Navigating a career path within the college and university admission and enrollment management field can often be difficult for some admission professionals. This sector tends to encompass individuals with varied experiences and the nature of the work within in these departments requires a broad skillset. Through a survey of NACAC member admission professionals at four-year schools and follow-up telephone interviews with 40 admission professionals, Career Paths for Admission Officers: A Survey Report investigates several pertinent topics that help to inform the career trajectory of current and future admission professionals. This report highlights barriers and incentives to staying and succeeding in the field; indicates changing needs, expectations, and opportunities; identifies resources for professional and personal development; and discusses both short- and long-term trends that will affect the field.

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Key Findings

  • Women and minority racial/ethnic groups are under-represented in key segments of the admission profession.
  • There is no defined career path in college/university admission, something that rising professionals seek.
  • Communication and writing skills are critical, though requirements for success in admission are diversifying.
  • Mobility is a key factor-though not necessarily required-for advancement in admission.
  • Admission officers’ responsibilities are increasingly integrated across other areas of institutional responsibility.
  • Beyond institutional, on-the-job training, admission professionals gain significant professional development from external resources in order to advance in their careers.

As external and internal changes influence higher education, admission professionals face challenges to their traditional practices.