Author Topic: Any posters work in academic administration? Advice needed!  (Read 2960 times)

mustachecat

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Not strictly finance related, but I'd definitely appreciate any responses from MMM folks.

I'm looking to switch from nonprofit work to academic administration. I'm applying all over the place, and I'm finding that I seem to be a more competitive candidate at less competitive schools.

For any of you who work at colleges and universities, how important is the school's reputation in terms of opportunities for advancement from that institution? Basically, is it better to be a manager at a tier-one school, or a director at a community college?

snshijuptr

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Re: Any posters work in academic administration? Advice needed!
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 04:30:57 PM »
I'm not entirely clear about school reputation for staff, but I do know that if you join a university from a public system, it is much much easier to move within the system. For example near us, the University of California system first hires from within campus then within the system then outside the system. This is really, really important because it can create room for job growth where there might not be.

On that note, it is also important to look at the structural hierarchy of the campus to determine your ability to advance. For example, my husband's job reports to the Executive VP instead of a Dean. Without the Dean position, there is no leadership position available for direct advancement. Any movement my husband does would have to be "diagonal" within the hierarchy or to another system.

Good luck. Sounds like you are looking for a similar career path as I am. I want to enter either nonprofit or college work.

mlipps

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Re: Any posters work in academic administration? Advice needed!
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 06:42:41 PM »
I work in Higher Ed. The first thing I would ask is do you already have a master's degree? If not, you might want to aim for a more prestigious university with tuition benefits. Higher Ed (for obvious reasons) has quite the glass ceilings for folks w/o advanced degrees. I'd start by working at the best place you can get a job and earning a master's there if you don't already have one.

mustachecat

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Re: Any posters work in academic administration? Advice needed!
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 10:03:45 AM »
snshijuptr - Thanks! I've noticed that every academic job board I look at has different portals for internal vs. external applicants.

mlipps - I don't. I'd like to eventually, hopefully via tuition remission. Thanks for the insight!

Rural

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Re: Any posters work in academic administration? Advice needed!
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 10:11:40 AM »
Whenever you do look at a degree, think about a doctorate, especially if there's a direct-to-doctorate option. As long as you don't want to be faculty, it could be an EdD or something similar, doesn't have to be a PhD. It's been my experience, though, that a master's doesn't really do anything for you that a bachelor's doesn't. For the upper level jobs, you really need the doctorate, and for the lower, the bachelor's is fine.

Take it with a grain of salt, perhaps, since I'm faculty, but I'm half-time admin, so I'm starting to see more of that side of things.

mustachecat

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Re: Any posters work in academic administration? Advice needed!
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 11:27:43 AM »
Rural, if it makes a difference, right now I'm applying for jobs in sponsored research. It seems like a lot of the higher-level jobs want folks with MBAs and/or doctorates. I admit I'm much more drawn to getting an MBA--seems like it would be more flexible should I want to go back to nonprofit or check out corporate (gasp!) work.

Rural

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Re: Any posters work in academic administration? Advice needed!
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 11:32:42 AM »
Rural, if it makes a difference, right now I'm applying for jobs in sponsored research. It seems like a lot of the higher-level jobs want folks with MBAs and/or doctorates. I admit I'm much more drawn to getting an MBA--seems like it would be more flexible should I want to go back to nonprofit or check out corporate (gasp!) work.

Ah, and I don't know much about the sponsored research end of things, frankly, because I'm at a teaching institution and I'm not looking to change that. So you should go with advice that fits your situation (I mostly know the academic affairs and institutional research end of things). That said, an MBA is generally a useful thing, period.

mlipps

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Re: Any posters work in academic administration? Advice needed!
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 12:05:22 PM »
I work in student services (study abroad) and everyone in a position about admin asst. (mine) has their Masters in Higher Ed except our director, who has her EdD. Sounds like what you're looking at might be pretty different from my own experiences though.