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How to Become an Academic Advisor



Academic Advisors are professionals who work with college students to help guide them to the right career path. Individuals who want to become an Academic Advisor may be interested in working with students and accomplished professionals to help them find the right career path. Individuals who pursue this path have a combination of innate qualities such as compassion and great listening skills in addition to an advanced degree.

Individuals interested in this career path also have plenty of opportunities in a variety of school settings. Academic Advisors can seek work in universities, colleges, technical schools and community colleges. Individuals may also choose to focus guiding students in a specific field such as advising in Engineering, Biology or English. Individuals may also look at a similar profession such as a career counselor at the high school level to help guide younger high school students to the profession or areas of study that works for them.

Education Requirements to Become an Academic Advisor



Individuals who want to become an Academic Advisor must pursue a Master's degree in order to work in this field. During their undergraduate degree, students may choose from a variety of majors. If they would like to counsel in a specific field, they can opt to major in that focus.

Because Academic Advisors work with students who are trying to determine their career path, individuals must have innate qualities to perform the required duties for this position. Some important qualities to possess include: compassion, great listening skills, communication skills and strong interpersonal skills. These skills are a must because of Academic Advisors' frequent communication with their students.

Employers prefer candidates who have a Master's degree in Counseling with a focus in career development. These focused programs provide courses to help individuals learn career development techniques to assist others pursue their career track. These programs also prepare individuals to assess a student's skills and interests. In addition, individuals may be required to fulfill a supervised internship to help them gain on the job skills.

Academic Advisor Job Description



Academic Advisors work with college students who are determining the right career path for themselves. These professionals use a combination of personal characteristics such as listening and compassion as well as their education to guide students to the best career path for them. With their experience in career development, Academic Advisors are highly trained to assess a student's skills, talents and interests to develop a variety of potential career paths to pursue.

Academic Advisors may work with individuals at different stages in their careers. For undergraduate students, they may assist in helping them choose the proper major after assessing their interests and skills. Some Academic Advisors working for a college or university may also assist alums already in the workforce. In these circumstances, an Academic Advisor will look at work experience and education to help individuals develop a plan to enter a new profession.

Day to day activities include meeting with students or professionals and providing a variety of assessments to determine skills, interests and talents. In addition, an Academic Advisor will look at their client's educational background and job history; guide students or client through the decision making process in regards to a profession or major to choose. They may also assist with the job search process and coaching them through interviewing, networking and applying for jobs and teaching them how to write a resume.

Academic Advisor Salary and Career Path



The median annual salary for Career Counselors, which includes Academic Advisors, was approximately $53,610 in 2012. For individuals working in higher education, the median wage is approximately $46,630. The exact wage will depend on experience and location.

Job projections for Career Counselors, including Academic Advisors is expected to increase by 12 percent through 2022. This growth is on par with other professions and job sectors and is considered healthy. This growth is expected to come from the increasing numbers of individuals signing up for advanced degrees and higher education. However, job prospects might be affected by the decline in state and local funding towards education.

Individuals who would like to coach young students and guide them towards their ideal profession may consider a career as an Academic Advisor. Working in this profession will allow them to work one on one with aspiring individuals just beginning their careers.
 
 
 
 
 
 

*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics