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How does a person become a university professor?

I think I'd enjoy a teaching job in the future but with better pay than middle or high school teachers. If I am interested in becoming a professor, what is the process? What are the qualifications?

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Victoria,

First, you'll need at least a Master's Degree to teach at the university. You would be an Adjunct Professor. You have some options on what to teach. As a teacher, you might want to teach undergraduate education courses to help prepare future teachers. I have done that. I had lots of input on designing these courses.

Now, I teach a course that helps students explore their major and the resources the university has to support them. This course is already designed so I have little curriculum input. I'm more like a coach.

I have taught in person and online. I actually like teaching online! I like the flexibility. I do miss seeing my students, my with Zoom, we can meet up in the course virtually.

Here's an article you might find interesting: Reasons to Become an Adjunct Professor and How to Do It

Good luck,

Thank you comment icon Thanks so much Stephanie. This is super helpful! Completely agree with you on the online learning format. Victoria
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Patricia Marie’s Answer

Hi Victoria! Great question. I have worked in higher ed for almost a decade. It sounds like you are curious about how to become a college professor. Depending on the level (undergrad/ grad) and where you are teaching, you may need only a bachelor's degree + maybe a teaching credential, a master's degree (most likely needed to become a lecturer/ adjunct at a college/ univ, or a PhD (terminal degree, tenure/ non-tenure track/ full time professor). Ultimately also depends on the school itself...

so first think about the subject matter in which you would like to teach and work backwards from there- for example.. Undergrad level biology professors in a local univ to you- check their linkedin or ask them- what kind of major/ level of education did they need in order to teach in that field? What kind of teaching jobs are available to them?

Hope this helps and good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you Patricia I really appreciate it! Definitely going to look into LinkedIn. This is great thank you!! Victoria
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Anabel’s Answer

Hello Victoria,

I have been a teacher for 10 years in different universities. I tell you how I did it.

Before becoming a university teacher, you need to graduate of something you like. For example I graduated from computer engineer and in the meanwhile I was part of different programs that allow me to be a monitor, or teach simple clases. You can ask the teacher of your favorite subjects how you can help. Maybe in short practical classes or maybe in specific activities.
Finally you can ask the chief department how you can do to stay in the university, if there is any open positions.

Also after you graduate, you can become a part-time teacher. You will need a master degree, and eventually a phd, is a long way, but a really beautiful one. You can apply for scholarship to make your phd, many universities are looking for phd students.

Good luck! And you have more questions, here we are, bests!

Anabel recommends the following next steps:

Decide what you want to teach
Ask teachers to become a monitor
Thank you comment icon Anabel, thank you so much! This had cleared up so many questions I had about teaching professions! Much appreciated. Hope everything goes well for you! Victoria
Thank you comment icon For a college professor who is a chair though you would need a PhD, several years as post-doc followed by around a decade as junior faculty. For teaching, you can just become a lecturer, which some schools permit after masters degree or some require a PhD. Onur K. Polat, PhD
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Dr Nadeem’s Answer

This required a PhD Degree in the Concerned Subject you want to teach in the University. It requires the foundation of that perticular course at UG and PG Degree level.So pls choose a subjects in which you are having interest for the PhD research course after the completion of PhD you shall get a job as Lecturer or Asstt. Professor in the University or in a Degree College.

Goodluck for your Career Endeavors in coming future.

Dr Nadeem Mian
Career Advisor