The Pros and Cons of Jobs in Education Administration

Education administrator

If you’re looking at jobs in colleges, then you have essentially two routes to consider: jobs in education administration and jobs on the teaching faculty. While teaching jobs are more frequently associated with higher education, the reality is that higher education administration jobs are essential to the functioning of any college or university, and are worth considering. Here are the pros and cons of seeking an administrative position.

The Pros:

  • Regular Hours

    Unlike professors, administrators tend to have relatively stable hours. Sure, there might be an occasional evening meeting, but for the most part you can expect a 9-5 office job. That stability is a particular advantage if you have a family and want to know when you’ll be available.

  • More Influence

    Although administrators don’t have as much contact with individual students, they actually do have quite a bit of influence. If you’re a professor, you might affect the hundred or so students you teach each semester. But if you’re an administrator, your decisions can affect thousands of students.

  • Better Pay

    Money isn’t the only reason to choose an administrative job, but it’s silly to ignore the factor altogether. In general, you’ll make more as an administrator than you would on the teaching faculty.

The Cons:

  • More Stress

    The reason most administrators get paid more than teachers is that administrative jobs can be stressful. Sometimes, it can feel as if each and every decision is a high-stakes one, and you won’t be able to please everyone no matter what.

  • Varying Workload

    Administrators may have steady hours, but that doesn’t mean they have a steady workload; if you go into administration, expect a hurry-up-and-wait atmosphere. You will also probably have less control over distributing your workload than professors do — especially if you’re in mid-level administration.

  • Less Respect

    It sometimes takes a thick skin to be successful in education administration. The public is — rightfully — concerned about the rising costs of higher education, and blame for that, more often than not, gets dumped at administrators’ doors. If you can’t handle that, then an administrative position might not be a good fit for you.

What do you think? Would you consider jobs in education administration, or would you rather stick to teaching work? Discuss in the comments.

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