Higher Education Administrator

Apparently I have one of the best jobs in the United States. According to U.S. News and World Report, one of the best careers in 2009 is “higher education administrator“.

The article starts off innocently enough:

If you liked attending college, chances are you’ll like working there, too.

Check. I enjoyed attending college and I enjoy working in higher education.

Compared with most office environments, college surroundings are beautiful, the atmosphere intellectually stimulating, and the work hours more forgiving.

The environment at institutions of higher education is indeed a beautiful place, both aesthetically and intellectually. However, I’m not sure if Mr. Nemko has ever worked an all night event at a student union or staffed a summer orientation program. The work hours of higher education administrators are more like a rollercoaster. Sometimes we work a 9 to 5. Sometimes we’re upside down and moving at 60 miles an hour while trying to facilitate a program with over 200 students on an early Saturday morning.

And things really lighten up in the summer.

Once again, summer isn’t really “light”. A lot of higher education administrators are at their busiest during the summer sessions.

For better or worse, there are lots of management jobs on campus because university bureaucracies tend to be large, from student affairs to academic affairs, admission to alumni affairs, physical plant to student health service.

Umm. Large support structures exist because we have a lot of students at our institutions. It takes a lot of people to create a university community.

One downside: Office politics can be brutal. Political correctness also bothers some people, who feel that holding liberal views is a litmus test for getting hired or promoted.

I’ve often found it disappointing that people label justice, equity and dignity as “political correctness.” I’d rather work with people who are not racist, homophobic, sexist, ableist, etc. What’s so brutal about that?

Smart Specialties – Student Affairs/Student Life. The work is unusually pleasant

That’s an interesting combination: unusual and pleasant. Maybe Student Affairs work is just pleasant and because a lot of jobs are not, they define what is and is not pleasant. Maybe unpleasant jobs should be the ones that are unusual and not the norm…?

Learn more: NAPSA Student Affairs Careers Page

Apparently news editor is not one of the best careers of 2009. It’s N-A-S-P-A.

The article currently has 19 comments. They are actually more interesting to read than the actual article…