An academic director may start as an assistant professor or associate professor.
An academic director is the highest-ranking director in an academic setting, usually a college or university. To become an academic director, you generally must obtain a combination of advanced education and substantial experience. You must also create an impressive resume or curriculum vitae and be prepared for a series of interviews with various individuals and committees. In some cases, such as at a government-run institution, you must be able to pass credit and background checks, as well as be able to withstand extensive research into your qualifications and previous positions held.
To become an academic director, you must be prepared for a series of interviews.
In the United States and some parts of Europe, the academic director is called a dean. This position may have the title of “Master” or “Vice Chancellor” in other areas. It is not easy to become an academic director, as this position is often one of great respect and often reports directly to a university president or equivalent position.
The first thing you must do to become an academic director is to get a formal education. In most cases, you will be required to have a completion degree, such as a doctorate, in an area related to higher education. Many of these candidates have several advanced degrees, both in educational administration and in their personal areas of expertise.
You will also need to gain significant experience working in an academic community. This could mean starting as a professor and advancing to a dean position before being considered for the position of executive director. Directors are academic officers, therefore achievements within the academic community are valued. This includes prestigious academic appointments and publication credits.
To become an academic director, you will also need management experience, as deans often report to this position. Your management experience must be within a higher education environment and must include business management and academic management. You will also need to have strong negotiation skills and be able to understand issues facing a wide range of academic fields.
The review and hiring process for those who wish to become academic directors is quite rigorous. Your resume or curriculum vitae should be polished, professional and complete, and it should clearly highlight your greatest strengths and accomplishments. You will likely need to go through several rounds of interviews with high-ranking academics and college business officials. If you are applying to a university that is part of a larger system, you may also need to interview system officials and undergo background checks and the like.