Career Management Of Higher Education Teaching Personnel


The article analyzes the career management mechanism of university teachers in modernization of higher education. These days there is a transformation of principles in managing professional opportunities of person in an organization. The system of formation and realization of individual career strategies of university teachers is also changing. In recent years the system of preparing and attestation of academic personnel has noticeably complicated, professional demands to university teachers has become more stringent, in particular, in case of publication activity indicators. Competition on the intra-university labor market has increased. New approaches towards development of career and vocational qualification plans for higher-education teaching personnel are forming in this context. On basis of the analysis of official statistics and the findings of opinion poll among university teachers the general individual career strategies of higher-education teaching personnel have been highlighted. The principal strategy is oriented to the development of scientific potential, the defense of PhD thesis. Career management of higher education teaching personnel is considered as two-way process, which, on the one hand, includes the work of administration and human resources service, and, on the other hand, the work of employee himself. The analysis of current mechanism of career development has been conducted from the lens of main actors of educational relations. The principal target of career planning from the perspective of administration is adaptation and submission of individual career strategies of university teachers to the strategic tasks of the development of the whole university.

Keywords: The career of higher education teaching personnelcareer managementcareer strategies of university teacherthe technologies of professional and vocational development


Russian system of higher education is on stage of transformation. The contradictory nature of the tasks and the lack of a clear transformation mechanism determine the increased attention to problems of higher education on the part of not only experts and practitioners, but also on the part of the public (Nakhratova, Ilina, Zotova, Urzha, & Starostenkov, 2017; Vinichenko, Kirillov, Maloletko, Frolova, & Vinogradova, 2018). Particular interest is provoked in development and realization of new managing models, allowing to increase the effectiveness of education system functioning. One of topical issues of modern universities is the lack of mechanism managing career of higher education teaching personnel. Obviously, classic ideas about building a consistent career path of a teacher do not correspond to real conditions (Buley et al., 2018).

Although all actors of educational relations are directly interested in professional development of a university teacher, real opportunities of career development at the university are very limited. It is connected with the complication of the procedure of PhD thesis defense, the stringency of demands towards higher education teaching personnel, the decrease of effectiveness of current working stimulation system (Kirillov, Melnichuk, Bondaletov, Li, & Svyatitskaya, 2018). Complication of university teachers’ position is aggravated by the destabilization of the situation in the professional labor market and a significant increase in competition in various segments of the teaching community (Ilina, Kryukova, Potekhina, Abyzova, & Shadskaja, 2017).

Problem Statement

In the context of general increased attention of experts and general public to the problems of modernization of higher education, there are very few serious scientific studies on the issues of career and professional qualification growth of university teachers. The comprehension of new trends on the intra-university labor market of teaching personnel more often occurs on an emotional rather than a scientific level. These circumstances induce the necessity of a systematic analysis of the problems of a teacher’s career management in changing environment. The issues of career development of academic staff should be viewed in a context of realization of university’s general image strategy, development of new models of self-realization and self-promotion of university teachers as well as introduction of a system of formalized scientific activity indicators.

Research Questions

It is necessary to investigate the following issues:

  • identification of principal individual career strategies of university teachers on the basis of analysis of official statistics and the results of opinion polls;

  • exposure of new approaches of development and realization of teachers’ careers, evaluation of effectiveness of professional and vocational promoting technologies;

  • analysis of the current mechanism for the formation of the career of teachers from the perspective of the main actors of educational relations.

Purpose of the Study

Purpose of study – to expose the current strategies of professional and vocational growth and career development of higher education teaching personnel as well as to find out principal approaches of teaching career management in a context of modernization of higher institutions in Russia.

Research Methods

A wide range of scientific methods is applied in the study for comprehensive analysis of various aspects of the professional and qualification development of university teachers. There are methods of typological, historical – genetic, comparative analysis. Marketing technologies of the intra-university labor market research are used as well, in particular, methods of socio-demographic segmentation.

The empirical base of the research is statistical data – the results of monitoring of the educational sphere conducted by the Higher School of Economics NRU, and data of opinion polls and interviews of higher education teaching personnel conducted at the Russian State Social University in two stages in 2009-2012 and in 2014-2017.


The conducted research affords to identify the most popular career strategies of higher education teaching personnel. The most popular strategy is oriented to the development of scientific potential, the defense of PhD thesis. According to findings of opinion polls of RSSU academic staff the motivational and status value of academic degrees is not in doubt. More than 43 % of respondents with degree of Candidate of Science are planning the defence of doctorate thesis. Teachers from 31 to 40 years old are the most active in this case. More 70 % of those are working on doctorate thesis.

As a part of the study the other career preferences among teaching personnel were identified:

– “administrative and managerial career” (active professional qualification growth, achievement of status managerial positions),

“stability and reliability of the workplace” (maintaining a guaranteed stable position in the hierarchy, lack of aspirations for professional growth),

– “self-realization” (possibility of choice among non-standard, creative tasks, participation in interesting projects, consolidation of formal positions does not matter),

– “utmost personal freedom and independence” (as free as possible working schedule, minimization of external administrative control),

– forced nature of work at the university, desire to make a career elsewhere (attitude to the university as a temporary place of work, hope to find better working place).

Gender analysis of career strategies has not identified clear discriminating exertions, connected with unequal access to status positions; however, the professional and vocational university structure looks like “vertical” pyramid. On the lower levels the share of women is almost 2 times higher than men - women make up about 2/3 of assistants and teachers. The most difficult position for women to achieve is the position of professor, - women occupy this position 2 times less than men. In recent decades managing positions have become more open for women, although on highest levels of job ladder – the level of the rector of university – their representation still remains unperceptible.

The concept of self-marketing should be considered as basis for the formation of new strategies of a university teacher in the professional activity (Demcheko, Karácsony, Ilina, Vinichenko, & Melnichuk, 2017). The main principle of this approach consists of formation and development of personal brand, constant increase of the market value of oneself, and, as a result, the sale of a personal brand on the most favorable conditions.

The technology of self-marketing of a teacher is based on the following principles:

– a successful teacher is an active creator of their career, who uses all opportunities for self-branding and self-marketing;

– a teacher is a public figure, information about their scientific, teaching and expert activity are freely available;

– a teaching skill does not have neither formal measurement, and therefore nor image value, the classical forms of academic recognition in this area are outdated;

– there is a constant search for new technologies of career self-promotion, the various forms of participation in business structures with big political weight are eagerly sought;

– formal indicators of scientific (first of all, publication) activity are the main “ace” of a university teacher in context of stringent competition.

In the current context career management is considered

А) as a function of managing employee's professional opportunities in organization

B) as two-way process, on the one hand, it is the work of managers and human resources service, on the other hand, it is the employee’s personal efforts to form their own career plan.

According to analysis of career strategies of higher education teaching personnel the role of human resources service in managing university teachers’ career promotion has essentially declined in recent years. The form of administration’s participation in the system of managing teachers’ career has transformed, too. From the standpoint of managers the principal target of career planning is adaptation and submission of individual career teaching strategies to the strategic objectives of the university development. A teacher receives new opportunities to effectively build their career paths, implementing the latest technology of self-marketing and self-promotion.

Career management of higher education teaching personnel is employed in principal directions:

- research activity (ensuring a high level of scientific activity, for instance, preparing research papers in journals, indexed in international databases, work on scientific grants);

- teaching activity (educational and methodological support of the educational process, preparing textbooks and teaching handbooks);

- professional and vocational development (creating conditions for advanced training, academic mobility, defense of PhD thesis, obtaining academic ranks);

- expert activity (organization of non-academic activity with a value not only for a teacher, but also for university, for instance, participation in business forums, work in public organizations and expert communities).

One of the main strategic management tasks at the university is to achieve the optimal balance between the conscientious performance of the teacher’s basic professional duties (teaching classes, preparation of teaching materials, management of theses etc.) and ensuring an acceptable level of “image” indicators.


The conducted study affords to form a systemic idea of the main problems and trends (including latent) of career development practices of teachers at Russian universities. The development of recommendations to minimize the negative consequences of managerial decisions in the HR sphere has great theoretical and practical significance. The results of the study may become a base for more effective usage of scientific and teaching potential of university. The identification of particular career strategies makes it possible to plan career management activities taking into account the motivational features of teachers. In general, the conditions for optimization of university’s HR policy are created, which is particularly important in context of higher school modernization.


Copyright information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

About this article

Publication Date

09 March 2020

eBook ISBN



European Publisher



Print ISBN (optional)


Edition Number

1st Edition




Business, business ethics, social responsibility, innovation, ethical issues, scientific developments, technological developments

Cite this article as:

Ilina*, I., & Buley, N. (2020). Career Management Of Higher Education Teaching Personnel. In S. I. Ashmarina, & V. V. Mantulenko (Eds.), Global Challenges and Prospects of the Modern Economic Development, vol 79. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 714-718). European Publisher.