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Career and Education Opportunities for Academic Directors in Des Moines, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for academic directors in the Des Moines, Iowa area. There are currently 2,140 jobs for academic directors in Iowa and this is projected to grow 13% to 2,420 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for academic directors are expected to grow by about 2.3%. 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 approximately $35 hourly or $74,770 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $38 hourly or $80,670 yearly. Academic directors earn more than people working in the category of Education and Training generally in Iowa and more than people in the Education and Training category nationally. People working as academic directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: dean of men, adult basic education manager, and external relations director.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as an academic director. The most common level of education 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.


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 Des Moines 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.
  • 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.


Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has 2 areas of study related to Academic Director. They are:

  • Educational Leadership and Administration, master's degree and post-master's certificate which graduated nine and nineteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Educational, Instructional, and Curriculum Supervision, master's degree which graduated 34 students in 2008.


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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.

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Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.