Search
Become an Academic Secretary

Become an Academic Secretary

Want to expand your mind by interacting with intellectuals? Want to learn about the newest scientific research before it hits CNN or provide much-needed behind-the-scenes support to help young people achieve their goals through education? A job as an academic secretary might be ideal for you.

A Rewarding Job

Though salaries for academic admins tend to be a bit slim, the limited compensation is offset by a working environment admins can truly love, say two administrative pros with deep knowledge about working in academia.

"I really enjoy the academic environment," says Margaret Caddell, a coordinator for Tuskegee University's College of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama, who retired in 2010 after being an academic admin for more than 30 years. "There are numerous opportunities to learn and interact with many people from throughout the world. Also, it is very fulfilling to support students in reaching their educational endeavors."

Another perk to academic jobs is the chance to learn new technology, which makes it easy to improve administrative skills, says Peggy Colflesh, assistant manager of circulation in the user services periodicals department at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. But, she adds, people who fear new technology may also enjoy the fact that, ironically, many higher-learning institutions are among the last to adopt standard, up-to-date software that admins might use.

The Downside

Again, salaries tend to be low, with pay at state-run institutions usually higher than that at private ones. Also, few opportunities exist for moving up the career ladder, and competition remains high for a limited number of positions.

"With cuts to higher-education funding, fewer administrative professionals are being hired and retained," Caddell says. "However, those who achieve professional excellence have fewer problems with job stability."

Job Variety

The best-known position for an admin in academia is as secretary to a department, such as English or sociology. However, academic admins also provide support for libraries, laboratories, admissions and the offices of deans, provosts and other university administrators. For example, Caddell assisted in the administration of a grant from the US Department of Education, while supporting graduate students and the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health.

Benefits

State-run colleges and universities generally offer the benefit packages received by government employees. Time off and vacation time at both state and private institutions are also typically more flexible than in other industries. "Working in the library, we can take a vacation almost any time we want," Colflesh says.

However, the best perk of all may be that colleges and universities typically cover partial or total tuition costs for employees and their children. At MTSU, Colflesh can take one class per semester at no charge, while her spouse and children receive a 50 percent discount.

Getting the Job

Still interested? Unfortunately, there are no professional organizations specifically for academic admins, nor any specific certification process to qualify them. However, some simple advice can go a long way to help you make it in academia, Caddell says.

Admins should exercise patience, tolerance for diverse cultural backgrounds and lifestyles of students and professors, and "stay up to date on academic trends and history of institutions where [you are or would like to be] employed, thereby rendering better customer service to clientele and also receiving personal growth and enrichment," she says.

For more information and tips to help you advance your administrative career, see all our advice for admin professionals.

Latest Jobs

Great Point Partners
Posted: 10/23/2014
Greenwich, CT, 06830
Sears
Posted: 10/23/2014
KANEOHE, HI, 96744
Sears
Posted: 10/23/2014
NORTHRIDGE, CA, 91324
Sears
Posted: 10/23/2014
CERRITOS, CA, 90701
Sapp Bros Inc
Posted: 10/23/2014
Cheyenne, WY, 82009

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.65.72-207
eTrustLogo