Career Progression in Academic-Professional Hybrid Roles

Last week The Guardian (Australian Edition) published an interesting article about the potential downsides of being professional services staff with an academic background at a higher education institution.

The article, Work in an academic-professional hybrid role? Say goodbye to career progression was written by an "anonymous academic", highlights the position that many academic librarians face. We blur the lines of professional staff and academic staff, something that tends to not fit will within the traditional career paths of Australian universities.

I now realise that some academics see me as someone who is just there to help them, while others see me as purely academic. But it’s also an inherent feature of the job: it’s hard to focus your work when you spread yourself thinly. Moving up within the institution is difficult when others are specialised, and you feel you do a bit of everything.

Of course not all librarians want to be on an academic career path, but the structures should better recognise the work that we do on both sides of the academic-professional line.

Give the article a read and tell us what you think? What has been your experience working in higher education?


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