Academic Consultant Job Description and tips on acing the Interview

An Academic Consultant or Education Consultant is a person who has ample knowledge of various careers and career opportunities.

Roles and Responsibilities of Academic Consultants:

Research and Design
The first thing he/ she undertakes is the proper research for identifying the requirements of the students and school systems. They also assess education standards and classroom policies, as well as grades and test scores. Their role involves assessment and evaluation of emotional, behavioral and learning aspects of students to design educational programs. The educational consultants regularly meet with administrators and teachers to discuss programs and budgets, assisting and supporting various education teams in providing an excellent learning environment. They interact with the staff to understand the essential requirements of the students as well as the organization by conducting periodic meetings to ensure that the different departments within the school cooperate with each other in any common job duties.

Based on these analyses, they develop the curriculum, instruction materials and demonstrate educational programs, plans, and products at schools. They also provide recommendations on curriculum and materials for school systems by creating and initiating accurate special education class rosters. They are also responsible for the purchase and maintenance of the inventory like new educational books, laboratory equipment, computer software, and other essential student requirements. Further, they detect the areas that need improvement and update the current curriculum after a certain period to ensure that the students are technologically current. They continuously monitor the teacher’s performances, provide guidelines to instructors, and ensure that the teaching staff is working efficiently and recommend certain changes if required that could strengthen their teaching skills. He/ she also answers the student questions on various career options, curriculum, instructions, etc.

Advise and Assess
An educational consultant serves as an advisor for teachers, parents, school administrators, school boards, and government officials. They provide assistance and support in functionalities of planning, implementation, assessment and school improvement processes. One is also required to survey students to change programs or curriculum by reporting on the effectiveness of current academic systems, supervise online education by managing charter school operations. They plan and organize teacher training program that would deal with the new classroom procedures and teaching strategies by carrying out tests to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum and ensure that the program objectives are being met. Their job includes maintaining and managing records, reports, and documentation well. Their presence helps in collaboration and coordination with students, parents, and communities in building educational programs while providing ongoing support to educational staff to coordinate in the educational content. Various committees, workshops, and conferences are organized to promote the social and intellectual welfare of the students after discussing several issues with the members of educational committees and understanding the basic problems and requirements.

Types of positions as Academic Consultant:

  • School and postsecondary institution education consultants
  • Education consultants for individual students and their families
  • Education consultants for product-driven firms or government agencies
  • Independent educational consultants

Educational Qualification of an Academic Consultant:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college. During undergraduate years, you should choose a major in education. Majors such as elementary education, secondary education, or special education are common choices. Some schools may not offer introductory teaching courses, so you can take online courses to get those credits on your transcript.
  • Take introductory teaching classes in college. For aspiring teachers starting as undergrads, colleges offer courses to learn the basics of teaching. Some of these classes will have a hands-on aspect where you can teach lessons to fellow students.
  • Participate in Extracurricular teaching activities. Colleges have a lot of volunteer activities to choose from that include tutoring, teaching, or mentoring school-aged children. This is a wonderful way to get teaching experience as an undergraduate while also providing community service.
  • Working part-time at a tutoring agency or as an independent tutor also counts. Extracurricular teaching activities may ask for commitments of up to 5 hours per week. Working at a summer camp for college credit is also an option.
    • Earn a master’s degree in education or a Ph.D. to become a teacher.
    • The MEd in Curriculum and Instruction program has multiple concentrations, including Methods and Curriculum, Online Teaching and Learning, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).
    • The EdD program offers an intensive curriculum taught by a faculty of highly regarded scholars from diverse backgrounds, including prestigious universities and successful businesses.
    • The MEd in Educational Leadership, MEd in Educational Technology Leadership, and MEd in STEAM are also valuable programs for those wishing to become education consultants.

Academic Consultants in-depth
Education and certification requirements for education consultants
Education: Master’s degree, Ph.D., EdD, or JD
Typical study time: 6-10 years
Although one would be able to build a career without a master’s degree, education consultants with a master’s degree in a relevant field have a greater chance for promotions and increased salary.

Getting licensed as an Academic Consultant

  • Earn 30 credit hours in an educational assessment program or school psychology program. This is a general guideline, so you should call the university where you’re going to get certified to find out their specific requirements.
  • Get a state teaching license. Teaching license requirements vary by state, so you need to decide what state you’ll be teaching in. For the most part, all states require a basic skills test for math, reading, and writing. You will also need to take a subject area knowledge test, as well as submit to a fingerprint and background check.
  • Apply for certification through education consultant organizations. The application process requires an assessment of the candidate’s expertise, education, training, and professional activities. Candidates will also take a written assessment to test their ability to understand students’ needs and recommend colleges for students.
  • Choose a specialization ahead of time. Some educational consultants prepare students to make the transition from high school to college, while others help students with the college selection and admissions process. Others specialize in filling out financial aid applications or preparing students for college admissions exams. Many educational consultants work freelance as independent contractors hired by parents, but some work for firms or are hired by school districts or colleges.
  • Attend workshops and professional development classes. As an educational consultant, you need to be up to date on current learning tools that can be implemented in classrooms and how those tools can be used by teachers to educate students on all levels.

Finding a job

Key Skills of an Academic Consultant:

Soft skills
Effective written and oral communication skills
Excellent leadership qualities
Flexible and adaptability
Good at planning and organizing
Effective Time Management and Task Prioritization
Attentive to details and well organized
Empathetic and sociable
A team player

Technical Skills
Excellent analytical thinking and logical reasoning
Knowledge about management and administration
Expert problem solving and decision-making skills
Knowledge about legal duties and laws decided by the government
Oriented toward service

  • Apply for an educational consultant job. Search educational consultant job postings online and read through their descriptions and requirements until you find one that fits your niche as a consultant. If you have experience developing educational programs, improving the use of technology in classrooms, and clerical duties, then you should look for consultant jobs with those requirements.
  • Job postings list requirements for educational consultants, such as coordinating counseling and testing, improving curricula, improving technology usage in classrooms, keeping career and educational development opportunities up to date, clerical duties, and promoting educational programs.

To ace, the interviews for the profile of an Education Consultant, be prepared with a few basic questions as:

HR questions/ Fit Questions

Doing your research on the firm you’re interviewing with is extremely important. You can do this by attending company info sessions on campus (if they’re offered) and by visiting the company’s website to learn more about their work and what they value. When preparing for your interview, focus on the aspects that really resonate with you and refer to those in your answers.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Where did you earn your teaching certification and where did you go to school?
  3. Do you have past experience as an Education Consultant or how long were you a teacher?
  4. What was the most rewarding part of being a classroom teacher? What about classroom teaching did you find most challenging?
  5. What skills did you gain from classroom teaching that have allowed you to excel in your current profession?
  6. What advice would you offer a current teacher who is looking to make a career change to outside of the classroom?
  7. Why did you leave your last job?
  8. Why did you decide to transition from classroom teaching to your current profession?
  9. What are your short term career goals for Educational Consultant?
  10. What are your long term career goals?
  11. Why do you want to work here?
  12. What are your strengths and weaknesses as an Educational Consultant?
  13. What are top 3 knowledge/top 3 skills required for Educational Consultant position, according to you?
  14. What do you think are the major responsibilities of an Educational Consultant?
  15. Why should we hire you as an Educational Consultant in our firm?

Emphasize your administrative experience, if applicable. If you show the employer that you have the skills to delegate tasks to people who can carry them out, you’ll give the impression that you can get a project done. Discuss your teaching experience in a cover letter or interview. Teaching shows your ability to present complicated matters to diverse audiences.

There can be case-based questions on several topics as market-sizing, data analysis, segmentation questions, and value proposition cases. Treating each case as a presentation is a great way to ensure that you’re structuring your answer in a clear and engaging way. In order to do this, you should sketch out your approach on a sheet of paper, explaining the different factors, the assumptions you draw from them and your answer.

Situational Questions

  1. Share an experience in which you used new training skills, ideas, or a method to adapt to a new situation or improve an ongoing one.
  2. Tell me about a successful teacher training program or conference which you have planned or conducted.
  3. Name a time when your advice to management led to an improvement in your company or otherwise helped your employer.
  4. Please share with me an example of how you helped coach or mentor someone. What improvements did you see in the person’s knowledge or skills?
  5. Provide an example of when you set expectations and monitored the performance of subordinates. What guidance and direction did you find most effective?
  6. Describe an experience in which you identified the educational needs of your students and successfully developed a way to teach/train them.
  7. In your experience, what is the key to developing a good team? (Look for how they build mutual trust, respect, and cooperation.)
  8. Provide an example of a time when you successfully organized a diverse group of people to accomplish a task.
  9. Share an experience you had in dealing with a difficult person and how you handled the situation.
  10. Share an experience in which you successfully shared a difficult piece of information.

Salary of an Academic Consultant:

The median annual wage of an education consultant is about $61,000. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary of an education consultant usually ranges between $30,000 to $90,000. However, this salary range may fluctuate according to the education consultant’s educational qualifications and past experience. It may also depend upon the individual employer and the additional job duties carried out by an education consultant within a particular firm. The average pay for education consultants by state varies from $46,494 to $65,562.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics also states a variation in salary scale based on the institution of employment:

  • Government: $76,970
  • Schools: local, state, and private: $69,900
  • Postsecondary schools: $58,420
  • Educational support and private organizations: $62,530.