Learning could be such a boring adventure but professors have a special knack of making the whole journey fun. If you too are passionate and gifted at imparting proper learning outcomes into people then you may need to also consider becoming a professor.
While it isn’t everyone who finds it fulfilling to be up in front of the classroom to teach, professors are just gifted at it. They make every moment of learning quite engaging and interesting and as a result, are usually rewarded handsomely.
Part of what you’ll find here in this article are insider secrets on how to become a professor in less time. Do really take your time to read through!
For me, some of the best moments I had way back in college were the moments I listened to some of my professors communicate certain thoughts to us. The reason is that professors do not just lecture, they employ and engage various untapped teaching methods to communicate learning outcomes.
They employ and use their long-standing experience in academia to make learning a lot easier and fun and due to the quality of value they provide, professors are heavy income earners.
According to the Bureau for Labour Statistics, junior professors earn an average salary of $79,540 every year and the job outlook for professors is expected to increase by 11 percent from 2018 to 2028.
Looking to pursue this career path, here’s a quick guide. Take your time to really read through all of it but meanwhile, see the table of content here below for an overview of what you’ll find in this article.
- Who is a Professor?
- What does a Professor do?
- How many years of school is required to become a Professor?
- Is becoming a Professor hard?
- How much does it cost to become a Professor?
- How much does a Professor make?
- Steps to Becoming a Professor: Full guide
- How To Become A Professor: Frequently Asked Questions
- Author’s Recommendation
Who is a Professor?
In very simple and clear terms, a Professor is a teacher in a college or university who has attained the highest academic rank or cadre.
They are usually associated with the title Prof. before their name.
A Professor is basically the most senior in a particular field. What this means is that, for one to be conferred a professorship honor, they must have attained the highest form of learning there is their chosen field or career.
One can become a professor in any chosen area. This depends on what area of study one is specialized in and one’s research path too.
What does a Professor do?
Generally, professors have the responsibility of often conducting research. They are also tasked with teaching undergraduate, professional, and or postgraduate courses related to their fields of expertise.
Professors are commonly found in universities where they play many other roles aside from teaching.
When not engaged in teaching, professors are found performing the tasks of mentors and supervisors for undergraduate and graduate students during their projects, thesis, and dissertations.
In the same vein, college professors are responsible for preparing course materials.
Furthermore, professors provide academic leadership to the University. They serve as heads of departments, heads of faculties, and general school heads.
How many years of school is required to become a Professor?
Sincerely, becoming a professor takes a lot of rigors and training. It requires many years of graduate-level education following the completion of a bachelor’s degree.
Your area of study notwithstanding, you’d really to put in a lot of time to become a post-secondary teacher.
Depending on the school you attend and how proactive you are through the whole process, you may be spending about 8 to 10 years to become a professor.
Usually, the flow involves a bachelor’s degree which usually takes 4–5 years, a Master’s which takes another 1–3 years, and a Ph.D. and at least another 3 years after that.
Just know you’ll not put in a number years lower than 8 years to become a professor.
Is becoming a Professor hard?
This is one of the hardest questions I’m made to answer, truly. But I’m going to find a way to answer it though.
Sincerely, I really don’t it is difficult to become a professor. It simply depends upon how smart you are, how hard you work, your field, your institution, and your personality.
If you are someone who loves to read, write, and who loves to stay committed and focused on their goals, it will be quite an easy dream for you to actualize.
The only problem I have with this is the long period of time it takes to complete all the rigorous pieces of training of becoming a professor.
How much does it cost to become a Professor?
Placing a price tag on how much it costs to become a college professor is really not easy because nobody can accurately place it.
However, it is important to note that how much you spend in your process and journey of becoming a professor at a university greatly depends on the quality of schools you attend.
On average, you can expect to spend between $150, 000- $200, 000 to become a college professor.
How much does a Professor make?
While considering how much a professor can make, there are a number of factors we consider. Some of such factors include the type of institution they work for, their professional experience.
For instance, professors who work at private colleges and universities earn an average salary of $77,170 while those working at state schools earn $79,340.
In the same vein, professors at state junior colleges make about $56,030 a year.
According to the Bureau for Labour Statistics, junior professors earn an average salary of $79,540 every year while the top ten percent earn $170,160 on average.
Here below is a table that shows how much professors earn across some states in the United States.
Steps to Becoming a Professor: Full guide
1. Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming a professor is to acquire a bachelor’s degree. You can begin by pursuing an undergraduate level training in the area you want to specialize in. Although It is not always necessary to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field you want to base.
However, you can still choose to continue with the coursework you did at your undergraduate level in your graduate studies. While this is not quite necessary, it is also important because it will provide you with the foundational studies needed to move on to the next level.
But, in any way, you may still choose to continue with another discipline after your bachelor’s program in one discipline.
2. Attend A Graduate School
The next thing you’d need to do after you’ve completed your bachelor’s program is to attend a graduate school.
Acquire A Master’s Degree
Usually, graduate studies begin with the master’s program. During your master’s program, you’d need to either further on the course you completed at your bachelor’s level or you can choose to get into another discipline. The master’s program usually takes 1 to 3 years to complete. At the end of your master’s program, you’d be required to write a master’s thesis which is research work.
Acquire A Doctoral Degree
Once you are done with your master’s degree, you’d need to begin a doctoral degree program. Usually, a Ph.D. is required for most full-time faculty positions, especially at the university level.
Interestingly, some selected Ph.D. programs in various fields offer students the opportunity to pursue a degree without necessarily having to hold a master’s degree first. Doctoral degree coursework usually takes about two to three years for many fields of study.
One of the more time-consuming aspects of becoming a professor is in completing the dissertation. The dissertation is a book-length piece of original research that the aspiring professor completes in order to qualify for the Ph.D.
While delivering your dissertation, you’d be required to contribute new insight and research in the field you wish to specialize in.
Completing the dissertation is usually the most difficult part of acquiring a Ph.D. How long it takes to complete the dissertation varies depending on how proactive a student is. How much much help you get from your mentors and supervisors can also influence the outcome of your dissertation.
4. Network and Engage in Post Doctoral Activities
After acquiring your Ph.D., you’d still need to do a few more things to really qualify you fully to become a university professor. You’d need to attend seminars, conferences, lectures, and symposiums.
You’d also need to write and publish a lot of research articles and books in your chosen area. Sincerely, publications are very important for individuals who want to become professors.
Having a track record of published research works during and after graduate school will give you an edge over your competition and will help land huge paying teaching jobs.
How To Become A Professor: Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need work experience in the area I want to teach in before I can become a professor?
This is not quite necessary but at the same time, some schools would require that you have some level of experience for them to consider you. what this means is that if you wish to become a professor, you’d need to engage in some real world work activities so as to have the required experience.
Is it necessary for me to have a license to become a professor?
This does not apply in all scenarios. Candidates of Professional fields where licenses and issued and required should endeavor to provide their licenses as it is what validates their training. Professors of medicine, nursing etc. are deeply concerned here.
How many years does it take to become a professor?
On average, it takes about 8 to 11 yeas to complete the requirements to becoming a professor.
Can you be a professor with a master’s degree?
Some selected Ph.D. programs in various fields offer students the opportunity to pursue a degree without necessarily having to hold a master’s degree first. However, most schools will require a PhD.
The path to becoming a professor is unarguably a very rigorous one and at the same time very lucrative. The first step to the path of becoming a professor is to acquire a bachelor’s degree after which you will need a master’s degree to continue to the next level. The next level is acquiring a Ph.D. After you’ve completed a doctoral degree program, you’ll need to engage in post-doctoral studies, write a number of publications to qualify to become a professor. We hope these steps we’ve given you here on how to become a professor guides you well.
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