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Career and Education Opportunities for Academic Directors in Madison, Wisconsin

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for academic directors in the Madison, Wisconsin area. There are currently 3,950 working academic directors in Wisconsin; this should grow 8% to about 4,240 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. 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.

The income of an academic director is about $35 hourly or $74,210 per year on average in Wisconsin. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $38 hourly or $80,670 yearly on average. Earnings for academic directors are better than earnings in the general category of Education and Training in Wisconsin and better than general Education and Training category earnings nationally. People working as academic directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: student accounts manager, financial aid advisor, and liberal arts dean.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Madison where you can study to be an academic director, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Madison area. Academic directors usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years training to become 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 Madison 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Academic Director Training

University of Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Dr, Madison, WI 53706-1380. University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large university located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 41,581 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Wisconsin-Madison has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated fifty and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Edgewood College - Madison, WI

Edgewood College, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, Madison, WI 53711-1997. Edgewood College is a small college located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,544 students and an admission rate of 76%. Edgewood College has a doctor's degree program in Educational Leadership and Administration which graduated eighteen 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: Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin photo by Dori

Madison is situated in Dane County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 231,916, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Madison, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Madison are valued at $243,800 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Madison, down from three hundred seventy-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Madison are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 48.2% of Madison residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 20.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2%, which is less than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Madison residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Abundant Life Church and Grace Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Madison. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Madison is home to the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Annie C Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as Bordner Park and Brigham Park. Shopping centers in the area include Brookwood Village Shopping Center, Whitney Square Shopping Center and Walnut Grove Shopping Center. Visitors to Madison can choose from Comfort Inn Madison, Howard Johnson-Plaza Hotel and Country Inn Sts Madison for temporary stays in the area.