Colleges and universities are hiring skilled administrators and leaders in growing numbers to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Traditional students and working professionals are increasingly pursuing college education to gain the skills and credentials needed for career entry and advancement.

The National Center of Education Statistics reports that between 2000 and 2017, college enrollment rates increased for Hispanic (from 22% to 36%) and black (from 31% to 36%) students. During this time, enrollment numbers for undergraduate, degree-granting institutions grew from 13.2 million to 16.8 million students, an exceptional 27% expansion.

To serve their large and multicultural student bodies, schools employ skilled administrators, analysts, and leaders to provide diverse services, including recruiting new students through admission events and supporting enrolled learners with personalized academic advising. Higher education administrators also use their skills to bolster their institutions' financial growth and research initiatives.

To access these lucrative careers in higher education, you should begin exploring your options as early as possible. This guide offers valuable information on academic preparation, including degree types and program structures. You also gain insight into career options, general entry requirements, and professional development resources.

Skills Gained in a Higher Education Program

Students enrolled in higher education programs develop skills to help learners achieve their academic goals by conducting individualized advising sessions and developing campuswide support services. Prospective administrators also build their organizational and public policy skills, including specific competencies that bolster diversity and help institutions maintain accreditation. Because the higher education landscape continually evolves, professionals in this field continue to strengthen their skill set after graduation by completing professional training programs and earning specialized certification/licensure.

Technical Communication
As part of their core training, higher education students learn to convey complex information to nonexpert audiences through oral and multimedia forms. Candidates also train to produce technical documents, working through the writing cycle as well as examining research and citation.
Ethical Leadership
An integral skill for all college administrators and managers, ethical leadership provides the framework professionals need to conduct thoughtful analyses and make sensible decisions. Students delve into management systems theories and practical strategies, including how to form partnerships and affect organizational culture. They also examine concepts in motivation and corporate social responsibility.
Higher Education Organization
All administrators in this field possess keen knowledge of the structure and governance of higher education institutions. They understand the different operating models for community colleges, universities, and for-profit schools. On top of administrative functions, students learn about higher education policies, including government regulations relevant to financing and assessment systems.
Student Affairs
Higher education administrators support individual programmatic areas as well as the overall institutional mission. The student affairs skill set trains candidates to promote holistic student development, which includes social, emotional, moral, and intellectual growth. Administrators also examine multicultural student community development, which highlights how a learner's background informs their needs.
Budgeting and Financial Analysis
Students examine the varying roles budget officers play and how financial planning affects an institution's operations. They learn to assess budgets, strategically allocate resources, and use alternative financing methods. Candidates also explore how macroeconomic factors impact a school's cost structures and revenue streams. These are important skills for administrators who work in financial aid, human resources, institutional development, and the bursar's office.

Why Pursue a Career in Higher Education?

Careers in higher education provide ample opportunities for entry and advancement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that postsecondary education administration positions will grow by 10% between 2016 and 2026, adding over 18,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. Job prospects in this field are contingent on local and state government budgets, but they should expand due to the increasing number of people enrolled in traditional and online academic programs.

Colleges and universities hire administrators to facilitate every aspect of their operations. In addition to admissions and academic advising, you may work for financial services, athletic programming, and human resources. You may also occupy alumni relations roles, reconnecting former students through networking events and coordinating fundraising efforts.

According to the BLS, jobs for operations research analysts are projected to grow at a rate of 27%, culminating in over 31,000 new jobs between 2016 and 2026.

Furthermore, you can pursue data analysis roles, using your skills to turn vast datasets into actionable information that supports student success and institutional advancement. According to the BLS, jobs for operations research analysts are projected to grow at a rate of 27%, culminating in over 31,000 new jobs between 2016 and 2026. Because higher education careers focus on program management, financial planning, policy development, and relationship building, you can easily transfer your skills to other industries. Options include information technology, business management, and manufacturing. Healthcare represents another sector and provides some of the highest-paying administrative positions in the United States.

How Much Do Higher Education Graduates Make?

According to the BLS, postsecondary education administrators make between $54,680 (the bottom 10%) and $190,600 (the top 90%). An individual's degree level also affects how much they earn. Those with a master's degree enjoy $12,000 more in average annual salary than workers with baccalaureate credentials. They also benefit from a lower unemployment rate, especially when compared to professionals with an associate degree or incomplete college education.

Interview

Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi

Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi

Vice Provost, University of San Francisco

An educator and thought leader on implementing a broad-based diversity and inclusion strategy, Dr. Mary J. Wardell understands the unique duty of leaders to advance social justice in their organization. Dr. Wardell has served as the inaugural vice provost and chief diversity officer (CDO) of the University of San Francisco since 2011 and is a leadership and organizational change professor in the USF School of Education and School of Management. She received the Most Influential Woman award from the San Francisco Business Times in 2017 for the impact of her leadership in the community.

As a 25-year veteran in higher education, Mary has provided diversity strategies across a multitude of disciplines and fields and is the founder and principal of the DEI Leadership Group based in San Francisco. Dr. Wardell takes an equity-minded approach that builds community across difference using dialogue and centers the narratives and experiences of historically marginalized and vulnerable persons. Mary expands her executive clients' capacity to be more equitable and just in their leadership approach as trusted stewards of their organization's mission with fiduciary duty and responsibility to all constituents and stakeholders.

Appointed by Mayor Edwin Lee to serve as a commissioner and elected president of the San Francisco Public Library Commission and steward a budget of $160 million for a system of 28 libraries, Mary has impacted the futures of thousands of college students as well as hundreds of thousands of residents at one of the Bay Area's most celebrated anchor institutions. Under her leadership, the San Francisco Public Library won the coveted National Public Library of the Year award in 2018. She serves as a trustee on the executive boards of the National Urban Libraries Council, Washington, D.C.; Ignatian Solidarity Network, Washington, D.C.; and the San Francisco Interfaith Council.

What are some of the most sought-after positions in higher education?

There has always been a strong interest in careers in student affairs in higher education. The desire to impact the lives of college students continues to make careers in student affairs a top choice of entry for young professionals who want to work in a university or college environment. Many of those professionals are being trained in graduate programs focused on higher education and student affairs and are working on campus while they are attending graduate school. The programs are designed to allow a variety of professional experiences, including recruitment and admissions, residential and student life, and orientation and leadership programs.

Related to careers in student affairs yet dependent on the campus structure, careers in diversity and inclusion in higher education is another strong interest we are seeing among new and emerging higher education professionals. Each year more graduate students, as well as working professionals, are seeking opportunities to build their knowledge, awareness, and skills in the area of university diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

Many are seeking to become diversity officers who may be located in student affairs or academic affairs, such as working for a dean's office and leading diversity efforts across a school or college. There is an acknowledgement now that you don't become more diverse or more inclusive as an institution just by saying it in your mission statement or in your values.

Colleges and universities have to take actionable steps to demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with dedicated resources that improve the student experience and create more opportunity for recruitment, retention, and overall campus climate for those who are underrepresented or who have historically not been in the classroom (faculty included) or served at the university's senior leadership table. People seeking careers in diversity and inclusion in higher education will continue to grow as more diverse students enter higher education and demand a demonstrative commitment from their campuses in these areas.

What would you say are the minimum educational and work experience requirements to earn a job in higher education?

To earn a job in same key professional areas in higher education requires having a master's degree. However, there are plenty of exceptions to this, as people across areas on college campuses are working in careers with a completed bachelor's degree and able to successfully progress with increased responsibility and promotions. Yet in my view, when professionals demonstrate a commitment to their own education and in many cases, enroll in a master's program offered by their employer or elsewhere, you begin to see that professional really take off in their career.

I have seen this happen so many times over the course of my 25 years in higher education that it's not just a fluke; having a master's degree really does make a difference in your career trajectory and options in higher education. It's an active way to grow both personally and professionally. Remember, the field of higher education is about the business of providing higher education. It makes sense that this field, in particular, places value on persons having more education than less.

Are there common career paths for individuals who receive a degree in or related to higher education?

Well, first I want to say there are many degrees that current higher education professionals and leaders have that have nothing to do with being trained for a career in the field of higher education directly. That being said, what's important for the hiring educational leader are employees who bring a comprehensive educational and training experience grounded in strong writing, analyzing, and comprehension capacities with an ability to make the requisite connections from various sources of information and use it accordingly to fulfill and advance their work.

One must then have the ability to communicate their work to others in the form that others will need and require. Depending on the area, there are clear conceptual frameworks and/ or technical knowledge, skills and education needed to be able to do the work for specific roles. At the end of the day, all work in higher education, regardless of the division, department or unit, exists to do its part to help the institution fulfill the university or college mission.

The educational requirements in the technology division are a different skill and knowledge set than then what's demanded in the alumni relations, development, or communications and marketing teams. Yet there will be overlapping requirements to work well with others and to communicate with others. All professionals require a strong grasp of the teaching and learning mission of the institution and understanding of why the organization exists to inform their work -- this is fundamental for any person who works or who wants to work in a university or college.

What are some of your favorite aspects about working in higher education?

The people make higher education a great place to work. For me, the students are the stars that light up my world each day. There is something magical and even spiritual that occurs in a rich learning (and sometimes living) environment informed by the values of truth, justice, inquiry, curiosity, and academic rigor.

Universities and colleges are sites of excellence -- in learning about oneself and challenging oneself. I can't think of a better place to show up each day to work with an opportunity to learn something new about yourself and be challenged about what you think you already know. If you are a comfortable and satisfied person and think your knowledge and understanding is set, then a career in higher education may not be well-suited for you. This field is for those who want to be part of changing and shaping the world through the process of facilitating the education of others who will change and shape the world; higher education is for those with an openness to the possibility that they, too, may be changed and reshaped for the better by simply doing their jobs well.

What are some of the most difficult aspects about working in higher education?

Higher education is one of the oldest institutions in the United States, even in the world. You can chart the course of the development of America by following what was happening at the first institutes of higher learning at the dawn of our budding nation. Higher education has been there all along and you can learn important information about the story of America by following the story and rise of higher education. The beauty and positive aspects of this story is the fact that universities and colleges became and still are anchor institutions. They have been enduring places for communities they are situated in through providing employment, economic growth, education, and prosperity to the region they are situated in.

Yet the legacy of higher education, as the legacy of America, has dark stains of limited access, exclusion, and privilege that are part of our legacy and persist within the fabric of many of our oldest, most beloved, and most prominent institutions. That means that there are decades, and sometimes centuries, of institutional biases, dislocation from marginalized communities, and even unconscious discrimination in how we do things that is embedded within the DNA of higher education.

We've made significant strides from the mid-20th century through civil rights movements and legislation into these early parts of the 21st century with student movements and demands for us to be better and to do better. We have made good strides in our own commitments to correct our course and become our higher selves in the area of inclusive excellence.

Yet, throughout the nation, higher education as a whole still has a way to go to fulfill the promise of our teaching, learning, scholarship, and community-engagement mission. With the changing demographics of our students, staff, and faculties and the changing marketplace of ideas and economies, what worked for universities and colleges in the past is being challenged today and will not continue to work in the future.

Why is it so important to be a strong leader in this field?

There has been much written about the need for higher education to respond to the economic, cultural, and legislative/ public policy changes and the overall sentiment and public perception of the value of our institutions -- you can find many individuals who have written about the changing landscape of higher education in books and articles over the past ten years. I do not expect these difficult aspects of leading an enduring institution within a shifting economic and cultural context and environment will stop any time soon.

It is important to be a strong leader at this particular time, not just because of the challenges within and ahead of higher education, but also because you have to understand that when you step into your role, you are there to ensure the fullest expression of the institutional mission in spite of the various challenges at hand. Good higher education leaders know that they are the ultimate steward of the mission. This is both a privilege and a responsibility. So, in my mind, you had better be ready to ensure the fiduciary needs are met through a mission-informed budget and operations; to friend, raise funds, and invite others to join in to sustain and grow the possibilities of the mission in action; and to tell the story with joy and conviction of why a university education matters, perhaps now more than ever.

A strong leader will also recognize that you must do more than talk about a commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence; today's students and their faculty and staff are savvy and require that their higher education leaders prove that you've earned the right to lead a diverse, multicultural campus community. The old days of only needing to say that you are committed to equity and inclusion and not have demonstrable indicators that others can recognize to back it up are over.

What advice would you give to those who are considering pursuing a career in higher education?

As a lifelong advocate for American higher education, I would say, "just go for it." I remember when I decided that I wanted to work in higher education and the process I went through in trying to find and land a job. I set up informational interviews with departments at different campuses -- I started at one community college counseling department. Then, I asked that person if they knew someone else and if they would make an introduction. I went to another community college. Then, I had a conversation in a department at a state university that dealt with supporting first-generation students who came from under-resourced backgrounds and communities, which mirrored my own experiences. There would be two more institutions that I was sent to through personal introductions based upon the people I met along the way. I didn't know any of them beforehand. Yet it was the 6th institution that had a temporary full-time job in an early outreach program for under-represented and under-resourced students in the community with high potential. I was hired to find students who were like me for that temporary role. That changed my trajectory, and that role informed my career and changed my life. If you want to really work in higher education, I say just go for it and see what happens.

How to Become an Admissions Director

Earn Your Degree

You need to cultivate extensive work experience and earn at least a master's degree to work as an admissions director. You can begin your college journey by enrolling in associate programs to take advantage of the low tuition rates offered by community and technical colleges. Two-year institutions also deliver accessible transfer pathways to bachelor's-completion tracks with university partners.

After earning baccalaureate credentials, you should consider enrolling in a master of higher education administration program. Graduate degree plans center on organization, leadership, and research skills. You gain hands-on experience by completing internships and practicums, and you can personalize your degree plan by picking a concentration that aligns with your career goals. For example, if you want to work as a college advisor, then you should take specialized coursework in integrative counseling methods and the psychology of work.

Instead of a traditional on-campus education, you can opt for an online program. Remote learning comes with affordable tuition that often ignores residency status. Online students also typically benefit from flexible course schedules, taking asynchronous classes through platforms like Moodle and Blackboard.

In addition to conventional soft skills like teamwork and problem-solving, distance learners cultivate competencies unique to their mode of learning. These candidates become creative communicators and self-motivated workers, which allows them to succeed in increasingly remote work environments. According to a 2018 study conducted by the International Workplace Group, 70% of employees surveyed worked remotely at least once per week. Approximately 53% of professionals worked remotely more than half the week.

How Many Years of College Does It Take to Become an Admissions Director?

Master's programs generally require you to complete at least 30 credits, which typically takes two years. You can hasten graduation by enrolling in an accelerated online track. These intensive programs operate eight-week classes year-round, enabling you to obtain your credentials in as little as one year.

A degree plan's structure also impacts graduation timeline. Most colleges and universities enable you to individually pace your curriculum, taking as few or as many courses each term as you want. Some schools operate a cohort learning structure that requires you to complete one class at a time, advancing through the program at the same rate as other students. This format emphasizes peer-to-peer learning but can slow down the completion rate.

Admissions directors do not need to earn perfunctory certificates or licenses. However, most directors choose to pursue certification (like the certified higher education professional credential) to demonstrate expertise to colleagues and employers. Eligibility requirements vary by program but usually include at least one year of relevant work experience.

Concentrations Available for Higher Education Majors

Student Development
A popular concentration for student affairs administrators and academic advisors, a student development concentration trains candidates to assess and provide for the diverse needs of traditional and returning learners. Coursework centers on student learning styles, characteristics, and values. Degree candidates also learn to evaluate the impact of college education on students' lives to develop prommagratic and educational interventions.
Higher Education Technologies
This concentration trains candidates to integrate educational software to enrich classroom discussion and student engagement. Classes include blended learning environments, instructional computing, and advanced instructional design. Students also delve into distance teaching, learning how to develop remote instructions with regard to education standards and available tools. A higher education technologies concentration suits candidates who want to become curriculum designers, educational consultants, and postsecondary teachers.
Enrollment Management
This concentration benefits general admissions professionals and administrators working for individual departments, including honors programs. Degree candidates train in the fundamentals of student recruitment with respect to changing regional demographics. They explore the interactions between admissions, institutional aid, and federal funding policies. Typically, an enrollment management concentration also covers marketing and communications.
International Education
In this concentration, students explore the effects of globalization on aspects of higher education, including enrollment strategies and institutional governance. They also learn about how colleges and universities adapt to this changing landscape through global-format education programs and international branch campuses. An international education concentration prepares administrators for positions with accreditation agencies, international education associations, and NGOs.
Community College Leadership
This concentration covers the history, development, and working philosophies of community colleges. Candidates examine operational models for two-year schools in relation to distinct student populations and workforce development. They train in program development, with an emphasis on building relationships with local communities. Additional topics include the legal aspects of higher education and organizational behavior.

What Can You Do With a Higher Education Degree?

The types of higher education careers you can access depend on your level of education attainment. Associate and bachelor's programs offer the foundational skills and knowledge needed for entry-level positions and additional academic preparation. By earning a master's degree, you can work as a postsecondary education administrator, working for the admissions office. There are also opportunities within academic advising, career services, and student leadership programs.

Entry-level administrators generally spend their first two years fulfilling assigned duties and processing caseloads inherited from their predecessors. Depending on your role, you may also travel to recruit potential students and network with colleagues. As you build work experience, you can advance into positions like senior program manager, consultant, and dean. To occupy the highest level of university leadership, you need to obtain doctoral credentials. Luckily, higher education institutions routinely provide free or greatly reduced tuition to employees, allowing you to earn your Ph.D. or Ed.D. at minimal personal cost.

Bachelor's Degree in Higher Education

Bachelor's programs generally total a minimum of 120 credits, which full-time students can finish in four years. Learners may expedite graduation by enrolling in accelerated two-year tracks. Schools seldom offer undergraduate degrees in higher education administration. Instead, candidates usually enroll in programs that align with the administrative role they want to occupy.

For example, students who want to work as HR coordinators typically pursue degrees in business administration with a concentration in human resources. They take classes like employment and labor law, performance appraisal, and compensations and benefits. A bachelor of communications degree can be useful for all higher education administrators. These programs train students in transferable skills that include technical writing, public relations, and small-group communication.

Administrative Services Manager

Administrative services managers coordinate maintenance and daily office activities, like mail distribution and bookkeeping. They hire, train, and supervise office staff as well as establish goals for their departments. Administrative managers work with other company leaders to develop and enforce organizational policies. These professionals also ensure that their company's operations meet industry and government regulations.

Salary: $96,180

College Administrator

With a bachelor's degree, students can occupy entry-level college administration roles. Options include secretary and administrative assistant for the admissions office, student affairs, and various academic departments. College administrators oversee communications, handling student requests and fielding questions from other offices. They work with senior administrators and managers to develop, implement, and evaluate programs.

Salary: $59,932

Source: PayScale, BLS

Master's Degree in Higher Education

To earn a master's degree in higher education, students typically complete at least 30 credits. Schools deliver traditional tracks and convenient online options, and programs require 1-2 years depending on course structure and the candidate's prior learning and work experience. Working professionals can slow down degree completion to five years to accommodate busy careers.

Core coursework focuses on topics like student development, leadership, and diversity in higher education. Master's candidates also learn to implement resource management techniques for long-term institutional and strategic planning. They take advanced classes in their chosen concentrations and round out their degree training by fulfilling a capstone requirement. During this culminating experience, students work with faculty advisors to develop and execute a project and related deliverables.

Postsecondary Education Administrator

By completing graduate training, higher education administrators can assume leadership positions as diversity specialists, human resource managers, and recruitment strategists. They may work in the registrar's office, helping students pick classes and meet graduation requirements. These administrators also maintain students' academic records and plan commencement ceremonies. Additionally, higher education administrators can specialize in student affairs, planning recreational activities and other nonacademic programming.

Salary: $94,340

Dean of Students

After cultivating extensive work experience, administrators may advance into positions as academic deans and provosts. The dean of students plans and directs programs related to student activities and campus life. Working with their teams and other departments, these organizational leaders develop initiatives that bolster success for specific student groups, including individuals of color and international and transfer students. The dean of students also affects university policies.

Salary: $96,732

Source: PayScale, BLS

Doctoral Degree in Higher Education

Doctoral programs in higher education typically require 60-90 credits. Students graduate in 3-5 years depending on the nature of their dissertation. Candidates pick from either campus-based tracks or online programs. Distance learners save money on commuting, and many schools provide free electronic textbooks and learning materials.

Doctoral candidates can pursue a doctor of philosophy or a doctor of education. Ph.D. programs emphasize teaching and research, which suits students who want to work as postsecondary teachers and applied researchers. In comparison, Ed.D tracks train learners to solve problems in the higher education system as administrators, trainers, and consultants. Ph.D. students pursue research-centered theses, while Ed.D. candidates complete community-based projects.

Postsecondary Professor

Postsecondary professors facilitate classroom instruction and/or laboratory training in their field of study. They help students find internships and plan for post-graduation goals, whether they be graduate school or career entry. College and university professors also pursue independent research projects. Additionally, they help their academic departments update curriculums and recruit new students.

Salary: $86,826

Source: PayScale, BLS

Where Can I Work as a Higher Education Graduate?

Careers in higher education span multiple industries. According to the BLS, colleges, universities, and professional schools employ the highest level of postsecondary education administrators. Junior colleges and technical schools also provide ample employment opportunities. You can also find work with elementary/secondary schools and even general and surgical hospitals. The healthcare industry boasts the highest pay for administrators, with physician-office employees making an average annual salary of $159,700. You also enjoy excellent wages when working for management enterprises and research and development firms.

Locations

Higher education career prospects and salary potential vary based on location. BLS data shows that California boasts the highest employment level for postsecondary education administrators. Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, and Michigan round out the top five on this list. Massachusetts comes in first for the highest concentration of college administrators, followed by Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Iowa, and Mississippi. However, administrators earn the highest salary when working in New Jersey, with an average annual salary of $153,760.

Higher education administrators who want to work in a metropolitan area should consider New York-Newark, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. When deciding where to reside, you should consider quality of life, which includes not only employment opportunities but also factors like transportation and cost of living. Nonmetropolitan areas like lower Michigan and northeast Mississippi offer ample job prospects and relatively low housing prices.

Industries

Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

Certificate- and degree-granting institutions represent the primary industry for higher education administrators. Professionals can occupy roles in various settings, including human resources, admissions, residential life, and student affairs and development.

Average Salary: $114,360

Junior Colleges

Also known as community colleges, junior colleges offer associate degrees, certificates, and noncredit courses. Due to the nature of their funding, junior colleges predominantly enroll low-income students. To support these underserved learners, administrators need to develop specialized skills through degree concentrations and electives.

Average Salary: $98,020

Technical and Trade Schools

Technical and trade schools deliver vocational training that prepares students for careers in industries like construction, agriculture, precision production, and healthcare. Administrators who work for these institutions possess keen knowledge of workforce development and career-entry strategies.

Average Salary: $91,480

Elementary and Secondary Schools

By pursuing a higher education administration degree, students can also work for K-12 schools. In this industry, administrators excel as academic counselors, who help students plan for college or develop skills for entry-level professions.

Average Salary: $101,230

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

Hospitals employ administrators who help them provide quality patient services at lower costs while maintaining quality standards and meeting government regulations. Human resources and data analytics are high-need areas in this industry.

Average Salary: $131,160

How Do You Find a Job in Higher Education?

The National Center for Education Statistics projects that college enrollment will grow to more than 20.5 million students by 2027. Large campus populations, coupled with the evolution of educational technologies, contribute to the expansion of careers in higher education leadership and administration. To take advantage of these job opportunities, you should begin your search early.

By giving yourself plenty of time, you can properly research potential employers and open positions. You may also use this time to reflect on immediate and long-term objectives. Reflection can help you better answer major interview questions. As you begin to write your resumes, CVs, and cover letters, you should use document templates to help organize information. However, final application materials should be catered to specific job descriptions.

You can strengthen your job prospects by joining industry organizations. The American College Personnel Association operates a career center than lets you post resumes, apply for positions, and connect with employers. The American Association of Community Colleges and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator provides continuing education and certification programs.

Professional Resources for Higher Education Majors

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

AACRAO supports more than 11,000 higher education professionals in 40 countries. The association establishes best-practice standards in areas like student services and administrative information technology. Members connect through annual meetings, strategic enrollment management conferences, and leadership summits. AACRAO delivers on-site training and online courses. Administrators also benefit from career guidance and job listings.

American Association of University Professors

Founded in 1915, AAUP helps higher education faculty and professionals expand academic freedom and shared governance within their institutions. Membership comes with benefits including webinars, advocacy toolkits, and discounts on research materials and health insurance. Members post resumes/CVs and search for open positions through the career center. AAUP operates two partner organizations, the Collective Bargaining Congress (a union) and the AAUP Foundation (a public charity).

National Association of College and University Business Officers

NACUBO serves financial and business officers from over 1,900 U.S. higher education institutions. The association conducts research and advocates for issues like higher education aid and government endowments. Members enjoy professional development opportunities like leadership programs, speakers series, and annual conferences. They may also access webcasts and self-study courses.

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators

NASPA was established in 1918 and currently comprises more than 15,000 members worldwide. The association funds research initiatives into areas like globalism, assessment and evaluation, and civic learning and democratic engagement. Members connect through volunteer opportunities and regional and international meetings. NASPA's Online Learning Community facilitates short courses and connected conferences. The association also offers personalized career support.

National Association for College Admission Counseling

Since 1937, NACAC has provided networking and skill development opportunities to over 15,000 admission counselors. Members take e-learning courses in topics like financial aid and student-athlete advising processes. The association also offers webinars, leadership training programs, and continuing education resources. New admission professionals benefit from mentorship and career advancement support. NACAC also operates a career center and digital library.