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Why Pursue a Degree in Higher Education?

Within Higher Education programs, colleges and universities are staffed by a number of individuals serving in a variety of roles integral to the smooth operation of the

institution. If you're interested in learning more about the inner workings of higher education facilities, or you have a desire to work at one of these schools, a degree in higher education may be the best option for you.

Students pursuing this certificate may be exposed to myriad topics in this discipline, including those that focus on development, management or teaching. While pursuing a degree in higher education, you can learn more about the various occupations necessary for the operation of the institution, including administrative roles in different departments and the varying tiers of professor titles.

Those looking to pursue deeper study may use eLearners to find information on obtaining a Masters in Higher Education.

A glimpse into the realm of higher education

Higher education careers range from those that deal with students on a daily basis to those that interact with community partners integral for assisting the institution. Working in a collegiate environment requires that you have a strong interest in furthering the education of students beyond primary and secondary school. Through this higher education program, learners may become more familiar with topics that could increase their effectiveness in their chosen occupation, such as those that build research, critical thinking or problem solving skills.

Courses along this degree path can be tailored to suit your preferred profession. If you know you want to pursue a career in teaching, you can take classes that will introduce you to curriculum planning and student development. Alternatively, you may opt for a more specialized degree path more congruent with your preferences. Potential certifications include a degree in organizational change or leadership in higher education. Those pursuing a degree in higher education can work toward their master's or doctorate certification as well.

Possible salaries for jobs in higher education

Salaries for jobs in higher education or work collegiate environments vary based on the type of school - whether private or public - chosen discipline of study, profession, level of education, and location. Consider the following careers, with data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.

  • Postsecondary teachers: 2012 Median annual salary of $68,970 (19 percent projected growth through 2022)[i]
  • Postsecondary education administrators: 2012 Median annual salary of $86,490 (15 percent projected growth through 2022)[ii]
  • Public relations and fundraising managers: 2012 Median annual salary of $95,450 (13 percent projected growth through 2022)[iii]

Additional skills required for higher education programs

To pursue a degree in higher education, students must be driven by the desire to learn more about collegiate environments and how they are constantly shifting with legislation and government policies. Additionally, these individuals must be passionate about the academic careers of others, as they will spend a great deal of their time advising, educating or working for the benefit of these learners.
If you select a to pursue a profession in this field, it's also essential that you enjoy furthering your own academic pursuits, as you may be required to attend academic seminars or professional development conferences to further build your own educational skills. 


[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm

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