Elementary and Secondary School Administration and Services
Some teachers, after years of service and if they are inclined to accept new kinds of responsibilities, become school administrators such as principals. Administrators are often paid more than teachers because they take on the great responsibility of ensuring the smooth operation of the school. School operations require not only that the classes all happen on schedule (because students are safe, enough teachers have been hired, teachers are good etc.), but also that all the operations comply with the state-mandated curriculum demands (number and variety of classes, particular subjects covered), as well as with the laws about education. Recently, some certification programs in the field of education have started offering tracks that guide graduates directly into school administration positions and provide instruction in the skills and practices required in that line of work.
You will remember from high school that a great deal of influence on the students comes from the academic counselors. These are trained professionals who keep track of individual students’ academic career and personal circumstances and suggest how the students should proceed in shaping their academic and professional careers. These kinds of jobs require excellent personal skills as well as familiarity with trends in higher education, labor market, and students’ own interests and passions. In the video below, Cassandre, who works as a Placement Director at a small private school in New York City, explains how she went from being an English major to using her transferable skills to help students apply for various academic programs.
Higher Education Administration and Services
If you think of your college experience, you will remember that you spent much time interacting not with instructors, but with other kinds of professionals who were making sure that your degree program was on track, that you were meeting all the requirements for the degree, and that you were being prepared for the life after college graduation.
College administrators tend to design policy and implement large-scale programs that affect entire colleges or constituencies (e.g., Dean of Students makes decisions that affect all students at John Jay).
Professionals who specialize in particular services in higher education (e.g., student activities, career counseling, academic testing, psychological counseling, scholarships and grants, and enrollment) use a particular set of skills and knowledges in their daily work. Each service office aims to help students with one aspect of their academic career, and professionals who work there are on top of the latest information and best practices for that particular field. In some cases (e.g., psychological counseling), their career path requires additional academic credentials.