how to become a college professor

How to Become a University Professor

To become a professor of a subject is to become a true master of an area of knowledge. An expert professor is trusted and valued by fellow faculty, administrators, the academic community, and especially students! Many savvy students appraise universities by their faculty first and foremost. Finding a course on a subject that you’re passionate about, taught by someone whose expertise you respect, is a college dream come true. So how do you rise to the challenge of becoming a university professor? Besides deep knowledge in a subject area, you’ll also need to have teaching experience, leadership, and classroom management skills, as well as curriculum building abilities. Earning an M.Ed., otherwise known as a Master’s in Education, is one great way to get closer to your goals of becoming a university professor.

Goodwin University’s Master’s in Education program is focused on providing useful, career-building material to aspiring educators. For example, this program’s curriculum includes lessons such as Curriculum Theory, Teacher Leadership, and Leading Professional Learning. Through just a few examples, it’s clear to see the congruency between teaching and leadership.

According to one Harvard Business Review writer with 10 years’ worth of research on leadership, Finkelstein reports that the best leaders – in industries as diverse as finance and the public sector – are teachers. This writer found that lessons imparted through methods other than one might formally expect, such as performance reviews, had a positive influence on company performance. Individuals and teams who felt supported and encouraged by wise, hands-on, keenly timed, custom-tailored instruction had better results to show for it. Increased employee loyalty and interest are just a few benefits. Think back on some of your favorite teachers throughout your life. Wouldn’t you agree that the most creative lessons are the ones that have stuck in your memory? University professors who train on creative teaching methods have a better chance of keeping students engaged and producing better results for both pupils and their institution.

An M.Ed. is a perfect trajectory for individuals who already have some work experience. A master’s program that is built for responsible, working adults should also respect your time and priorities, and online and hybrid programs do just this. In fact, you need experience to be a candidate for admissions to an M.Ed. program. Whether you are teaching, caring for a family, or otherwise making a living, it should be a relief to hear that at Goodwin University you can attain your M.Ed. completely online. All 30 credits are available through synchronous or asynchronous online classes. Plus, up to 12 credits can be transferred from previous learning.

There’s another very good reason why you might want to consider bringing your passion for learning to others through becoming a university professor. Postsecondary teachers are needed in the U.S., and about 139,600 jobs are projected to open annually from 2020 to 2030. That’s a 12% growth rate, which is faster than average for all occupations! Teaching at the college level is often a full-time job, but some professors balance a part-time course load with research, writing, and publishing, or with another related professional practice. Whether you achieve tenure at one university, or bounce around to multiple colleges as an adjust professor, college teachers find satisfaction in training minds that are interested in the same subjects that they are.

By far, the greatest need for postsecondary teachers is in healthcare education. Postsecondary health specialties teachers will see a demand of 24% between 2020 and 2030 which is double the average demand for postsecondary educators. The aging baby boomer population is living longer than previous generations, requiring extended healthcare services in numbers that have not previously been supported by America’s healthcare system. It will be impossible to meet the healthcare requirements of this generation without trained healthcare professionals, which means professors to teach them! University professor salaries are not too shabby. In 2020, the average professor made $80,560 annually. Luckily, not only are health specialties teachers in demand, but they are also paid more than average or $99,090 annually. Only law teachers, economics teachers, and engineering teachers are paid better.

There are many possible career results from getting your M.Ed. Some education professionals prefer to use their M.Ed. to work in more advanced school administration and management positions, such as registrar or president. Other people may go into special education, for which a master’s degree is required. Becoming a school principal is yet another route. Consider your talents, interests, and importantly, the student group you wish to serve. University professors should fulfill these soft skills and learned capabilities:

  • Professional
  • Self-starters
  • Subject matter experts
  • Excellent communicators
  • Good role models
  • Ethical and fair

Requirements to Become a University Professor

Earning your Master’s in Education is an important step in becoming a university professor. Here are a few more steps to take that will help you reach this goal:

  • Understand the education requirements for your desired field. As a prospective professor, you must go in knowing the level of education required for the subject you intend to teach, as well as the state in which you intend to teach it. For example, Connecticut state requirements for postsecondary teachers vary depending on the subject matter. Nursing teachers at the postsecondary level need a master’s degree, as do art, drama, and music teachers. Postsecondary economics, engineering, and biology teachers are required to have a doctoral degree.
  • Earn certification. As you start your career path, be sure to research, study for, and achieve any required certifications or licensures for your subject area and, once again, your state. Teacher certifications are a requirement in Connecticut, and in many states across the U.S.
  • Gain work experience in your desired field. Whether that means apprenticing, student teaching, or becoming a research assistant, experience is an enormous part of earning your position as a postsecondary teacher. For most jobs, at least two, but up to five, years of experience will be required.

A Master’s in Education can give you the skills and experience needed to level-up your career and become a professor. To find out more about how an M.Ed. could help you advance your career in education, do not hesitate to get in touch. You can contact one of our admissions representatives by calling 800-889-3282, or visiting Goodwin University online!