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Old 11-02-2015, 01:24 PM
 
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Hello all,

So this question is somewhat based on just the most, period, but not entirely. My dilemma is this. I am in Florida (Orlando, to be precise), and have just completed a higher education leadership doctoral program, however, I just went straight through without working, so while I have the perk of only being 24 and being ABD, I also have the not perk, of being at a disadvantage due to lack of experience. I'm absolutely willing to start at the bottom of the full time food chain, and I have experience, but the problem is threefold: I'm battling for jobs where oftentimes, they receive over 100 applications (Higher Ed isn't great for this period, but especially Florida, or at least Orlando/Tampa Bay). Another problem is that schools around here don't seem to hire as much for those positions, and there don't seem to be as many schools. So it is an extremely competitive and difficult process.

My question is, what metros/areas would be the best to apply in? By any measure, where I could possibly have more luck than I am having now? (or would I have more luck?) I would think these areas would fall into one of three categories: 1) Metro Area with Schools that hire lots of Student Affairs staff, and there are so many that someone is constantly hiring 2) Metro Area that has jobs, but no one seems to want to go there and 3) Metro Area that for some reason or another, is growing education infrastructure faster than the populace, and so the job would essentially find the interviewer.

Any ideas on places that would be particularly good to look?

I've thought about Miami, though I'm not sure how much better of a chance I would have there, especially compared with Orlando. Miami does have 380,000 college students (I'm not sure how many Orlando has), but it also has more people in the metro area in general, so wouldn't that stand to reason, again, more competition?

Any advice would be appreciated! Would prefer to stay in FL (or at least SE US, due to the fact that is where family is, but would be willing to explore other options, for example if a Raleigh, or Austin, or Philadelphia would be my absolute best chance.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:28 AM
 
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Getting out of Florida is going to be your best given not only the job market which you're experiencing first hand, but also the potential salaries which are fairly dismal. Despite the fact that it's not a great environment for educators currently, I think North Carolina could be a good option if you want to stay in the Southeast with it's state university system (UNC has six campuses plus NCSU, WCU, ECU, App State and several other regional state colleges) along with a hefty number of smaller liberal arts colleges. You'll get a lot of options in the Raleigh-Durham area and to a lesser extent the Asheville/Western NC area followed by Charlotte. The current NC governor and state government has been hostile to public education but public sentiment seems in favor of tossing them out come next year's elections in November, as they have really done a number on what had been a stellar reputation.

If you can get past having to stay in the Southeast in my opinion your best opportunities in terms of prestige, salary and varying opportunities will occur in the Northeast corridor from Central/Northern Virginia on up through the DC metro, Philadelphia metro, Central NJ, NYC metro and of course metro Boston. This area of the country has always and seemingly will continue to value public higher education which is an important consideration when choosing a place to start out, given how funding cuts typically impact the more recently hired.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:30 AM
 
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What about Tallahassee, which has Florida State and Florida A&M? Both are big/bigger state universities that are right near each other. There is also a pretty big community college there as well.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:56 AM
 
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What area of administration are you looking at within Higher Ed?

Personally I don't think it's a particularly great time to be breaking in to higher ed anywhere, esp. with no experience. Aside from all the closures in the for-profit world, many other institutions are operating on tight budgets.

Did your program at least require you to do an internship or anything of that sort?
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
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Raleigh-Durham Chapel Hill, NC--- Major Brain Power in one medium sized metropolitan area. And everyone knows it.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taynxtlvl View Post
Raleigh-Durham Chapel Hill, NC--- Major Brain Power in one medium sized metropolitan area. And everyone knows it.
I agree, I really should have included it with the Northeast metro areas too.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Hey c1991! I was just writing to you about your upcoming visit to Jax!

Anyway, if you want to stay in the SE then I'd think that Atlanta and RDU are your best bets. Miami, New Orleans, Houston and Dallas are also intriguing. This is based purely on number of schools and not your "competition."
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:11 PM
 
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So it sounds like the "Big 3" in the SE are Atlanta, Miami (because it's in FL), and Raleigh.. With possibly New Orleans, Houston, Dallas also? I think long term, I wouldn't mind moving out of FL just to get a feel for something different, but that's more of a 3-5 year plan. At least right now, with an approaching marriage, I think it's best to be in FL. Miami is out of the FL cities the biggest, so, if I'll for now at least apply for a few jobs down there. Realistically though, all it takes is one connection, and I would be willing to move quite literally, anywhere, within reason.. Especially if I continue to struggle. The worst part is that I've had multiple interviews for several jobs and been down to one of the final few candidates, which I suppose means I'm on the right track, but then it really stinks to just feel psychologically like back to square one after a long preparation process. I do get emotionally invested in jobs I even have interviews for, which I know is a problem, but I'm working to overcome that mentality and just keep pushing.

ProjectMaximus, if it was you saying to move to Jax area, I would be up for it! I had one of those "near misses", at Flagler College a few months back and it definitely stung. Does UNF have a pretty good sized student staff?

Yeah, I will consider Tallahassee, or Gainesville also for that matter, perhaps UF and FSU will have more room for SAP's due to the bigger budget of being a tier one research, and thus have more staff postings.

I have "some" experience, but relatively speaking, yes, none. The specific areas I'm trying to get into now are advising/academic success based, also like disability services, first generation students etc, all would be relevant. I'd also strongly consider Institutional Research (IR). I don't know if that would make a difference. The way I've been told, the toughest job to get in the field is the first one.. it seems to almost be distributed like a bell curve where there are more mid level positions than low level ones. I did do some internship work.

Prestige and such isn't a huge priority now, but it certainly may be long term. I'd agree that the NE is strongest in this regard. Sheer number of jobs may be helpful up there, simply for breaking in. Though, I would also wonder up there whether starting salaries would be commensurate with the increase in COL.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,317 posts, read 6,977,482 times
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It was not me who suggested you move to Jax lol. I'll tell you honestly if i think Jax is right for you, and for most people I'd say no. I don't know about student staff at UNF but it's been growing incredibly fast over the past decade..went from a glorified commuter college to a bona fide state university now. Since the current president took over about 10 years ago the school has added tons of programs, degrees, and I imagine several hundred million dollars of construction. JU, a small private school (~4000 students I think) is also going through it's own, albeit much smaller scale, renaissance. They've been constructing new dorms, sports facilities, and adding new undergrad/grad programs. Also under a new president who came form Pepsico a couple years ago.

Good luck man! I'm sure it's tough but you'll find something eventually. And congrats on the upcoming nuptials.
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