AACRAO Releases 2020 Career Profile of Chief Enrollment Management Officers

December 8, 2020
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Contact: AACRAO Communications

AACRAO Releases 2020 Career Profile of Chief Enrollment Management Officers
Report covers demographics, reporting and responsibilities, and career paths and mobility during COVID.


The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) has published its third chief enrollment management officer career profile report in the last six years. The reports help build an understanding of CEMO’s responsibilities over time and provide those seeking entry into the career an understanding of the typical career path.

The 2020 survey, conducted during the coronavirus pandemic, received almost 300 responses, permitting insight into questions about how the crisis is affecting the profession.

As with previous years, the current report underscored that CEMOs are a mobile population; more than half of respondents had been in their positions less than five years — although the vast majority of them have spent their entire profession in higher education. Further, despite the comparatively high turnover in the CEMO position, there has been no noticeable shift in CEMO position participation rate by race, ethnicity, or gender since the first report was released in 2014. In the 2020 data, 84 percent of survey respondents identify as white.


  • 73 percent of CEMOs are part of the institution’s executive leadership team.
  • 71 percent have four to nine direct reports.
  • 70 percent say the pandemic has not affected their career plans.
AACRAO research indicates that there are likely to be several hundred CEMO openings in the United States in the next three years. To offer guidance for that career path, the report also explored the responsibilities, workloads, and common challenges faced by CEMOs and asked respondents what skills they considered most important to the position.

“An enrollment manager should provide leadership in change management, systems thinking, quantitative assessment, data exploration, human capital development, and collaborative goal development,” commented one respondent.

For more data and analysis, as well as words of wisdom from current CEMOs, download the full report here.


AACRAO is a non-profit, voluntary, professional association of more than 11,000 higher education professionals representing approximately 2,600 institutions in more than 40 countries. Its commitment to the professional development of its members includes best practice guidance on admissions strategies to meet institutional diversity objectives, delivery of academic programs in innovative ways to meet the needs of a changing student body, and exemplary approaches to student retention and completion.