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Career Profile: College Professor

Why Is College Instruction a Job of Tomorrow?
With the growing popularity of higher education, college professors will be more in demand than ever. Employment opportunities for college professors are expected to rise 23 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. College professors earn an average salary of $56,120 annually.

What Does a College Professor Do?
College professors teach using lectures, assignments, examinations and readings. Professors typically specialize in one subject. They are responsible for planning a comprehensive curriculum that covers the course materials, preparing lectures, devising and grading assignments and creating examinations to test student knowledge. The best professors maintain a good relationship with their students and identify those who are struggling so that they may assist them. Many professors also do research in their particular field, publishing scholarly papers and articles.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a College Professor?
College professors must have at least a master's degree in the subject they would like to teach, though most universities prefer applicants who have completed a doctoral degree program. Master's degree programs typically take two to three years to earn after first earning a four-year bachelor's degree, and doctoral programs are generally completed in six years after earning a bachelor's degree. To become a tenured professor, doctoral graduates must first become an instructor and move up through the ranks to become a professor, a process that typically takes about seven years.