How Can I Work in Higher Education Leadership?

Higher education leadership professionals are often experienced educators who can help to shape a college's curriculum. Read on to learn about education requirements, job duties and salary information. Schools offering Education - Organizational Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Higher Education Leadership Job Description

Primary job functions in higher education leadership positions typically involve shaping school policies and developing curriculum and services within a college. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that beginning a career in higher education leadership oftentimes starts with a professorship, although this can depend on the department, school, college or subject (www.bls.gov). The BLS states that in some departments professionals might begin at the ground level, gain real-life experience within a department and work their way up.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Work Environment Public and private schools and universities; full-time, year-round schedules
Similar Occupations Human resources managers, postsecondary teachers
Employment (2014) 175,100 employed individuals (for postsecondary education administrators)
Specializations Financial aid, student services, admissions, student affairs

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Working as a higher education administrator requires an advanced degree in order to have a senior ranking position within a college or university, such as department head, director, dean, vice president and president. These programs are commonly geared towards experienced educators or professionals, although programs are sometimes open to newly entering professionals. Most programs don't specify a particular bachelor's degree needed to enter into an educational leadership graduate program.

Coursework

The most common degree programs offered are a Master of Education, Doctor of Education or a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Leadership. The curriculum can vary within these degree programs, and specialization tracks may be offered, such as student services or organization and administration. Common coursework includes:

  • Law in higher education
  • Higher education finance
  • Curriculum and policy for postsecondary education
  • History of higher education
  • Theory of student development

Job Skills

Postsecondary education administrators must have good organizational and problem-solving skills. They should also have good people skills, including good communication. Computer skills are also necessary.

Career Overview

The BLS projected that there would be a 9% growth in employment opportunities for postsecondary education administrators for the 10-year period of 2014-2024. In postsecondary education, the potential growth might be due in part to the rise in student population and the need to fill administrative positions for a growing college or university. In 2014, postsecondary education administrators earned an average of $101,910 (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

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    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Northcentral University

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