A Career as a Professor offers enormous opportunities in the education sector in terms of stability and job prospects. It takes a lot of time and requirements before you can become a professor. But with patience and hard work, it is possible to achieve this feat if you are determined to do so. Becoming a Professor requires a high level of dedication to your chosen field of education.
A Career as a Professor is the highest rank in the tertiary education system. Professors are in charge of giving high-level instruction and assistance in certain fields to students in colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning. You can become a Professor in any field you wish to pursue whether it’s science, arts or commercial. Being a professor can be a rewarding profession, but fulfilling the eligibility requirements can take several years.
I will walk you through the career prospects for professors and how to venture into a career as a professor.
How to Pursue a Career as a Professor
Obtain an O’level Certificate
This is the first requirement in pursuing a career as a professor. You need to get a minimum of credits in the relevant subjects of the field you wish to pursue. It is impossible to become a professor in any field without an O’level certificate.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
This is the stage where you decide the particular career path you want to become a professor. You should enrol in a bachelor’s degree programme of your choice which typically lasts four-six years depending on your career choice.
Pursue and Master’s Degree
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree you should enrol in a master’s degree programme of your choice. The choice, of course, can be the course you studied during your bachelor’s degree or a course related to it. However, you must have in mind the career field you want to be a professor in and follow that field of study. Additionally, having a good grade in your master’s programme can make you eligible to work as a lecturer. This will also help you advance in your career pursuit.
Obtain a Doctoral Degree
The next step on your path to becoming a professor is to earn a PhD. The PhD, often known as a Doctor of Philosophy, normally requires four to six years to complete. This is dependent on the design of the course of study, the subject area you are studying and the institution. You must have an area of specialisation in which you would attain a professorship in.
Have Expertise in a Subject Area
A professor is expected to possess a high level of expertise in his chosen field. You need to show this skill or expertise in your research and dissertation works. You must have this expertise and some universities would require that you have a history of research.
Gain Practical Experience
Another requirement you must achieve before you can rise to the level of a professor is acquiring teaching experience. It is important that you either work as a graduate assistant to gain enough teaching experience while pursuing your doctoral degree. Additionally, you can also gain teaching experience by tutoring adults or taking a part-time job as a teacher. Furthermore, you must have up to three years of teaching experience as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate professor.
Research and Public Academic Work
It is required for you to contribute to academic blogs, websites, magazines and other publications in other to gain a reputation as an authority in your field. You have to publish at least ten research publications and high-quality papers to advance to a professor.
Workplace of a Professor
A professor’s workplace is often lively and engaging. It provides chances for working together lecturing and conducting research. It is an environment which has the tools and resources you need to succeed in your profession.
- Laboratories: Professors in the science and engineering fields have access to laboratories which they use to perform experiments and gather data.
- Library: They frequently use the library’s facilities and its materials, such as books, and journals to aid their research and teachings.
- Office: Professors usually have their own offices where they interact with students, do research and handle administrative duties.
- Classroom: Professors provide lectures and lead discussions in a classroom which can be a large lecture hall or a seminar room.
The path to pursuing a career as a professor is demanding as it requires a multi-level educational programme. It also requires a lifetime commitment to study, writing and publication. If you’re determined to take the path of being a professor, you should be committed to life-long learning as this career path demands that you keep studying.
Furthermore, Professors have skills and abilities that make them unique from other professions. You should develop the ability to balance teaching and research duties. You should also be able to conduct independent research and provide subject-related advice.