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Career and Education Opportunities for Academic Directors in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Academic directors can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. Currently, 2,140 people work as academic directors in Iowa. This is expected to grow by 13% to 2,420 people 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. Academic directors generally 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 $35 per hour or $74,770 yearly on average in Iowa and about $38 per hour or $80,670 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Education and Training, people working as academic directors in Iowa earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Education and Training nationally. Jobs in this field include: financial services director, director of testing, and program director.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be an academic director, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. Given that the most common education level for academic directors is a Master's degree, it will take about six years to learn to be an academic director if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.


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 Cedar Rapids 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.


University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has 2 areas of study related to Academic Director. They are:

  • Educational Leadership and Administration, postbaccalaureate certificate.
  • Higher Education/Higher Education Administration, postbaccalaureate certificate.


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.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.