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Arkansas State University

5 Jobs You Can Get With a Master of Science in Higher Education

A master’s degree in higher education focuses on preparing degree candidates for leadership and administrative roles in colleges, universities and other higher education institutions. Some key components of earning a Master of Science (M.S.) in Higher Education include a solid foundation of the higher education landscape, including the history, structure and governance of colleges and universities. Students typically explore the individuals involved in higher education, including faculty, students, administrators and governing boards.

The online M.S. in Higher Education program from Arkansas State University (A-State) opens up a wide range of career opportunities within academia. This program provides graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in various leadership roles in colleges and universities. Students gain the advanced knowledge and expertise needed to become educational leaders. They also receive an understanding of faculty culture, collegiate systems and the encouragement of student learning and development while increasing their marketability to serve in an administrative leadership role.

What a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Entails

In addition to gaining core knowledge, students in this program develop leadership and administrative skills specific to higher education. Students will learn about strategic planning, decision-making processes, organizational behavior and effective management skills. Other important topics include academic affairs, institutional effectiveness, student affairs and enrollment management. Students enrolled in A-State’s online M.S. in Higher Education program do not need to complete a thesis or capstone project.

Career Opportunities for Graduates With a Master of Science Degree in Higher Education

A master’s degree in higher education equips graduates to pursue several administrative and leadership positions. Below are some common career opportunities, with salary information current as of July 2023:

  1. Dean for graduate students. A dean for graduate students manages and supports graduate programs and students in a college or university. They are responsible for advising, managing admissions, developing and implementing department procedures and supporting students. These deans also provide proactive leadership to ensure school development. According to, deans of graduate programs earn an average of $164,435 per year.
  2. Director of student housing. The director of student housing plays a crucial role in managing residential life on campus. They oversee the administration and operation of housing facilities and ensure a safe and inclusive living environment for everyone on campus. They also develop policies, manage housing assignments and coordinate with numerous departments to provide support services to students. lists the average annual income for a housing director at $80,644.
  3. The registrar is responsible for course registration and managing student records and academic policies at a college or university. They play a major role in ensuring the integrity and accuracy of academic records and facilitating the smooth operation of administrative processes. Registrars also oversee degree audits, manage transcripts and implement registration procedures. The annual median salary for a registrar is $68,600, depending on location and years of experience.
  4. Director of financial aid. A director of financial aid manages and administers financial aid programs within a college or university. They assist students in navigating the complexities of funding their education and ensure financial resources are allocated equitably and efficiently. According to, a director of financial aid earns an average of $92,888 annually.
  5. Dean of student advising. A dean of student advising supports students’ academic and personal growth. They develop policies, manage advising programs and work with faculty and staff to ensure students receive the resources and guidance needed for their success. Glassdoor reports that the average annual pay for an advising dean is $143,977.

Prepare for Your Higher Education Career in A-State’s Online Program

Overall, a M.S. in Higher Education prepares graduates with a comprehensive understanding of higher education institutions, practices and policies, as well as the necessary skills to lead and make positive changes.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online M.S. in Higher Education program.

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