The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Event Planning, Institutional Research, Museum, and Tutor Positions See Significant Growth in the Wake of the Pandemic

According to data recently released by CUPA-HR, the higher ed workforce positions that saw the greatest growth from 2020-21 to 2021-22 were event planning assistant (up 193%), institutional research analyst (up 161%), head of campus museum (up 120%) and tutor (up 114%). These increases reflect an increase in the number of people hired to fill existing or newly created positions since 2020-21.

The positions that saw the greatest decline in number of employees were environment, health and safety technician (down 37%), head of campus learning resources center (down 36%), online instruction operations manager (down 32%) and dishwasher (down 29%). These decreases reflect a decrease in the number of people in these positions since 2020-21, either because the institution has reduced the number of available positions or because those positions have unfilled vacancies.

A new interactive graphic from CUPA-HR shows the Positions and Disciplines With the Highest Growth and Decline for higher ed professionals, staff and tenure-track faculty.

The Ongoing Impact of COVID-19

In many cases, the growth and decline in these positions over the past year reflect the impact of the COVID-19 recession that began in the spring of 2020. Like so many employers, institutions have experienced the effects of the Great Resignation and the subsequent challenges of talent recruitment amid the growing availability of remote and flexible work options.

Other factors may also be at work. The return to in-person events, the growing demand for data to inform institutional decision-making, and the continued interest in honoring the cultural histories of institutions may have increased demand for the positions that saw the greatest increases. Also, as the high school graduates most impacted by the pandemic’s disruption of classroom learning make their way to college, more tutors may be needed to help them bridge anticipated gaps.

Smaller Shifts in Faculty

Overall, tenure-track faculty saw much smaller increases and declines in the years analyzed. Disciplines with the highest growth were Library Science (up 8.4%), Liberal Arts and Sciences (up 7.0%), and Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender and Group Studies (up 2.3%). Disciplines with the greatest declines were Communications Technologies (down 22%), Agriculture (down 9%) and Engineering Technologies and Technicians (down 6.4%).

More About the Results

The data for these results came from CUPA-HR’s annual Professionals in Higher Education Survey, Staff in Higher Education Survey and Faculty in Higher Education Survey. Analyses included more than 600 institutions that participated in each survey in both years of the comparison. For additional details, see the interactive graphic in the Research Center. These data and more are available through CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand subscription service.