(Closed) Any admissions counselors or academic advisors out there?

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
777 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

@msbriezyb:  I’m pretty sure you need at least a master’s to be a college professor but could be wrong. Is that what you’re talking about?

Post # 5
1659 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@msbriezyb:  I was an admissions counselor at a private college as my first job after college. It was a really fun job with lots of autonomy and I really loved working with the current and prospective students. Lots of event planning and marketing collaboration, too! The pay was terrible, which is why I ended up taking another job as a corporate recruiter – I was earning $31,500/year (with 100% paid for m/d/v benefits though, which was a plus).

My degree was in communication, and when I was in college I worked for the school as a student ambassador to prospective students so having that experience got me my job at the private college. I don’t think you need any specific degree, but I also think that admissions jobs at legit colleges (“admissions” jobs at for-profit schools are basically sales roles) are hard to come by.

ETA: two girls that I worked with at the college (one in my department, one in student affairs) moved on to be academic advisors at state universities. They both had masters degrees in higher education administration/student affairs.

Post # 6
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m still a student, but I work in the admissions office – just not as a counselor.

You don’t need a masters – at least at the office I’m in. It’s really a fun job – there is travel involved where you go to high schools and things.

I would actually love to work in admissions if for whatever reason dental school didn’t work out.

Post # 7
2177 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I work in higher education, Student Affairs, specifically. I’ve been in the field for about 9 years. I first began working at my undergrad University’s Welcome Desk, then moved elsewhere as a financial aid counselor. I then went to grad school for my masters degree and have worked in Greek life, student activities and student conduct since.

A lot of admissions counselors start out fresh from college– I agree with the pp who said it is a lot off fun for terrible pay! If it is something that interests you, why not approach your current school’s admissions office and see if they would let you shadow or intern for the next few months? You should also look into professional organizations like NACAC for some resources to get started. I’d also encourage you to start looking at positions now– in my part of the field, February through July is the high season for job searches.

Good luck!

Post # 10
4438 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@msbriezyb:  Darling Husband is an admissions advisor, his college will interview anyone with a bachelor’s degree for that position (and that’s what Darling Husband has).

Post # 11
2177 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@msbriezyb:  my undergrad degree is in psychology, masters in Student Affairs Practice for Higher Education. I’m originally from VA, went to VCU undergrad and UVa grad.

For either of those positions you’ve mentioned, I would strongly urge you to look at graduate programs eventually. I’m a Director and my current institution rarely even hires coordinators without masters degrees. A graduate degree is becoming the norm in the field these days, with a Ph.D. rapidly becoming extremely relevant as well.

Post # 13
350 posts
Helper bee

I had a full time internship in my undergrad Admission office my senior year of college, and then worked for 3 years at a private schoolin the Twin Cities as an Admission Counselor. 

Definitely try to get to be a college tour guide now if there’s still time! It’s great insight to some of the workings of what an admission office is. I started at $30,900, so not great pay but definitely livable. I traveled about 6 or 7 weeks each fall, and depending on your routes they can be quite social or a little isolating. Typically it’s known as about a 5 year turnover, which I can understand. After 4 consecutive falls of being on the road for weeks, missing halloween, working weekends for visit programs in the spring and summer, I got a bit burnt out. It is, however, a great jumping point if you see yourself wanting to stay in higher ed. You’d have to get a masters, but hopefully the school you’d end up at would have tuition benefits! 

Another thing- I worked at a school I did not attend, which was fine, but at some point it can get a bit tough to keep pushing the school and have folks ask you what it was like to go there and then having to refer them to the current students to talk to about that.

OK, one more personal moral thing I have- I would AVOID working for for-profit schools. I much prefer working for nonprofit regionally-accredited higher ed institutions. Typically they don’t have quotas and unsavory recruitment policies. A lot of the for-profits recruit in ways that target high-need students to bring federal grant money in, and then don’t provide support to make sure the students actually graduate. A lot of them have grad rates in the 10-20% range, which is so sad. Typically the for-profits don’t operate like a traditional admission office either. Stepping off my soapbox now, but please let me know if you have any other questions!

Post # 14
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@chancehere:  100% agree with you about for-profits. I worked for one because, hey the paycheck was STELLAR, but I was so emotionally and ethically drained after 3 years that I was at the point of not sleeping, losing hair, and depression from the stresses of trying to keep up and knowing where I was working was screwing people over left over right. I quit to pursue a totally different opportunity (telecommunications) and took a $12,000/yr paycut but I am SO MUCH HAPPIER and it was 1,000% worth it.

I tried for a long time to break into traditional university admissions, but there were hiring freezes in my area and I’m positive having that shithole for-profit on my resume made recruiters toss my resume away instantly.

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