Program Manager for Higher Education

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

If you're interested in the Program Manager for Higher Education job description, you've come to the right place. As a Program Manager, your main role is to oversee and direct higher education programs, ensuring that they run smoothly and are effective in meeting the needs of students, faculty, and staff.

You'll be responsible for developing program objectives and creating strategies to achieve those objectives. You'll need to collaborate with department heads, faculty, and other stakeholders to ensure that the programs are aligned with the mission and vision of the institution.

Along with managing budgets and resources, you'll also be responsible for analyzing data and making recommendations for program improvements. You'll need to stay on top of new trends and best practices in higher education to keep your programs relevant and competitive.

A successful Program Manager for Higher Education should have strong project management skills, be a good communicator, have excellent problem-solving skills, and be detail-oriented. If you're passionate about higher education and want to make a difference in the lives of students, this could be the perfect job for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and oversee the implementation of educational programs for higher education institutions.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to determine program goals and objectives.
  • Coordinate program activities, resources, and timelines between different departments and staff members.
  • Monitor and evaluate program success, making changes or adjustments as necessary.
  • Manage program budgets and resource allocation, ensuring financial sustainability.
  • Facilitate communication between program participants, faculty, and staff to ensure program effectiveness.
  • Prepare and present reports on program outcomes and achievements to university leadership.
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends, best practices, and regulations to inform program development and improvement.
  • Foster relationships with external partners to promote the program and enhance opportunities for students and graduates.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and university policies.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Program Manager for Higher Education, you'll need to have a combination of education and experience. First off, you need a bachelor's degree in a related field like Education, Business, or Management. Along with that, you should also have 3-5 years of experience working in the education industry or in program management. 

As a Program Manager, you'll be responsible for developing and managing programs that enhance educational experiences and student success. You'll need to have strong organizational skills, great communication skills, and be able to lead a team to success. 

Some of the actual duties of a Program Manager for Higher Education might include creating budgets, overseeing curriculum development, planning events, and monitoring student progress. If you have a passion for education and a desire to help students succeed, then becoming a Program Manager for Higher Education might be the right fit for you.

Salary Range

If you're considering a career as a Program Manager for Higher Education, you might be wondering about the salary range. In the United States, the average salary for this position is between $70,000 and $100,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the size of the institution. According to Glassdoor, Program Managers for Higher Education can expect to earn an average of $89,000 per year in the US.

In Canada, the average salary for a Program Manager in Higher Education is around CAD $73,000 per year, according to PayScale. In the United Kingdom, the average is around £39,000 per year, according to Prospects.


  • Glassdoor:,32.htm
  • PayScale:
  • Prospects:

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Program Manager for Higher Education is promising over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for education management occupations, which includes program managers, is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

With an increasing focus on quality education and the need for efficient management systems in colleges and universities, the demand for Program Managers in Higher Education will continue to rise. The role of Program Manager is to oversee the successful implementation of various academic programs in the educational institution. 

Furthermore, the increasing number of students enrolling in higher education institutions, coupled with the need for specialized programs, is driving growth in the number of Program Manager vacancies across the country. As a Program Manager, you can enjoy job stability, growth opportunities, and competitive salaries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Program Manager for Higher Education do?

A: A Program Manager for Higher Education oversees and manages all aspects of academic programs for higher education institutions.

Q: What are the key responsibilities of a Program Manager for Higher Education?

A: A Program Manager for Higher Education is responsible for program development, curriculum design and implementation, faculty recruitment, student support services, and managing the budget and resources.

Q: What are the qualifications required for a Program Manager for Higher Education?

A: Typically, a Program Manager for Higher Education is required to have a Master’s degree in Education, Higher Education Administration, or a related field. Additionally, they must have several years of experience working in academic administration and program management.

Q: What are some of the challenges faced by a Program Manager for Higher Education?

A: As a Program Manager for Higher Education, some of the common challenges you might face include managing competing priorities, working with tight budgets, managing resources, and balancing the needs of students, faculty, and the institution.

Q: What are the future prospects for a Program Manager for Higher Education?

A: With the demand for higher education increasing across the globe, the role of a Program Manager for Higher Education is becoming increasingly important. There are strong growth opportunities in this field, and they can serve as strategic leaders within their institutions.

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