It’s said that the best professors awaken greatness in students, and inspire them to reach their potential both in their careers and in life. Postsecondary teachers, often called professors or faculty, teach students at the college level, in a wide variety of subjects, and often contribute to the development of knowledge in their fields. Professors need high-level critical thinking skills, excellent speaking and writing skills, creativity, and the ability to connect with their students. They teach courses in subjects such as history, science, business, music, and many other fields. Professors at small colleges or community colleges often spend most of their time teaching classes and working with students. When employed by large colleges or universities, faculty also conduct research or experiments publish their findings, apply for research grants, and supervise graduate teaching assistants who help teach classes Part-time—or adjunct—professors often work in their field, such as a lawyer who teaches an evening law class. Some faculty teach courses online, using the Internet to present lessons, assign work to students, and participate in discussions. Faculty also keep office hours for student meetings, and may serve on committees for their institutions. Most professors teach during the day, but some teach night and weekend classes. Online teaching may offer a flexible schedule. Typically, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. in a related field, though two-year colleges may require only a master's degree. In some fields, such as health specialties, art, or education, hands-on experience in the industry is an important qualification.
What they do:
Teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
On the job, you would:
Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as structural geology, micrometeorology, and atmospheric thermodynamics.
Evaluate and grade students' class work, assignments, and papers.
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
talking to others
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
use rules to solve problems
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
remember words, numbers, pictures, or steps
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
The MathWorks MATLAB
Wolfram Research Mathematica
Computer based training software
Learning management system LMS
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
master's degree or doctoral degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.