How to Become a College Advisor

How to Become a College Advisor
How to Become a College Advisor

College advisors get to help students have a successful college experience. Read this article to learn what you should do to get started in this profession.

Becoming an academic advisor means devoting your career to helping young people fulfill their potential. Few professions are more noble and necessary. Academic advising should appeal to anyone passionate about helping people get the most out of their education.


Required Education

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum level of education you’ll need to start a career in college advising. A master’s degree is required for some college advisors.

Positions. Common majors for professionals in this field include:

  • Human Services
  • Higher Education Leadership
  • Psychology
  • Social Work


Work Experience

Relevant work experience can benefit those aspiring to become college advisors, and getting a job on campus while in school in the academic advising department is a great place to start. An internship in college advising would also be a very beneficial experience. Any relevant experience will help you verify that this is, in fact, the right career choice for you, and it will also look great on applications.



In addition to a degree or two, some college advisor positions also require certification in the field, but typically certification is optional. If you decide you want to pursue certification, there are some different ones you can look into.

The American Institute for Certified Educational Planners offers (CEP) credentials. Another option is the Certified College Planning Specialist (CCPS) certification through the National Institute of Certified College Planners (NICCP).


College Advisor Resources offers several resources that college advisors can use to help students. These courses contain engaging video lessons and lesson transcripts that students can view. Students can also take the included quizzes and exams to verify they understand how to choose and apply to colleges, identify an appropriate career path and more. Check out the following courses to get a better idea of what you can offer:


Gain Experience

Start building experience by working in education-related positions. You can start by seeking places like tutoring, mentoring, student support services, admissions offices, or residence life. Volunteering or internships in advising offices or student services can also provide valuable experience.


Advanced Education

A master’s degree is typically required to become a college advisor. Degrees in higher education, college student affairs, counselling, or educational psychology are particularly relevant. These programs will help you learn about college student development, academic policies, experiences, and counselling techniques.


Build a Professional Network

Join professional organizations such as NACADA or the American College Counseling Association (ACCA) to meet other professionals in the field. Attend conferences, workshops, and other professional development opportunities to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in academic advising and higher education.


Continue to Develop Your Skills and Knowledge

As you continue in your career, ongoing professional development will be essential. Engage in professional development opportunities, take courses, attend workshops, and stay informed about the latest research and trends in higher education.

Remember, each institution may have slightly different requirements, so it’s important to research and understand the specific qualifications necessary for the role at your interested colleges.