Careers at UMass Amherst

Director of Professional Transitions

Apply now Job no: 515394
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Career Services
Union: PSU
Categories: Career Services

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Director of Professional Transitions provides vision, leadership and management of the formation and implementation of a comprehensive career and professional development program for the Universal Learner. Working in collaboration with campus partners from University Without Walls (UWW), the UMass Alumni Association, and UMass Career Services, the Director will leverage the work of our world-class faculty, current alumni and online technologies to develop innovative learning pathways for undergraduates from the University Without Walls Interdisciplinary Studies (UWW) and Bachelors’ Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) programs. The Director will build strategies to integrate employability, professional development, alumni engagement and employer relations into a curated learning experience that is tailored to the needs of learners with varying work backgrounds and concentrations. In addition, the Director implements the program both individually and collectively through in-person and online formats such as webinars, workshops, and guidebooks. The Director also engages in marketing and outreach in collaboration with both central Career Development and Professional Connections Hub/Career Services and University Without Walls.


Essential Functions

  • Leads strategic planning, design and implementation of career education, transition, and professional development programs and services for undergraduate UWW and BDIC students. Collaborates with appropriate deans, faculty, staff and alumni in the creation of customized curriculum and advising for student success and professional development.
  • Conducts research relevant to targeted career fields in the Commonwealth and nationally, and uses this research to design and develop well-articulated learning pathways for UWW students. Curates complex career-related content and resources from multiple sources that enrich students' understanding of occupations, careers, and employment trends; improve their competencies in networking, interviewing and identifying transferable skills.
  • Working closely with alumni, develops a deep understanding of core competencies needed across eleven industry sectors, identifying gaps within the academic curriculum and researching resources that will fill those gaps. Building upon this knowledge, curates the optimum technical, creative, and professional skills needed to augment current academic classes.
  • Oversees comprehensive career development for UWW and BDIC students including counseling and advising using modern assessment tools, developing career competencies, providing guidance in career exploration, preparedness, and decision-making, identifying barriers to career transitions, and providing coaching on job/internship search techniques including use of relevant technology, social media and networking.
  • Develops and presents various career education workshops both in person and online, utilizing subject matter experts such as faculty, alumni and employers. Serves as liaison to on-campus stakeholders such as administrators and advisors about available career resources and collaborates on classes, programs, and events.
  • Develops and maintains employer and alumni relationships to create expanded job, internship, and graduate school opportunities.
  • Creates opportunities and collaborates with internal and external partners to secure funding for career and professional transition initiatives. Identifies and work to secure additional resources as needed.
  • Coordinates outreach and marketing of services, resources and opportunities to students, faculty, administrators, and public through appropriate channels.  Develops materials and communicates with students about UWW and BDIC career transitions and professional development services.  Collaborates in the development of innovative web-based and print materials to be used for engagement with employers and prospective students as well as current students.
  • Designs and implements data collection and analysis protocols for assessing student opportunities for and participation in career and professional development programs and services. Measures program results to improve program outcomes. Reports to administrators and colleagues regarding outcomes, trends and needs.
  • Manages hiring, training, and supervising of work-study students and peer advisors.
  • Represents UWW and BDIC in campus-wide or multi­ college-based initiatives to improve career and professional development and transition services. Advises and supports the Career Development Hub to manage recruiting relationships with the goal of improving the number and range of employment opportunities available; networks with employers and obtains job and field experience listings as appropriate.


Other Functions

  • May monitor and manage budget for Career/UWW projects.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


 Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s degree and five (5) years of experience with career or professional development program leadership, student counseling and staff management.
  • Current knowledge of career and professional development for undergraduates, including students from varying work backgrounds and program concentrations.
  • Familiarity with career assessment tools and career management systems.
  • Demonstrated initiative with excellent management and organizational skills.
  • Excellent presentation, interpersonal, verbal/written communication skills.
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with students, faculty, staff, and employers from a wide variety of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated success in developing innovative career development programming, services, and resources.
  • Excellent computer skills with the ability to use quantitative and analytical methods; reporting tools; and to adopt new technological skills.
  • Demonstrated experience with the use or social media and online tools as effective communication, marketing and learning strategy.
  • Ability to advocate for the non-traditional preparation for a wide variety of fields.


 Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s degree in Education, Human Resources, Psychology, Counseling, Social Science discipline, or related field.
  • A proven track record of education-to-job transitions.
  • Demonstrated experience with career assessment tools such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Clifton StrengthsFinder, Focus2, etc. and career management systems such as Handshake, Symplicity and others.


Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Required to work nights or weekends, as necessary.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  •  Typical office work environment.


Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Salary Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.  


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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