Education and training

Education administration

This role concerns aspects of the running of an education institution or an educational service. The job could be based in a school, college or university, or in a central body such as a local council, the UK Government’s Department for Education, or an independent education company. The term encompasses a range of activities depending on the role, with examples ranging from delivering education policy, the recruitment and admission of students, data collection and management, monitoring student attendance, administrative support to students and staff, quality assurance and the examination and assessment process.

Types of graduate roles

Although this area of work isn’t exclusive to graduates, many people in education administration and support roles will be graduates, particularly in universities. Graduates work across the full range of potential roles and employers outlined above.

Entry points

Most entry-level jobs are individual positions, with vacancies occurring at a variety of levels, across the full range of employers described earlier. Jobs with the Department for Education occur in various parts of the country, not just London.

For Higher Education administration, a number of universities participate in the Ambitious Futures graduate management programme which includes placements at two universities, while others (including the University of Sheffield) run their own internal Graduate Internship Programme. Programmes of this kind provide the opportunity to gain experience of the administration and management of the university, and of working in particular university departments.

Skills and experience required

Strong organisational skills are vital, plus well-developed interpersonal skills and the ability to relate to staff and students. You should have excellent written and verbal communication skills, attention to detail and the ability to work both autonomously and in teams and be able to prioritise your workload. You will also need to demonstrate familiarity with a variety of IT resources and social media, as well as respect for the confidential nature of the information about students that you will have access to. Some employers may prefer degrees in business management/studies, or professional business admin qualifications, and/or experience in business administration.

During your time at Sheffield, it’s advisable to get part-time work or a placement in a university department, or to work on behalf of the university alongside your studies eg as a student ambassador. The University has a limited number of 'OnCampus' placements each semester, and these are excellent opportunities to work on a project with a department. OnCampus placements are advertised on Career Connect.

Other work which involves engaging with the operation of an academic department such as being a member of a Staff-Student Committee would also give a useful insight.

Job search strategies

The main employers of education administrators are schools, colleges and universities, as well as local government, specialist training providers and private educational establishments. Vacancies appear on the websites of local councils, and individual employers such as schools, colleges and universities. Jobs with the Department for Education appear on the Civil Service jobs website. Key jobsites are listed in the 'Useful websites' section of this article.

There is an increasing use of social media eg LinkedIn to advertise posts.

It’s also useful to network with administrative staff in the University/your department, if you are interested in working in Higher Education, so you can get advice on getting into this type of work.

Useful websites for further information
Ambitious Futures Programme
An annual graduate programme for higher education management, run in conjunction with a number of partner universities.
Civil Service careers
Explore the range of different jobs and roles within the Civil Service, along with the best route in.
Education Alternatives
Education-related careers outside of teaching in mainstream schools. Particularly relevant if you want to help people learn outside mainstream teaching; for teachers or trainee teachers wishing to move out of the classroom.
Education and training (National Careers Service)
A wide range of jobs in education, training and instruction.
Higher education jobs (Guardian)
News and jobs in the HE sector.
Jobs in higher education, including teaching, academic research, PhD opportunities, administration and student services roles.
Teaching and education (Prospects)
Job profiles related to careers in teaching, including teaching English as a foreign language.
TES - jobs
Teaching and educational jobs.
Times Higher Education
Includes news along with academic and administrative jobs.
See also

Last updated: 29 Jan 2019