U.S. News & World Report has higher education administrator as one of its Best Careers of 2008. Marty Nemko writes:
“Compared with most office environments, the surroundings are beautiful, the atmosphere intellectually stimulating, and the work hours more forgiving. And things really lighten up in the summer!”
My guess is that Marty hasn’t actually spent a year in the shoes of a higher education administrator. Two things in particular raised my suspicions: First, while the campus environment can indeed be beautiful and the atmosphere can be intellectually stimulating (although sometimes I wonder about fossilized colleagues who seem to get dumber with each year they spend working at the institution), the hours are anything but forgiving, especially if you work as a student affairs administrator. The second clue? I actually laughed out loud when I saw the alleged median pay of higher education administrators: $103,000.
Interestingly, the Chronicle ran its annual faculty salary index a few weeks ago. If I ever decide to become an assistant professor of education once I get my doctorate, I can look forward to a whopping annual salary of $52,128.
Score. That’ll easily pay for the $100K in student loans that I accrued for this degree.