Should I Become an Admissions Advisor?
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||No specific degree field required|
|Experience||Admissions office experience preferred|
|Key Skills||Verbal and written communication, interpersonal, organization, and time management skills; persistent and self-motivated; familiarity with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Outlook) and student information software (CampusVue, Virtual Campus)|
|Salary||$40,753 (2016 median for college and university admissions advisors)|
Admissions advisors recruit and process a school's pool of applicants, guiding them through the enrollment process. They arrange activities like classroom visits, campus tours, and appointments with prospective students. Much of the job involves interfacing with prospective students over the phone or in person to gauge interest and suitability for school programs. Admissions advisors also work with other departments, such as financial aid, to coordinate the enrollment process. The following table describes the career qualifications and requirements for becoming an admissions advisor.
Key skills include verbal and written communication; interpersonal, organization, and time management skills; persistence, and self-motivation. Additional importance skills include a familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook as well as with student information software like CampusVue and Virtual Campus. According to PayScale.com, $40,753 per year was the median salary for college and university advisors as of January 2016.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Many universities and colleges prefer admissions advisors to possess a bachelor's degree. A particular field of study is not usually required, though a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Educational Studies is a program to consider for those who plan to pursue a career in post-secondary education administration. This type of program can provide the communication, relationship building, and business skills required to work in an educational environment with prospective students.
It is important to gain work experience. Admissions advisor positions may require candidates to have at least one year of customer service or sales experience. This type of experience may be gained by working a part-time retail, sales, or customer service job while attending college.
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Step 2: Participate in an Internship
Internships are often available for credit while enrolled in a degree program. Internships can provide college students with real-world experience and skills that can be used after graduation. Admissions offices may offer internship opportunities where students can begin learning about the admissions process and what students need for enrollment.
Step 3: Look for Employment Opportunities
Admissions advisors are typically employed at colleges, universities, and other private learning institutions. Checking out schools in the local area and making contact with them can help in finding a position as an admissions advisor. The same sales and interpersonal skills that will be used when working with prospective students are also useful in networking with potential employers and can help showcase ability in the field.
It is not a bad idea to pursue employment with alma mater. Having already participated in an internship or having connections in the admissions office with your alma mater may help with employment opportunities.
Step 4: Consider Joining a Professional Organization
Aspiring admissions advisors may consider joining a professional organization, such as the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which offers a variety of benefits for members. These include continuing education, professional development, networking opportunities, and other resources for career growth and advancement.
Becoming an admissions advisor requires a bachelor's degree and at least one year of experience in customer service, as sales and interpersonal skills are key to success here.