What can I do with this degree?

Now is a great time to pursue a master’s degree in the field of postsecondary education administration. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in this sector are expected to increase at a rate that exceeds other occupations.

To help give a bit more of a concrete perspective of what you can do with this degree, we offer a snapshot of some of the functional units that are common across postsecondary institutions. Students are encouraged to speak with faculty of the program as well as administrators in the functional unit(s) that appeal to their desired career pathway.

Academic Advising – educates and counsels students toward creating an academic plan of study catered to their educational and career goals. Faculty and professional staff provide advice appropriate for the each student’s development stage. Personnel in the functional unit are knowledgeable about academic options, career pathways, support services and financial assistance in order to make referrals accurately and appropriately.

Academic Affairs - supports the mission of postsecondary institution through teaching, scholarship and service. Administrators support faculty and supervise the daily operations of academic colleges and departments at the postsecondary institution. Academic priorities and strategic direction for the postsecondary education institution are set here.

Academic Support Services – supports students’ needs for advanced or additional understanding of the curriculum content for a class. Students receive tutoring assistance by personnel that collaborate closely with faculty and have demonstrated competency for the subject.

Admissions – recruits prospective students to the postsecondary education institution. Personnel will engage in dialogue with prospective students about academic programs, support services and campus life among other topics during the recruit process. Travel, event planning and continuous correspondence with prospective students is expected.

Adult Education – ensures adult learners, otherwise known as non-traditional students, receive equitable access to curricular and co-curricular opportunities at the postsecondary institution. Personnel often collect data to advocate and better understand the needs and characteristics of the adult learners at the postsecondary institution. Decentralized academic instruction and student support services may be offered through this functional unit depending on the size and needs of adult learners at the postsecondary education institution.

Advancement and Development – supports the development and expansion of educational objectives, capital projects, personnel professional development and student aid through external partnerships and monetary donations given to the postsecondary education institution. Alumni affairs, annual giving, marketing, public relations, decentralized academic college development and donor relations are represented under this functional unit.   

Athletics - supports the academic and social maturation of intercollegiate student athletes. Governance and compliance for the functional unit is regulated by national and state athletic associations in which the postsecondary institution is affiliated. Decentralized student support services, media relations, athletic training, facilities, marketing and the coaching staff for Title IX compliant sports are associated with the functional unit depending on the size of the postsecondary education institution.

Auxiliary Services – addresses the out-of-classroom needs of students, faculty, staff and visitors affiliated with the postsecondary education institution. The functional unit follows business practices and principles to provide goods and services such as food services, postal services, the bookstore and banking services. Services are typically self-sustaining.   

Business and Financial Affairs – collects fees owed to the postsecondary education institution. The office of the bursar, billing and receiving, registrar, financial aid, scholarships, student employment, facilities maintenance, campus security, transportation and auxiliary services are associated with the functional unit depending on the size and organizational structure of the postsecondary education institution.

Campus Activities – enhances the overall educational experience of students through the development of, exposure to and participation in co-curricular programs and activities that improve student cooperation and leadership. Personnel coordinate cultural programs, campus entertainment and off campus trips as well as advise student clubs and organizations.

Career Services – assists students with career exploration and the acquisition of employment preparatory skills to complement their occupational goals. Personnel conduct personality and occupational assessments with students to identify the best career path. Personnel also instruct students on how to write a cover letter and resume, interview, network and search for vacant positions, among other employment preparatory skills.

Continuing Education – supports the mission of the postsecondary education institution through regional economic development and quality of life enhancement. Career and workforce training as well as lifelong learning courses are offered through the functional unit. Regional businesses partner with the postsecondary education institution to resolve workforce training needs. The lifelong learning classes offered are a reflection of the special interests and personal enrichment needs identified by constituents in the service area.

Counseling – helps students through psychological and emotional issues that may affect their academic success and personal development. Personnel are typically a licensed mental health counselor. Personnel will offer outreach programs in collaboration with internal and external constituents of the institution, respond to crises and provide assessment services to address students’ mental health needs.

Disability Services – ensures equal access for students with disabilities to all curricular and co-curricular opportunities offered by the institution. The extent to which services can be offered depends on the institution’s size. Personnel will partner with faculty and staff, discreetly, to accommodate students’ needs based their disability.

Financial Aid – helps students create a plan to finance their education. Personnel will educate prospective and currently enrolled students about the expenses of college, personal finance, subsidies through the government and scholarships.

Greek Life – emphasizes to students affiliated with fraternities and sororities values such as community building, socialization and leadership. Personnel will coordinate events and activities that promote healthy lifestyle habits, awareness of judicial guidelines, academic success and cross-cultural awareness.

Housing and Residential Life – offers on-campus living for students. Personnel will ensure residential halls are educationally supportive, safe, clean and socially integrative.

Information Technology – supports the technological needs of the faculty, staff, students and visitors. Academic technology, administrative services, communication technologies, educational telecommunications and technical support services are associated with the functional unit.

International Student Affairs – assists international students in achieving their educational goals, while ensuring governmental immigration regulations are upheld. The functional unit offers enrollment management, English as a second language and academic support services to international students as well as study abroad opportunities to domestic students depending on the size of the postsecondary education institution.

Judicial Services – develops, disseminates, interprets and enforces campus rules and regulations. Personnel will investigate reports of misconduct and meet with students individually to resolve disciplinary matters. The functional unit also advocates due process on behalf of the student.

LGBT Services – promotes academic and personal growth of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and those students questioning their sexual orientation. Personnel will build campus communities for the student subpopulation, advocate equitable representation across the campus and coordinate programs and activities addressing sexual orientation, gender identity and self-expression.

Multicultural Student Affairs – promotes and advocates for the academic and personal growth of traditionally underserved student subpopulations. Personnel will coordinate events designed to promote diversity, advise underrepresented student groups and help resolve procedural matters promoting equality.

Orientation and New Student Programs – facilitates the transition of new students to the institution. Personnel prepare students for the rigors of higher education as well as educate them on policies and procedures unique to the institution. Personnel also support students’ guardians through this transition. Personnel coordinate events and teach new students about the history, traditions, educational programs, academic requirements, support services, and student life found at the institution.

Recreation and Intramural Sports – promote healthy lifestyle, particularly through fitness and wellness programs. Personnel coordinate intramural sports activities, maintain recreational facilities, provide wellness testing, offer physical fitness and dietary classes, and present workshops on healthy lifestyle choices.

Veterans Affairs – provide enrollment management and academic support services for student veterans, military service members, and their families. Personnel work to establish a community that connects and supports this population and educates constituents on changes and procedural requirements pertinent to their academic goals.