Be a College Advisor
By Eric Hammer
One of the most gratifying professions you can have is that
of helping children to decide where they should go to college.
That's what a college advisor does and it's a very interesting
job which can be quite rewarding, if you treat it as a calling
rather than simply another 9-5 job. In essence, you'll be helping
to shape people's futures. Here's what you need to know:
A college advisor works in a high school and basically helps
the students to decide on their best path post high school. This
means that you need to be able to evaluate the student's grades
as well as her SAT scores and help her decide on exactly which
colleges if any she has a realistic chance of attending.
You need to also be someone who can listen to students and
understand what it is that they are interested in doing with
their lives so that you can suggest appropriate venues for their
education where they will get the kind of training that they
need in order to go on to the career of their dreams. It's really
quite an important and fulfilling role because you will in many
cases be responsible for shaping the future of these students.
How Much Can You Make?
According to Salary.Com, a college advisor makes anywhere
from $33,000-$50,000 per year depending on experience and location.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
The most important thing for a college advisor to be is a
good listener. You need to help guide students in the right direction
while also making sure that you are clear on what they can and
cannot expect to get out of college. For example, a student with
an average GPA and a 1080 on his SATs is not likely to get accepted
to Harvard and thus you need to be prepared to help that student
to find the kind of schools where he will feel comfortable that
he is getting a quality education while being realistic about
You also need to be prepared to help students to choose their
preferred professions as many kids simply aren't sure what it
is they want to do when they go to college. This may mean interviewing
them about their interests as well as reviewing their academic
records to see what areas they happen to be strongest in.
It's also useful to keep in mind that while the title may
be either college advisor or academic advisor, you will in some
cases need to recommend that students don't attend college but
instead attend a trade school which may give them a better shot
at actually landing a spot and a decent job when they graduate.
Qualifications / Requirements
Generally, you'll need at least a bachelors degree yourself
in order to become a college advisor. It can be helpful to have
a master's degree as well in order to ensure that you have the
grounding in schooling that is necessary to help the students
to understand what college will be like.
Start by earning your bachelor's degree and then looking into
different college advisor positions. These can easily be found
online. Be sure to check on the specific requirements that they
have. You may need to take some additional college courses in
order to work as a college advisor in some states. If so, do
that as well.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about becoming
a college advisor:
UC Berkley: College Admissions Certificate Program
- This is a certificate program from the University of California
Berkeley which will help prepare you to become a college advisor
or a college admissions expert.
eHow: How to Become an Academic Advisor - This
is a good basic introduction to what it takes to become a college