Higher Education & Policy Studies
One of 13 Careers for the Next Decade - Kiplinger.com
Higher Education Professionals work in a variety of settings on college and university campuses, from financial aid, orientation, and residence life to athletics, international services, and student activities. They provide services and develop programs that affect all aspects of students' lives inside and outside of the classroom. Some of the things student affairs professionals do in their day-to-day jobs include: enhancing student learning; helping students make academic and career decisions; mentoring students and helping them develop their leadership skills; and meeting students' needs by providing a range of housing, dining, health services, and recreational facilities.
If you like working in a dynamic, exciting, and enriching environment; are interested in making a difference in the lives of college students; and enjoy intellectual challenge, then you are a good candidate for a career in student affairs. Other qualities useful in student affairs work include creativity, motivation, leadership, and the abilities to work well both individually and in groups, to multi-task, to organize and coordinate work efficiently, and to be an effective communicator. You may work on developing many of these qualities during your undergraduate years.
You can consider a career in student affairs no matter what your undergraduate major is or was. Many professionals who enter the field have a background in psychology, sociology, education, or human development. But having a major in another field – from political science to art to physics – is also useful when working in an academic setting. Student affairs professionals rarely have a boring day at the office. They perform many different types of tasks – advising groups, chairing meetings, coordinating events, overseeing budgets, and working with a range of students, staff, and faculty. The campus environment continually offers new challenges and requires new strategies to deal with them. On top of that, working with students generates its own kind of energy and excitement.
There are numerous entry-level positions available each year in the nation's 4,000+ colleges and universities. Experienced student affairs professionals who achieve doctoral standing are well-prepared for senior administrative and policy-making positions as well as careers in teaching and research in the field of higher education. Because of the need for student affairs professionals on campus, your services will be in demand.
Adapted from National Association of Student Personnel Administrators