Preparing to apply for higher education employment opportunities


Many people get discouraged when they hear the words “job” and “education” in the same sentence nowadays.  Though it certainly isn’t a walk in the park to acquire a job at higher education institutions, it is simpler than you think to be potentially qualified for a professor or advisor job. It’s important to always take certain precautions before you apply for jobs at institutions of higher learning. Hopefully these tips will help you not waste your time applying for the wrong job:


  • Research the place thoroughly


With whatever university or college you apply to, make sure to confirm to yourself that it’s a setting you would want to become a part of. Look at the ratings of the school online, read reviews of what students and faculty think of the school, and you can even go on to see what your potential colleagues are rated. This could give you an idea of the general environment you’ll be working in. After all, a friendly work environment is always a more productive one. When it comes to commuting, be sure to map out a route you’ll take that’ll get you there on time consistently. Your potential students might not take you as seriously if you show up late every class and your co-workers won’t think too highly of you either.


  • Consider the requirements


There’s a wide range of employment opportunities at colleges and universities. Some sort of degree would be recommended before you start looking, preferably a Bachelor’s, though it’s not always necessary depending on what job it is. With teaching jobs, it’s a given that you’re going to have to have either your Master’s degree or a PhD to even be considered by colleges and universities. However, there’s certain administrative jobs such as being a senior advisor or a director of facilities that may only require a Bachelor’s degree along with some experience. You can obviously technically apply to any job you want regardless of your education level, but make sure to comprehend the requirements of the job and see if you have a chance should you apply.


  • Work/experience pertaining to desired subject on resume


Don’t think that having minimal teaching experience automatically disqualifies you from the running for teaching jobs. You don’t even need a teaching degree to become a professor; remember that the field you studied in doesn’t have to be in education. If you’re applying to become something like an adjunct professor, then you would still need at the very least a Master’s degree in your respective field. But for these kinds of jobs, it’s the degree that comes first; in some cases, you could only have a year of teaching experience and still be eligible for a job if you have a graduate degree. Also, any position of leadership will look good to employers, so that could help you if you or your potential employer thinks you’re lacking in a certain field. You can also say that a previous position leadership is a necessity; while college students tend to be the best-behaved out of all the age groups, it’s still up to you to teach them properly. This will also apply to non-teaching jobs, like being an administrator or a program coordinator. Experience will be required along with these as well.


  • Don’t forget about the interview


Some people are so busy worrying about if their resume is good enough that they’ll almost disregard the potential interview. Always remind yourself that the resume is only half the battle; a good resume doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t get past the interview. Once you get the call for the meeting, it’s time to switch gears a bit. You should always be prepared for questions that have nothing to do with what’s on your resume. Be sure to talk about any teaching/leadership experience should they bring it up. Ask questions about the university/college and get an idea of what setting you’ll be in. You will not be the only one interviewed, so it’s entirely possible that someone with a weaker resume could get the job if you aren’t prepared properly.


  • Networking kind of helps too


This is a no-brainer in the year 2017; networking can help you tremendously when it comes to finding work. Don’t even think about applying to anything higher ed. if you’re not signed up for LinkedIn or any other networking site. This will allow you to have a profile with your background of experience ready for employers should they look you up. Before you start applying to random colleges and universities you’ve never heard of, take the time to think about whom you know and if they’re in the area close to you. Old professors, friends that have jobs in the education field, family members that know people that know people are among those you should look for. Perhaps one of them knows of a certain job that isn’t posted online that you may be qualified for. They could also potentially be a reference for said job. Utilize the Internet to the fullest and start contacting people. You most likely know someone that can put in the good word for you.


  • It’s OK to be picky


You shouldn’t have to settle for a job you’re hesitant to apply to. The money may be good, but that doesn’t matter if the job is costing you your sanity and happiness. Just because you’re qualified for something doesn’t mean you’re obligated to apply to it. Depending on your credentials, there’s a plethora of employment opportunities in colleges and universities that are available to apply to. Don’t forget the amount of job board websites there are as well. With this, you’ll be able to apply to jobs like resident hall director or being a graduate recruiter assistant. If you think you’re better suited to be an advisor than an instructor, then by all means become the advisor regardless of if you’re getting paid less. If you’re skeptical about the instructor job, but still end up getting it, you’ll be back to square one if it doesn’t end up working out.


  • Keep going!


As previously stated, it isn’t exactly the easiest experience finding a university/college job in this day and age. It’s quite possible that a lot of the applications you send out will be automatically put into a folder that contains many other applicants that may be just as if not more qualified than you are for the position. That shouldn’t dash your hopes; there’s so many different ways to apply to jobs now that you have the freedom to apply to as many you want. And you should mark down the ones that have top priority so that you can follow up with them should they not get back to you within a decent time. Chances are you could get a phone call for an interview from a job you probably forgot you applied to. There’s never any set time of the year to apply for higher ed. jobs, which you should just means to keep going.


      Diversity in the workplace is essential in this day and age, as it can help employers reach their goals along with giving potential employees the opportunities they desire. Employment in higher education is no exception to this. Finding a job in that field may seem intimidating at first given the wide range of candidates and high level requirements. Don’t expect your resume to be looked at immediately, but the right employer will see it should you persevere. Build your resume, make connections, and apply everywhere. Before you know it you’ll be getting that call.


Written By: Joseph Gonzalez