College Recruiter: Career Info & Requirements

Mar 26, 2019

Read on to learn what college recruiters do. Find out more about the education and training required to become one, and see what the career prospects are. Learn about the earning potential for this job, too.

Career Definition for a College Recruiter

While the term 'college recruiters' might in some cases be used to refer to admissions counselors who recruit potential students to a school, the title is more often used for human resources professionals who recruit employees from colleges to fill a variety of job openings. College recruiters may have to travel extensively, visiting college campuses where they screen and interview graduates, possibly even extending job offers on the spot. To do their job well, college recruiters must be knowledgeable about their organization's policies as well as affirmative action laws and other governmental guidelines.

Education Bachelor's degree in business, human resources or liberal arts; training in marketing, public speaking and advertising may be required
Job Skills Outgoing personality, networking skills, ability to work under pressure
Median Salary (2017)* $60,350 (human resources specialist)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7% (human resources specialist)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A bachelor's degree in business, human resources or liberal arts is commonly needed to work in college recruitment. Because the responsibilities of a college recruiter include marketing and advertising, courses related to these skills are important. Other topics of study should include public speaking, computer technology and English. Many employers prefer to hire college recruiters with some relevant work experience so building a resume early on may help launch your career as a college recruiter. Training through internships is possible, and entry-level employees may learn how to interview job applicants or classify jobs before they are offered advancement opportunities.

Required Skills

A college recruiter must have a friendly, outgoing personality to meet with new people in new places on a regular basis. College recruiters must often meet rushed deadlines so the ability to work under pressure is important. Strong communication and negotiation skills are also valuable in this occupation.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an average growth rate for human resources specialists (7% increase from 2016-2026). The median annual income for human resources specialists was $60,350 in 2017, per the BLS.

Alternative Career Options

Training Specialist

Training specialists develop and implement programs designed to improve the skills and abilities of their companies' employees. They may lead programs themselves or contract with outside vendors; training may be in person, online, self-directed or in some other format.

Training specialists usually have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as human resources, education, business or educational psychology. Voluntary professional certification is available. The BLS reports that training and development specialists can expect job growth of 11% from 2016-2026. Training and development specialists earned a median salary of $60,360 in 2017, according to the BLS.

Benefits Manager

Benefits managers coordinate their employers' benefits programs, which can include health insurance, retirement savings plans, employee wellness programs and related offerings. Benefits managers evaluate how well programs meet employer and employee needs; they also coordinate open enrollment periods and ensure that all programs and procedures meet company policy, as well as applicable state and federal laws.

It's possible to get a job with a bachelor's degree, although the requirement of a master's degree is common; voluntary professional certification may also be highly desired by employers. The BLS predicts that jobs for compensation and benefits managers will increase 5% from 2016-2026; the median pay for these professionals, according to the BLS, was $119,120 in 2017.

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