Careers in Higher Education

Major sectors for careers in higher education
Most careers in higher education are found on university campuses. This includes lecturers, adjunct faculty, professors, post-docs and researchers. In addition, all campuses are staffed with grant writers, administrators and industry consultants. Another major sector of employment in higher education is the public sector. The government requires experts in higher education to help develop policy related to tertiary education. This includes generating and allocating funds, approving syllabi and passing decisions on issues such as minority recruitment and relationships between the university and industry.

How Long Does It Take to Establish a Career in Higher Education?

Many universities are preparing individuals for a career in Higher Education – some of these institutes include Harvard University and New York University. Individuals can pursue a 2-year Associate of Arts in Teaching/General Education, a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Education, a 2-year Master of Science in Education, or a 3-4 year Doctor of Philosophy in Education. These degrees can also be earned in other disciplines, depending upon the person’s area of interest.

What Requirements Need to Be Met in Order to Establish a Career in Higher Education?

In order to establish a career in Higher Education and to reach the pinnacle of this career, it is advised that individuals obtain a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), which establishes the person’s academic credentials and represents the highest level of academic achievement. The doctoral program can be pursued in a variety of fields such as Educational Leadership, Management, Art History, Supply Chain Management and Financial Economics, etc. In order to obtain the doctoral degree, students have to complete around 45 credits, have to clear a written and an oral test, submit a dissertation proposal, conduct an independent research and defend the dissertation.

How Much Can I Make after Establishing a Career in Higher Education?

After graduating with an Education degree, students can pursue their careers as School Administrators, Education Consultants, Researchers and Teachers. As per the data shared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals made an annual median salary of $95,310.

Educational programs for careers in higher education
The standard path for a career in higher education is to complete a doctorate degree program in one particular field. The doctorate represents the highest level of academic achievement and establishes your research credentials. A doctoral degree is a must for a faculty position at a top research university. Such jobs expect both teaching and research skills.

Those who are particularly interested in research and are not able to secure a faculty position right away may find that it is in their interest to complete what is known as a postdoctoral degree. This degree is open to those who want to be full time researchers and wish to increase the number of research publications attributed to themselves before trying again for faculty positions.

Not all careers in higher education require doctoral study. Many people who teach at community colleges and state universities just have a master’s degree in the subject they want to teach. Those who work specifically in administration often have their degrees in fields like educational leadership and management.

Top jobs for careers in higher education
Most people interested in higher education are looking to secure faculty positions. These involve both teaching and research while also creating opportunities for consulting, speaker invitations and book deals. Some people are able to find their jobs of choice in making education policy in government at either the national or state level.

The specializations for careers in higher education depend on your goals. If your priority is to teach or conduct research you need to specialize with a doctorate in one academic discipline. Those who are leaning towards administration could opt to specialize in leadership or management.

Statistics for careers in higher education
Careers in higher education are ideal for those who care about education and realize its significance to the country’s future. Careers in higher education include teaching, research and administration. Average salaries for careers in higher education depend on your role and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary teachers, including college and university professors typically earn in the range of $30,000 and $130,000 annually. Administrators in higher education tend to be paid somewhat higher, especially if they have progressed into administration from teaching and research positions. The BLS states that as of May 2010, postsecondary education administrators were getting salaries in the range of $47,000 and $164,000. With the growing population and increasing emphasis on the skills of the workforce, careers in higher education are more important than ever. The careers in higher education are expected to grow from 17% - 19% between 2010 and 2020.

Related Links
Certificate in Higher Education

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What kind of degrees are most popular choices among those pursuing teaching jobs higher education?

A:The most famous path towards pursuing teaching jobs is to obtain a doctorate degree in a specific field. It represents the highest level of academic qualification and sets in the research credentials of candidates. Apart from the doctorate degree, these days a number of professors are pursuing postdoctoral degrees to maximize their research and publications.

Q:I want to know which educational paths can possibly lead to best jobs in higher education?

A:The most popular way to earn best jobs in higher education is to pursue a doctorate degree in a particular field. The degree sets the candidate's credentials for advanced level jobs in higher education such as faculty level positions. Some candidates may also choose to work for educational policy making with the government.

Q:Can you tell me about higher education careers?

A:Becoming a higher education teacher or an assistant can be rewarding and fulfilling. Teaching careers are respected all over the world and have attracted many students. The major degree requirements for this profession include a masters and doctorate degrees. Getting a teaching license is also mandatory for any teaching field.

Q:My search on careers higher education mentioned a doctoral program in Higher Education. What will be my career prospects after completing this program?

A:A doctoral program in this field will enable you to pursue careers in educational research, policy formation and analysis, academics, and administration. The main focus of the studies will be to employ an interdisciplinary approach to different perspectives of education. Hence, irrespective of the field you work in, you will be able to apply the knowledge, technology, research and leadership skills gained in this program.

Q:Can you tell me about careers for mba's in higher education?

A:If you have an MBA degree and wish to pursue a career in the field of higher education, you can apply for all kinds of jobs. With an MBA degree you can qualify for various managerial and administrative job positions. You can enhance your job opportunities by earning a certificate program.

Q:Do I need a master's degree to qualify for higher ED jobs?

A:A bachelor degree in education is the minimum requirement for pursuing a career in teaching. This program makes you eligible for a teaching license. However, if you wish to apply for high level jobs in the education sector, a master's degree can be of great help. This is a graduate level program that emphasizes on advanced concepts and skills.

Q:Are higher education jobs easy to come by?

A:Job in any industry, in the current economic climate, are hard to come by- it is certainly not a time to be complacent. Nevertheless, the Bureau of Labor Studies estimates that growth in this sector, post-secondary education, is expected to grow by 17% by 2021, as demand for higher education continues to grow.

Q:My research into careers in higher education has left me to conclude that there is a limited scope of finding work in anywhere but as college professor. Is this correct?

A:It is certainly not correct that you would only be able to work as a college teacher, having successfully completed your program. There are number of other roles you can apply for. You could teach in community colleges or private colleges at associate or graduate level; or you can also apply for jobs at the administrative side. On the other hand, you can also get involved with the training of teachers and educators.

Q:Are entry level Higher Ed Jobs hard to come by?

A:In the current economic climate it certainly is challenging to find a job whatever industry or sector you work. Further, if you are looking for work in any organization funded by public funds, for the time being it may be difficult to find work. However, many private colleges are actively recruiting for new staff, especially at entry level.But to join the teaching industry, make sure you have the appropriate degree programs.

Q:As I read on how to become a higher education administration officer, there was mention of the course on Introduction to Business. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common to get to read about the Introduction to Business while going through article on how to become a higher education administration officer. This course is worth 4 credits in total and is designed to offer the students with ample info about the broader overview of the world of business. You also get to work on management, technology and finance.

Ask your Question

* All Fields are Required
Call Now(877) 721-2529