and weekends).
  • Budgetary cutbacks may stagnate funds for hiring and retention of these positions.
  • Racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in key segments of admissions.
Are you an aspiring admissions counselor or coordinator?  Check out these links below to see if admissions is the right career path for you.

Hiring in Admissions (August 7, 2009) - Inside Higher Ed

Secret Lives of Admissions Officers (December 8, 2009) - The Daily Beast

Confessions of a College Admissions Officer (February 20, 2009) - BuzzFeed

Getting Into the Admission Office (April 8, 2013) -Inside Higher Ed

Career Paths for Admissions Officers, A Survey Report (July 2014) - National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)

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