With its rewarding challenges and personal benefits, a career in academia is often a dream job for people who highly value a sense of deep satisfaction in their working life. Here are just a few reasons why working in higher education can be one of the most life-changing decisions that a person can make, and why now might be a great time to prepare for a career in the academic world.
1. Benefits and Job Stability
Despite earning lower salaries than their peers in the private sector, workers in higher education are often drawn to their line of work by the job security and benefits that go hand in hand with a career in the field. Moreover, while many companies in the private sector tend to let go of staff during economic downturns, colleges and universities are often reluctant to introduce employee layoff policies even in recessions; for people who value job security over a hefty paycheck, that can be a major incentive to work in academia.
2. Making a Difference
For many professionals who work in higher education, the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of students is often a motivating factor to succeed in academia. Whether it’s through helping promising students secure scholarship funds or by making sure that recent graduates are fully prepared to enter the job market, administrators in higher education often help students to lead more fulfilling and productive lives. That kind of work provides a sense of satisfaction that is difficult to replicate in other fields, and it helps explain why so many workers in academia can’t imagine building a career anywhere else.
3. Bringing Passion Into the Equation
Many people start their careers in higher education because they love the atmosphere of learning that permeates university life. Indeed, having a passion for learning is a great motivator for those who dedicate their lives to helping students succeed, and this ability to love one’s work in the face of long days and stressful decisions often makes a career in higher education feel more like a calling than a job.
For the right person, the decision to work in academia can be a life-changing and deeply fulfilling choice. The pay might be higher in other sectors of the economy, but employees of colleges and universities often find that life in the ivory tower suits them just fine. And as more and more people are discovering, workers in higher education might just be on to something!