Higher Education Administration

A key component of graduate training in the humanities involves administrative skill-building. As many graduate students navigate the expectations of their degree programs, they learn how to interpret qualitative and quantitative data, draw conclusions and make recommendations from analysis of research, request grant funds, prepare public presentations, and supervise students. Each of these skills can translate into a role in higher education administration.

Some administrative roles are designed for faculty members who may wish to serve their academic departments, and institutions, in an administrative capacity as a department chair or in a Dean’s role. Other administrative appointments are open to professionals from more varied backgrounds with relevant experience.

Positions in higher education permit individuals to serve educational institutions in a number of capacities. For example, administrators work in fundraising, professional development, academic advising, enrollment services, financial aid, and residence life, among other areas.

Many of these positions permit professionals who have earned an advanced degree the opportunity to engage in work that resembles some of the activities in which faculty members are routinely engaged. In fact, a professional well-trained in administrative operations is often more suited than candidates without such experience for faculty positions! Depending on one’s background, skillset, and objectives, a career in higher education administration may offer a fulfilling career option with room for advancement and to make a positive contribution to a university community.

Roles in higher education administration may require skills and experience pertaining to:

  • Collaborating with faculty members, administrators, students, and university leadership to devise and implement institutional and program objectives
  • Developing and managing budgets, and striving to deliver projects under one’s jurisdiction within or under a projected budget forecast
  • Evaluating ongoing programs and projects for alignment with university mission and strategic objectives
  • Building strategic partnerships with stakeholders within and beyond the university, including industry, nonprofit, and government partnerships
  • Contributes to institutional market research and marketing strategies for new initiatives

Professional Associations for Higher Education Administrators:

Job Boards and Resources for Higher Education Administrators:

  • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC): This is a leading platform for job openings in all fields relevant to higher education, including administration.
  • HigherEdJobs: This platform offers a comprehensive and regularly updated database of employment opportunities in higher education.
  • Inside Higher Ed: This careers database attached to the influential publication Inside Higher Ed features job openings in higher education, including faculty and administrative jobs.
  • ChronicleVitae: This platform offers an extensive employment database organized by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Interested in gaining skills and experience in higher education administration as a Fordham-GSAS graduate student? Consider applying for a  Fellowship in Higher Education Leadership.