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Inside College Professor Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

 

Biggest Surprises


"I Was Unable To Find Steady, Full-Time Employment...
That it has been so difficult to find full-time work." (Professor; 2014)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Oregon, male
School: Studied Humanities at University Of Colorado in Colorado; completed Master degree in 2008


"We Do Much Work Not Related To Teaching Or Our Disciplines...
The amount of time I spend outside of computer science is the thing that surprises me most about my career. You spend years training to become an academic expert in the field, by the insistence of the administration, accreditation bodies, and general public, then you end up spending your time figuring out how to recruit students, motivate those who are only marginally interested in your material, assessing other faculty members, grinding away for hours on committee work, but very little actual discipline work." (Professor; 2013)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Kent State University in Ohio; completed Doctorate degree in 2010


"Independence In Teaching Strategies...
I think the thing that is most surprising the fact that I am left alone to find my way a lot of times. People expect me to succeed and I do not have someone looking over my shoulder all the time. It feels good to have the reigns myself - I think a lot of people in my profession agrees with this too." (Instructor Of Communication; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in West Virginia, male
School: Studied Communication at Virginia Tech in Virginia; completed Master degree in 2012


"As An Assistant Professor Of English, I Am Barely Surviving...
I am surprised by how much of my income goes toward student loans. That amount is so high that I'm having trouble surviving. I might need to get another job to make ends meet." (Assistant Professor Of English; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied English at University Of South Dakota in South Dakota; completed Doctorate degree in 2009


"Teaching Turns Introvert Into Part-Time Extrovert...
I was surprised that I would enjoy teaching as much as I do. I am very shy and introverted. I thought I was going to get an advanced degree in chemistry and return to industry. As an incoming graduate student, I was nervous about being a teaching assistant. But as I gained experience throughout the term, I liked it more and more. I am still shy, but teaching allows me to present myself in a more extroverted fashion and this has helped me feel more confident in general social situations (another nice surprise!). You really never know what doors will open when you start following your path so be open to various possibilities!" (Chemistry Lecturer; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, female
School: Studied Chemistry at University Of Wisconsin - Madison in Wisconsin; completed Master degree in 1996


"Teaching Is More About Bureaucracy Than Education...
Much of my teaching career is consumed by grading, paperwork, and bureaucratic endeavors. The actual education of the students often seems secondary to rules and regulations. Also, as a part-time instructor, my pay is terrible. Despite needing advanced education to instructor college students, I cannot even make a living wage with part-time teaching." (Adjunct Instructor; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Sociology at Florida State University in Florida; completed Master degree in 2008


"Students Provide Fresh Perspective...
1. I was shocked at the pettiness of academics. 2. The independence of an academic gives great freedom to arrange one's schedule 3. Students provide a great deal of intellectual stimulation as they are not preconditioned to think like experienced people in the field - they are far more open-minded and often more insightful" (Professor Of Pubic Health; 2013)

Career: 22 years of experience, currently based in Indiana, male
School: Studied Health Services Research, Policy, And Administration at University Of Minnesota in Minnesota; completed Doctorate degree in 2005


"Adjunct Pay Is Low...
How badly adjuncts are paid." (Professor; 2014)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Rhode Island, male
School: Studied Philosophy at Brown University in Rhode Island; completed Doctorate degree in 2007


"Teaching Skills Are Not Very Important...
An academic career is primarily NOT focused on teaching. Rather, the most prestigious positions and rewards as a professor involve being released from teaching obligations to research, write, and publish." (Professor; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Oklahoma, male
School: Studied History at University Of Tennessee in Tennessee; completed Master degree in 2007


"Enhancing The Lives Of Students Through Writing...
I was most surprised to find that when teaching basic writing I am touching a student's life. I help students to obtain the necessary tools in writing that will allow them to enhance their skills in both writing and in all of the other classes that they may take. Learning to become a good writer is what I hope that I hope that I give my students." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 25 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, female
School: Studied English And Education at Kent State University in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree in 2006


"Lack Of Effort On The Part Of Students...
I was surprised to discover how entitled students are these days and how poorly educated they are. Most of my students, whether they are freshmen or seniors, struggle to write coherent, well-organized papers. Additionally, despite not doing half the work and not doing well on the work they do complete, students are surprised when they don't get a good grade. They then ask you to bump their grade, only occasionally asking if they can do extra credit (despite not doing the extra credit offered during the semester) to improve their grade. It's like they have this belief that because they enrolled and put in minimal effort that they should at least pass the class." (Adjunct Professor; 2014)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Developmental Psychology at Northern Illinois University in Illinois; completed Master degree in 2011


"It's Hard To Keep Up With The Times...
I think most people would be surprised at the number of hoops we have to jump through to get small changes made to a curriculum or even a single class. We are given a specific toolset to work with and a list of criteria we have to meet for any given class, and we have to work with it even if it's out of date or isn't an optimal choice. It can take months or even years to get approval to make changes and get up to date with current research and technology." (Instructor; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Oregon, female
School: Studied Computer Game Development at Mt Hood Community College in Oregon; completed Associate degree in 2012


"No Boss Is No Job...
I was surprised by how much interaction I still needed to have with others to do my job. I thought that by simply getting my PhD I would be my own boss, but that's not entirely true." (Assistant Professor; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Psychology at Iowa State University in Iowa; completed Doctorate degree in 2012


"Broad Responsibilities...
I'm still surprised at how broad my responsibilities are. I teach college and also pastor a church. I do social work, counseling, and teach English to immigrants." (Minister -- Clergy; 2014)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in Arizona, male
School: Studied Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California; completed Doctorate degree in 1993


"Teaching Is Hard, But Very Satisfying...
Teaching students is surprising in at least two simultaneous ways: It is much harder than you might think and it is also much more rewarding than you might think. If a student has only ever seen professors at a large school, they may be surprised with how different things feel at a smaller school, where professor-student interaction is possible at an entirely different level." (Professor; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Iowa, male
School: Studied Physics at University Of Wisconsin Madison in Wisconsin; completed Doctorate degree in 2012


"Less Attention Is Paid To Details Of Education That Should Be...
I was surprised that there are so few requirements to provide such in depth education. I am surprised such little attention is paid to our future." (Adjunct Instructor; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Arizona, female
School: Studied Liberal Arts at Arizona State University in Arizona; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"Research Trumps Teaching...
I was surprised that research is a more significant part of college teaching than the teaching itself. The bulk of a professor's responsibility is fulfilling their research obligations so that tenure can be achieved; often, this comes at the expense of quality classroom instruction." (Lecturer; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Mathematics at Binghamton University in New York; completed Master degree in 2004


"Who Knew I Would Be A Good Educator...
I never knew that I would be such a good educator. It is not something I thought about when I was younger because I thought I was going to be a MD or DMD. This profession allows me to be a life long learner, wear many hats, make a different in students' lives, and is rewarding. The profession can be draining especially when you give your all so that your students are successful and understand course content." (Senior Lecturer; 2014)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Massachusetts, female
School: Studied Biology at Boston University in Massachusetts; completed Master degree in 2007


"An Unanticipated Amount Of A Professor's Work Is Administrative...
I really love teaching - it is an absolute joy to engage with students about fascinating topics every day. What has surprised me the most about this job, however, is the amount of administrative work that I also have to do. I spend a great amount of time serving on committees, in collecting and reporting information, and in running the department - and enjoy this all far less than teaching." (College Professor; 2014)

Career: 14 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, female
School: Studied Philosophy at Duke University in North Carolina; completed Doctorate degree in 2000


"Professors' Additional Responsibilities...
I was surprised at how much service enters into this profession. While I expected to do research and teach, I was not prepared for the amount of committee work." (English Professor; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, male
School: Studied American Literature at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee; completed Doctorate degree in 2002


"Autonomy...
It has surprised me both how much autonomy there is in my profession, but it also has surprised me that there are very few jobs available." (Professor; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied English at University Of North Texas in Texas; completed Master degree in 2012


"Professors Have Freedom To Explore A Variety Of Issues...
I was surprised at the degree of freedom that my career allows. I could do research and publish results on topics outside my area of expertise and have those activities help advance my career. This is more flexibility than exists in most jobs." (Professor; 2013)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Geology at Yale University in Connecticut; completed Doctorate degree in 1976


"Salary Not Consistent With Required Credentials...
I am surprised by the poor pay rates in higher education considering the amount of education needed to perform the job. As a teacher, I am very surprised at how influential I am in the lives of my students." (Professor Of Management; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in South Carolina, male
School: Studied Business/Management at Trident University International in California; completed Doctorate degree in 2012


"Flexibility...
Even though I have a variety of duties in my career, I've been most pleasantly surprised by the level of flexibility I get to enjoy. I really get to set my own schedule and decide when I want to work on particular projects. This type of freedom is exactly what excites me about being in academia. I am also often surprised by how people think I just primarily teach. While I love teaching undergraduate students, the majority of my time is spent in research endeavors and also in training students (undergraduate and graduate) in research." (Assistant Professor; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Iowa, female
School: Studied Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University (Graduate School) in Michigan; completed Doctorate degree in 2011


"Under Pressure...
I was surprised at how high the performance expectations are. While my main job is teaching, I am still expected to conduct research and provide service to the university and greater community." (College Professor; 2013)

Career: 20 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, female
School: Studied Sociology at Penn State University in Pennsylvania; completed Doctorate degree in 2007


"The importance of the business aspect of a university is often not part of the public perception, but plays a dominant role in day to day life. The amount of grant money I bring in is the lynch pin upon which it is founded. Teaching skills and related pedagogy are a distant second and often present as lip-service at best," (Professor; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Vermont, male
School: Studied Computer Science at Virginia Tech in Virginia; completed Master degree in 1983


"Student Performance...
I am surprised by how many of my students do the minimum work that is required. I am also surprised by the amount of students who cheat in my courses and are upset when they get zeros for cheating." (Online Instructor, Adjunct; 2012)

Career: 11 years of experience, currently based in Louisiana, female
School: Studied Molecular And Cellular Biology at Washington University In St. Louis in Missouri; completed Doctorate degree in 1999


"Teaching Takes A Back Seat...
How small the actual attention is paid to teaching compared to research in terms of salary and promotion, although teaching is the face put on the job for the public" (Professor; 2012)

Career: 14 years of experience, currently based in Nevada, male
School: Studied English at Yale University in Connecticut; completed Doctorate degree in 1996


"Interesting Work...
Although I had no intention to become a college professor I did find that to be a very interesting and challenging field of endeavor. I find I really enjoy talking in the classroom and discussing some of the current political issues and questions with my students." (Political Scientist; 2012)

Career: 20 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, male
School: Studied Political Science at University Of Virginia in Virginia; completed Doctorate degree in 1972


"Jobs Are Had To Secure...
How competitive it was to get a tenure track job. There is a lot of labor exploitation in the field." (Professor; 2012)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Philosophy at Ithaca College in New York; completed Master degree in 2003


"I was surprised how many different tasks are involved in being a professor. It wasn't explained fully to me in school." (Professor; 2012)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Kentucky, male
School: Studied Biostatistics at University Of Kentucky in Kentucky; completed Doctorate degree in 2007


"I was surprised that instructors at this level have so much freedom to choose their own curriculum. I knew that I would have more choice in this than K-12, but the course design is entirely my own. You are not just selling yourself in an interview, you are selling your course to the application committee." (Community College Instructor; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Arizona, female
School: Studied History at University Of Nebraska At Kearney in Nebraska; completed Master degree in 2012


"I was surprised to find that my job requires so much administrative work. I spend a lot of time filling out paperwork, gathering data for internal reports and other tasks necessary for the university to function. I knew that service was a job responsibility but I didn't realize the extent of how much would be needed." (Professor; 2012)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Arkansas, male
School: Studied Psychology at The University Of Mississippi in Mississippi; completed Doctorate degree in 2006


"I'm perpetually surprised by the amount of work that goes into teaching college and the complete misunderstanding of what professors do by the general public. It's hard to concretely explain to people what it is you spend your day doing, so it seems like you do nothing, but teaching college has been the most I've ever worked." (Professor; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Texas, female
School: Studied Sociology at New School in New York; completed Doctorate degree in 2012


"One thing that has surprised me most about my profession is the amount of time it requires. It requires just as much time and work that teaching in the classroom requires. Sometimes I think that it is actually harder to teach online because you cannot physically see the students and interact with them and that can make communication a lot more difficult. Sometimes things are hard to explain through online chat sessions and email." (Online Teacher; 2012)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Florida Institute Of Technology in Florida; completed Master degree in 2007


"It was very hard to get a job, and I had no choice where I wanted to live. Also the pressure to perform well enough to get tenure once you get the job is intense. I got into it because I love philosophy and love the academic schedule, but it is not for the faint of heart." (Professor; 2012)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Indiana, male
School: Studied Philosophy at University Of Notre Dame in Indiana; completed Master degree in 2010


"What has shocked me most is that the work in colleges and universities that I have been able to find pays extremely poorly and has no benefits. Being an adjunct who teaches freshman and sophomore-level required courses, is very difficult. I like teaching, I enjoy students, and I'm passionate about composition and literature, but working without health insurance, or even the slightest sense of how much/if I'll still be employed the next semester is demoralizing. I continue to search for a full-time position, but I am surprised at how long and thankless that search has been. I thought the academy valued teaching and learning." (Adjunct Professor; 2012)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in New Jersey, female
School: Studied English Lit at George Washington University in District of Columbia; completed Master degree in 2007

Best & Worst Things About This Career


Professor: "The worst part of my job is frustration. There are times when students do not do their work, cheat on papers or lie about why work has not been completed... After 21 years of teaching, I have heard all the stories and excuses and know many of the "tricks" - it would be better if students just told the truth. We all make mistakes or do not so great stuff. My colleagues can also be frustrating when they do not care about their students or courses, when they whine about how hard they work, or just do not follow-thru on assignments they have agreed to. My administrators (bosses) can also be frustrating when they do not inform faculty of changes or only tell us half the story. Like students, it would be far better if they were just honest." (2011)


Adjunct Professor: "The best part about my career is that I am able to work from home. I have the flexibility to choose the courses that I would like to teach and adjust the syllabus to meet my needs. This is really a great job for a single parent, a retired individual, or those that live in rural/remote regions. The difficult part about my career is that although it pays well, there are usually no benefits (i.e. retirement, insurance) for adjunct professors." (2011)


Professor Of Philosophy: "The best parts of my job are hinted at above: My tenured status and the flexibility of the job." (2011)


College Instructor: "The best part of the job is everything that I do. I enjoy every minute of every day. I enjoy teaching, writing curriculum,correcting student work. I also enjoy the testing aspect. I very much enjoy working in a college setting. The people I work with are interesting and fun. I participate in interesting conversations every day. I can't think of any thing I don't like about the work I do. I am very content with the choices I have made." (2011)


Adjunct Instructor: "The best part of my career is the feeling of satisfaction I get from knowing that I am educating college students and awakening their minds to new opportunities and possibilities. Teaching is a very rewarding job, as you can see your effect on your students every day. The worst part about my career is the amount of work I have to do in comparison to my compensation. Adjuncts are paid at an hourly rate for the time they spend in the classroom as well as one office hour per course. The volume of work, however, nearly guarantees that you will have well over that one hour of work per week. When you calculate how much extra time you spend each week completing course work, the compensation does not seem as generous as it once did." (2011)


Educator: "The best part of my job is that I get to make a difference. Many of my students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and need help catching up in school. I enjoy seeing students improve their skills and go on to graduate. The worst part of my job is department meetings. They take time away from preparing for class. Grading papers can also be difficult at times. If I get behind on grading, it is hard to catch up." (2011)


Professor: "The best part of the job is being able to combine researching, writing and teaching. The more research work I do, the more I have to say (write), which then I can relay to students and also influence them on what kinds of research questions they would like to take on for their dissertation or master's thesis. The worst part of the job is having to work with a student who cannot hear criticism of dissertation work, that and the commute I have to get to my job." (2011)


Teaching Assistant - Instructor: "The worst part of my career is that I am definitely considered to be on the lowest rung of the academic ladder in my department. My opinion is not often sought, I do not get to give input into decisions within the department, which will directly impact my life and course of study. And I can almost always count on the fact that, if there is a menial or boring task, or very unimportant job to be done, it will be given to me. And I will receive little thanks once I complete it. If that sounds like a complaint, it really isn't. It is simply the gauntlet all grad students have to run while making their way up the ladder in the academic setting, and I doubt anything will ever change that." (2011)


Professor: "The best part of my job is encouraging students to think as they learn chemistry. Helping them outside of the classroom and figuring out the individual learning styles of each student. Seeing that "light" go on is an amazing feeling. I'm not sure I would call it the "worst" part, but definitely the most grueling part is grading laboratory reports. With ~75 students each writing one lab report per week, it is a lot to accomplish in a reasonable time to give the students appropriate feedback." (2011)


Professor: "The best part of my job: I love the freedom that comes with my job to read about issues that are interesting to me and to conduct research and find questions to answers that puzzle me. I love teaching and interacting with students. Worst: My job is not a 9am-5pm job. I often grade papers, read, or write in the evening. And the ideas don't just stop when I go home! My mind is always working so it can be hard to disconnect from work and focus on my family and my personal life." (2010)


College Professor: "The best part of my job is working with the students. I really enjoy answering student questions and trying to tie the things we are studying to their everyday lives. I like to give a heads up if there is an interesting weather event on the horizon and try to work as many current weather events into the class as I can. The worst part of my job is probably all of the paper that is generated. There seems to be a form for everything. Between those papers, the things students turn in and the materials that I create, there ends up being quite a lot of material to organize and keep straight." (2010)


Assistant Professor - Biology: "The best part of my work is when a new piece of data comes in. The results are something totally new and previously unknown. There can be a great sense of discovery in this type of work. Also conferences are fun and interacting with others with a similar interest is great. The bad parts are that it takes a long time before you really get to the assistant professor rank and the pay is not very good before that. You work long hours, but do it because you enjoy the work. You must also be able to stand a fair amount of failure and rejection. Grants often don't get funded and papers get rejected. Experiments often fail. You have to be able to keep going and try again." (2010)


Part-Time Faculty: "The best part of the job is just being up there and teaching it. I have never received a negative evaluation. I simply *love* teaching, being up there at the front for a little while to lecture but then, more importantly, sitting down with my students (usually in groups of 12-15 at most) and having intelligent discussion about the subject matter. I like being an adjunct because of the flexibility and the freedom from school politics that it offers, but it is very difficult moving contract to contract, never knowing for certain that I will have enough classes to teach to pay the bills." (2010)


Adjunct Art Instructor At Community College: "The best part of my job is the interaction that I have with my students. I enjoy seeing them learn. Also, it is very interesting to see the creative solutions that different people have for assignments given. The hardest part of the job is the amount of work I have to do for the amount of pay. Because I teach part-time, I only get paid for the hours I am officially in the classroom. Therefore, I do not get paid for prep time, clean-up time or time that I spend with students after class. I would like to be hired as a full-time professor at some institution at some point." (2010)


Professor: "There are no worst parts to my job. I teach all my classes on Tuesday and Thursday, 14 weeks in the fall and 14 weeks in the spring. That means I work 56 days a year. Of course, I spend a lot of time writing but that is just fun, and so are the 56 days a year when I actually teach. Perhaps they are the most fun I have all year. Maybe the only bad part is grading papers, but I even enjoy that." (2010)


Professor: "I love the interaction with the students. I like to lecture, tell jokes, and convey complex ideas in clear simple ways. I like to see students learn things that they never knew before. I love to write and share ideas in my books. I do not like grading and reading student work. It is very time-consuming to do it right. However, it is also very important to give students prompt and accurate and detailed feedback. Whenever possible I try to get grading out of the way quickly so I can get on to preparing lectures and talking with students." (2010)


Professor Of Social Science: "The best part of the job is that I work for myself and have a lot of flexibility. I mostly get to do what I want to do, and I am allowed to structure my own activity. I have always enjoyed thinking very deeply about problems, and this job lets me do that. I also like working with students. The worst part of the job is the degree to which the quality of the job is determined by the institution you are at. The better the university, the better the students, the more stimulating the colleagues, etc." (2010)

Career Background


College Professor

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Career Tips


"Lowering Expectations And Being Realistic...
If you really want to teach, you need to be realistic about your students' abilities. A lot of students just out of college, like myself, expect that their students will be a lot like they were in school; that's just not the case. You need to have low expectations and then raise them appropriately once you get to know your students." (Adjunct Professor; 2014)


"You Need To Be Ready To Work For A Lot Of Different Employers...
If you want to succeed in this field, you need to be ready to turn part-time work into full time employment." (Professor; 2014)


"Do You Want To Be An Educator...
If you are undecided about teaching I would work as an adjunct or if you are in graduate school make sure to make the most of your experience as a teaching assistant." (Senior Lecturer; 2014)


"Get A Both A Broad And Focused Education...
Get broad general education as well as a focused theological education. Work on getting as much social service experience as you can ahead of time." (Minister -- Clergy; 2014)


"Listen To Your Students...
If you want to be a successful educator, make sure that you listen to your students and discern what they feel like they're not getting, either from you or from their other classes. They're not afraid to talk about what's not working for them." (Instructor; 2014)


"Find A Specific Niche And Learn All You Can...
My advice is to find a niche within mathematics that really interests you and learn all you possibly can about it. Research is more about knowing a lot about one small thing than knowing bits and pieces about lots of things." (Lecturer; 2014)


"Strive For A Full-Time College Teaching Career...
If you want to pursue a career in college teaching, make sure you have full-time ambitions. The pay will be much better, and that will likely help make up for the fact that the work load is exceptionally high. Also, make sure you are prepared to spend more time working behind the scenes than in the classroom. If your desire is to work with the students, you might have better luck pursuing a different career." (Adjunct Instructor; 2014)


"Philosophy Isn't A Money-Maker...
Only go into philosophy if you really love the subject, and don't count on getting a tenured job. Certainly don't go into debt to pay for graduate school in philosophy." (Professor; 2014)


"Being A Professor: Intellectual Engagement And Administration...
If you want to both find a job and enjoy your time as a college professor, you should study what you love. At the same time, it is a great idea to think about ways that this specialization can match up with the current trends in higher education, such as increased emphasis on global studies and interest in technology and engineering." (College Professor; 2014)


"Gain Face-To-Face Experience...
Spend some time teaching others something that is hard to explain, as you want to be prepared to deal with the challenge." (Professor; 2014)


"Teach A Variety Of Classes/Places...
Teach as many classes as you can (no matter what the pay and where or even online) and have plenty of people observe your class. Your resume and CV will thank you and you will find a job much sooner." (Instructor Of Communication; 2014)


"TA Positions Can Open Up Doors In Education...
If you want to be a successful college tutor in a learning center, be prepared to put in long hours of preparation, grading, teaching and individual meetings as a teaching assistant. Early recognition (and teaching awards you may win) can open doors later on. Long-term teaching staff positions can be hard to come by as college budgets are slashed, forcing tenured professors to do more of the "teaching" (I use that term loosely with regard to many research professors because it is clear that their heart is not in it)." (Chemistry Lecturer; 2014)


"Focus On Your Own Growth...
Focus on your own growth in performance rather than wait for someone to guide you." (Adjunct Instructor; 2013)


"Obtainment Of A College Degree Changed My Life...
1. If you want to be a successful person in life, you can start off by being a successful student. 2.Whatever your passion is in life, it can begin with the good study habits that you obtain as a stud" (Teacher; 2013)


"Amount Of Work...
Be ready to give enough time to this career, because it's not something you can do and just leave at the office. If you want to be a successful teacher, you will have to be prepared for some grueling, repetitious work." (Professor; 2013)


"Statistics...
You can never have enough statistics classes, and take classes in other fields in order to avoid becoming too attached to cognitive blinders" (Professor Of Pubic Health; 2013)


"Technical Knowledge Isn't Everything...
If you wish to become a successful professor at a teaching college, practice your writing, personal interaction, and administrative skills, even if you are in a highly technical field." (Professor; 2013)


"Only Top Performers Can Expect Stable Employment...
Carefully research your desired field of study and make sure research is exciting for you. Depending on the field, there may be a large glut of candidates for positions, and unless you absolutely excel, you may find employment difficult." (Professor; 2013)


"Knowing Others...
Be as involved as possible in undergraduate and graduate school. You cannot underestimate the value of knowing good people." (Assistant Professor; 2013)


"Be Ready To Adapt To A Variety Of Different Job Expectations...
Make sure you gauge the expectations of the institution hiring you. There may be a wide array of balances expected between teaching and research / publication." (English Professor; 2013)


"A PhD And Publications: The Key To Success As A College Educator...
Getting a PhD is a key to a successful career as a college teacher. Your chances of success are further enhanced by having a steady record of research accomplishments, typically measured by professional publications." (Professor; 2013)


"Take Chances To Get A Job...
If you are looking to become an Assistant Professor, be willing to take chances, relocate, and even work abroad to gain experience." (Assistant Professor Of English; 2013)


"Grades Matter...
Earn high grades - effort counts and so do grades. Graduate school sets very high standards - and it is not just how smart you are, it is also how hard you are willing to work and what you will sacrifice for a few years to get where you want to be! Do not give up - graduate school can be very discouraging, as can publishing... You are constantly evaluated in one way or another! Enjoy what you do and change if you do not - it is never too late to learn something new." (Professor; 2011)


"How To Get Your First Teaching Job...
When deciding on a career as an adjunct professor, you will need to continue past your bachelor's degree and specialize in a specific area that you will teach. The University will then evaluate which courses you would be able to teach based upon your Master's degree. The trick then is to secure a course that is not already being taught by someone else. After you get your foot in the door, then you can ask about taking on more courses to instruct. You may even be asked to write a proposal for a future course that does not yet exist or update an outdated course." (Adjunct Professor; 2011)


"If You Like To Teach, But Not Research...
1. Don't become a university professor of a subject unless you really want to spend an enormous amount of time working on that subject (like, all of your time for many years). 2. If you like the university professor lifestyle but don't like the amount of research work that a university professor must perform, consider becoming a community college professor, which has many of the benefits of a university professor with more time spent teaching. 3. If you don't mind making a little less money, a primary or secondary school teacher offers a similar lifestyle, and you won't have to do hardly any work. (Although the work they do do is usually less enjoyable.)" (Professor Of Philosophy; 2011)


"Interview Professors In Your Field Of Interest...
1. Go to school. Get the credentials that you need. Choose colleges that are known to have good programs in the area in which you are interested. 2. Do a job shadow or a practicum, if you can. Get close to the job you think you want. Take a good look. 3. Interview people who are already doing the job you think you want. Ask good questions. Ask if he or she had it all to do over again, if he or she would choose the same career." (College Instructor; 2011)


"Low Pay And Demanding - But Rewarding Too...
The most important thing to realize as an adjunct is that you will not make a lot of money. You need to be prepared to live very cheaply. Also, while teaching can be very rewarding, it is often very tiring. Many people do not understand how much teaching for 90 minutes at a time can take out of you. Do not overestimate how much you can get done in a day. In order to be an adjunct, you must also learn to be very versatile and adaptable. There will be many days where your lesson plan is not working effectively and you need to be able to improvise on the spot and follow the students' own interests." (Adjunct Instructor; 2011)


"Pay Is Low So You Need To Love It...
I would recommend that anyone interested in teaching Reading in a community college pursue graduate level courses in Teaching Reading. A Master's is a necessity for most promotions. I also suggest volunteering in educational programs to see if teaching is really the right career for you. You have to love it because the pay is minimal. Before investing money in a teaching degree, be sure it is your passion. Finally, a teacher must consider each of his/her students as individuals. Many students require extra help." (Educator; 2011)


"Self-Discipline Required To Get PhD...
If you want to be a professor, then you must earn your doctorate. Writing a dissertation is a difficult but not impossible task. You must have a lot of self discipline to finish the degree - many people do not. Also, you must be willing to move to another part of the country, perhaps, to attain a job. Mobility is key. This can be difficult if you are married - it is not uncommon for some professors to live quite a distance from their spouse in order for them both to have jobs in their chosen professions." (Professor; 2011)


"Stay A Few Lessons Ahead...
1. Always, always do your homework. Be prepared for today's class, and the next three classes, because you never know when the unexpected will happen, and you won't have the time to give your lesson plans the attention and quality time they deserve. 2. Meet, talk, greet, and interact with as many people as you can. Take advantage of the breadth of experience and understanding that resides in the people you work with everyday. 3. Chart your own course. Set your personal goals, and then have your own private game plan that you follow faithfully, even while you are carrying out your everyday duties. Never lose sight of the big picture, or your future." (Teaching Assistant - Instructor; 2011)


"Understand That Students Learn In Different Ways...
First of all, you must be a person with a lot of patience, and you must be willing to try different things, sometimes on the spur of the moment. What one student may understand, another student may need it explained in several different ways before grasping. And you must realize this is not a function of how well you explained it, nor is it a function of how "smart" the student is, it is simply a matter of the different ways in which students learn. Also, you must love to teach and help others learn. This is not a get rich quick kind of job, the "richness" comes with the satisfaction of knowing you are helping others learn." (Professor; 2011)


"As A Student, Volunteer For A Faculty Project...
If you want to be a faculty member, you have to begin doing the work of a faculty member early in your own education. As an undergraduate and later as a graduate student, it is important to volunteer to work on a faculty research project. When doing these projects, it is important to be attentive to detail and monitor your time. As a faculty member, you have to learn to set and meet your own deadlines. Finally, during graduate study it is invaluable to take as many methodology courses as you can. These will enable you to be a more flexible thinker and competitive when you search for a job." (Professor; 2010)


"Develop Speaking Skills...
I would suggest taking classes in public speaking or presentation delivery so that you can effectively present your knowledge to your audience. I would also suggest a class in instructional design. This is an area that aids a professor or teacher in how to set up his class in order to maximize learning and effectiveness. Talk to other people who are faculty members, especially those who have been around for awhile. They are usually full of advice and tips and can also help if you have a problem. Remember that every assignment you give, you will have to grade! That goes for quizzes and exams also." (College Professor; 2010)


"Do It For The Excitement Of New Discovery...
Talk to and interact with as many people as you can. Networking is very important and is an important way to learn skills. Do this only if you find that you really enjoy it. This is not a career for those who would like to make a lot of money. This is for those who are intellectually curious and love to learn new things all the time. This is for those who are excited by learning something new and discovering things that are previously unknown. Make sure that you can write well and that you can organize and give a good oral presentation. Oral and written communication skills are critical in this job. If you are not good at these things already, the only way to get better is keep trying and practicing. Ask for help from others in the field." (Assistant Professor - Biology; 2010)


"Go To Public College...
Never ever ever stop learning. If you get bored with what you're working on, start learning something else so you can make the jump at the first opportunity. Don't go into a ton of education debt. With the exception of a few fields, you can go to state schools and save a lot of money. Pick one, your undergrad or your masters, to do privately if that is important in your field. Sleep, eat, drink, and be happy. That will make everything much better!" (Part-Time Faculty; 2010)


"Highly Competitive...
If you are interested in a job as an art professor, be sure that it is what you really want to do. There are very few jobs in this field, which is one of the few ways a fine artist can earn a living in our society (short of selling his work) and there is lots of competition. My advice would be to specialize in more than one medium. Learn design software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Also, be prepared to take any job you are offered, as most schools require a lot of experience. You have to get experience at a smaller school before you get your dream job." (Adjunct Art Instructor At Community College; 2010)


"How To Be A Great Professor...
1. To be a great teacher you have to love your students and love your subject. That is the secret to being a great teacher on any level. 2. Keep a sense of humor about yourself and what you do. 3. Don't stop learning. You have to be a life-long learner in order to teach life-long learning. 4. Bring a lot of energy to your class. 5. Show respect for your students and demonstrate humility." (Professor; 2010)


"Practice Public Speaking...
1. Do a lot of public speaking. Make it so that you feel completely comfortable in front of a crowd. That will let you relax and think while you lecture. The difference between thinking while you lecture and just reading a script is night and day to the listener. 2. Don't be afraid to follow your own research questions. The most surprising questions can turn into legitimate research endeavors. 3. Collaborate. You can accomplish a great deal more with a colleague than the two of you would accomplish if working separately." (Professor; 2010)


"Research Requires Strong Stats Background...
1. If you are interested in any of the social sciences, you will be using statistics as your main tool. Therefore, you need to have some basic math skills. Although I know it can be painful, forcing yourself to learn calculus and maybe linear algebra, while an undergraduate will pay untold dividends later in life. 2. Do anything you can to get research experience. 3. Stay focused on getting the best experience possible. Go to the best graduate school you can get into and don't worry about whether you like the weather, city... whatever. It's not like going to college; the value of the graduate experience comes from your ability to interact with top-level researchers (professors and fellow students). In fact, employers don't even check your transcript from graduate school. It's all about learning how to do research." (Professor Of Social Science; 2010)