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Career and Education Opportunities for Academic Directors in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for academic directors. There are currently 2,660 jobs for academic directors in Alabama and this is projected to grow 19% to about 3,160 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for academic directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 2.3% over the next eight years. In general, academic directors plan, direct, or coordinate research, instructional, student administration and services, and other educational activities at postsecondary institutions, including universities, and junior and community colleges.

Academic directors earn about $38 hourly or $80,310 yearly on average in Alabama and about $38 per hour or $80,670 per year on average nationally. Academic directors earn more than people working in the category of Education and Training generally in Alabama and more than people in the Education and Training category nationally. People working as academic directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: counseling director, health sciences dean, and student life vice president.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as an academic director. Given that the most common education level for academic directors is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be an academic director if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Academic Director

Academic Director video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, academic directors plan, direct, or coordinate research, instructional, student administration and services, and other educational activities at postsecondary institutions, including universities, and junior and community colleges.

Academic directors participate in faculty and college committee efforts. They also represent institutions at community and campus events, in meetings with other institution personnel, and during accreditation processes. Finally, academic directors recruit and terminate departmental personnel.

Every day, academic directors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for academic directors to formulate and control budgets, maintain financial records, and produce financial reports. They are often called upon to establish operational policies and procedures and make any needed modifications, on the basis of analysis of operations and other research data. They also furnish assistance to faculty and staff in duties such as teaching classes, conducting orientation programs and scheduling events. They are sometimes expected to talk with other academic staff to explain and formulate admission requirements and course credit policies. Somewhat less frequently, academic directors are also expected to formulate and promote sporting events and social and recreational activities.

Academic directors sometimes are asked to inspect registration statistics, and confer with faculty officials to evolve registration policies. They also have to be able to decide on course schedules, and direct teaching assignments and room assignments to insure optimum use of buildings and equipment and direct efforts of administrative departments such as admissions and career services. And finally, they sometimes have to negotiate with foundation and industry representatives on issues such as securing loans and determining construction costs and materials.

Like many other jobs, academic directors must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Advertising Manager. Plan and direct advertising policies and programs or produce collateral materials, such as posters, contests, or give-aways, to create extra interest in the purchase of a product or service for a department, an entire organization, or on an account basis.
  • Chief Executive Officer. Determine and formulate policies and provide the overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within the guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.
  • Early Childhood Development Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic and nonacademic activities of preschool and child care centers or programs.
  • Educational Program Director. Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, clerical, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.
  • Food Service Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.
  • Healthcare Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate medicine and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.
  • Human Relations Manager. Plan, direct, and coordinate human resource management activities of an organization to maximize the strategic use of human resources and maintain functions such as employee compensation, recruitment, and regulatory compliance.
  • Training Development Director. Plan, direct, or coordinate the training and development activities and staff of an organization.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Academic Director Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree programs in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated nine, twenty-three, and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated twenty and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree programs in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated twenty, sixteen, and six students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.