As a new blogger for jobs.ac.uk, I have spent some time considering what my first post should talk about. The conclusion I have come to is that there are many positives to a career in Higher Education, and that it is not all about the academics.
There are many departments in Universities that support the work of our academic colleagues. HE Institutions are big employers, and the roles that support the teaching and learning are vital. As administrators at Faculty or School level, we support the core business. We ensure the smooth running of the academic calendar. We support our students, and are often the face of the university we work at. Students will come to administrative staff for a large number of queries, and the advice and support that we are able to offer assists our students through their career with us.
Without the administrative staff, assessment boards would not take place. We work tirelessly to ensure that all student assessment is recorded accurately and the assessment boards run smoothly. In another part of my current role, the administrative staff ensure that timetables are constructed without clashes, to suit both students and academics alike. No mean feat when there are multiple modules on multiple programmes across multiple schools in one faculty. But it all comes together, thanks to the expertise of the staff working in that area. These are the areas with which I have direct experience and knowledge.
There are opportunities for development of staff in Higher Education. Where else would you get the opportunity to learn and to gain qualifications? This is something that Universities can uniquely offer to their staff. You can develop from within. I myself have been given the opportunity to explore the world of academia and teaching – and to discover that this is something I love and want to move into.
All support staff within Universities need to take pride in the vital role that they play in the running of a University. It is a good career, one with many opportunities. But you have to work for those opportunities, and if you seek them, they are there for those who want them – you just need to reach out and take them.