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Career and Education Opportunities for Academic Directors in Worcester, Massachusetts

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for academic directors in the Worcester, Massachusetts area. There are currently 6,010 working academic directors in Massachusetts; this should grow by 10% to about 6,600 working academic directors in the state 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 approximately $42 hourly or $88,690 annually on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $38 hourly or $80,670 per year. Incomes for academic directors are better than in the overall category of Education and Training in Massachusetts, and better than the overall Education and Training category nationally. Academic directors work in a variety of jobs, including: social sciences department chair, business services vice president, and student development dean.

There are thirty-nine schools of higher education in the Worcester area, including five within twenty-five miles of Worcester where you can get a degree to start your career 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 starting with 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 Worcester 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

University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Lowell, MA

University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 1 University Ave, Lowell, MA 01854-5104. University of Massachusetts-Lowell is a large university located in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,931 students and an admission rate of 71%. University of Massachusetts-Lowell has master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree programs in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated twenty-five, two, and ten students respectively in 2008.

Framingham State College - Framingham, MA

Framingham State College, 100 State Street, Framingham, MA 01701-9101. Framingham State College is a medium sized college located in Framingham, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,603 students and an admission rate of 56%. Framingham State College has a master's degree program in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Atlantic Union College - South Lancaster, MA

Atlantic Union College, 338 Main St, South Lancaster, MA 01561-1000. Atlantic Union College is a small college located in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 384 students. Atlantic Union College has a master's degree program in Educational Leadership and Administration.

Fitchburg State College - Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697. Fitchburg State College is a medium sized college located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,400 students and an admission rate of 66%. Fitchburg State College has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated thirteen and forty-three students respectively in 2008.

Worcester State College - Worcester, MA

Worcester State College, 486 Chandler St, Worcester, MA 01602-2597. Worcester State College is a medium sized college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,378 students and an admission rate of 54%. Worcester State College has a master's degree program in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated twenty-four students 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: Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester, Massachusetts photo by Yassie

Worcester is located in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 175,011, which has grown by 1.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Worcester, 121, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Worcester cost $108,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-one new homes were constructed in Worcester, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Worcester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, construction, and health care. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 23.3% of Worcester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Worcester is 9.9%, which is greater than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Worcester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Burncoat Baptist Church, United Congregational Church and Unitarian Universalist Church are among the churches located in Worcester. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Worcester is home to the Tatnuck Country Club and the Massachusetts Biotech Research Park as well as Ty Cobb Park and General Foley Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center, Mid Town Mall and Norwich Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Worcester can choose from Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Maple Manor Hotel for temporary stays in the area.