What Makes Someone a Professor? (Updated 2023)

What Makes Someone a Professor? (Updated 2023)

Professors play a crucial role in developing the career of the students. They are the one who guides students and help them understand the concepts of the related subject. In fact, there are many students who have been inspired to become a professor but do not know what makes someone a professor. If you are also not sure about it and want to know more about it then you are on the right page. Here we will help you to know more about being a professor and also what qualities you must possess to become one.

Quick Takeaways

  • A professor is one who teaches at a higher level of education that is colleges and Universities.
  • Some of the common qualities that you must have as a professor or communication skills, leadership qualities, problem-solving skills, etc.
  • You will need to complete your master’s degree to become a professor or sometimes even a Ph.D. program.

However, you are still advised to read till the end so that you get a better understanding of what makes someone a professor.

What Makes Someone a Professor? (Updated 2023)

What makes someone a professor?

A professor is the one who will be teaching the students at a higher level of education that is college or university. They are considered the experts in the field of study they have chosen. Being a professor means that you may have been in the research field for a long time. Therefore if you are teaching students in college or university you will be known as a professor irrespective of your educational degree.

You must remember that most of the professors hold a doctorate degree. It means they have earned the title doctor before their name. However many such professors do not like to be called professors and not doctors because most people value the title professor and not the doctor.

What are the qualities you need to become a professor?

Following are the top five qualities that you need to have in yourself as a professor-

  • Communication: Being a professor means getting in communication with the students and the rest of the department. Therefore you must have clear communication skills.
  • Problem-solving: As a professor, your job is not only to teach the students but also to answer them when they are in a problem. Therefore you must have problem-solving skills so that you can easily provide answers to them.
What Makes Someone a Professor? (Updated 2023)
  • Leadership: Being a professor you will need to guide a lot of students. As you will be leading them and providing them with the right path having leadership qualities is very important.
  • Punctual: A professor must be on time in every classroom. It is because being punctual will create a habit in the students to get to the class and perform all other activities on time.
  • Respectful: There are many professors who do not use respectful words the other professors or their students. It is very wrong as nobody wants to get disrespected. Thus as a professor, your first rule must be to stay respectful towards everyone in the institution.

How to become a professor?

Following are the steps to become a professor-

  • The first thing is that you need to complete the undergraduate degree in the subject you want to teach. Suppose you want to be a professor of physics then you must be completing your undergraduate degree in science or physics itself.
  • Once you complete an undergraduate degree you will need to go to graduate school and get the master’s degree. Remember that you cannot become a professor without a master’s degree.
  • After getting the master’s degree you must try to get some experience if you are not interested in getting into a PhD program. Try to get some internships all perform some voluntary projects. You can also become a teaching assistant under a specific professor.
  • If you are interested in getting into a PhD program then you will need to enrol in it as soon as possible. Your PhD program will help you to increase your knowledge and gain expertise in it. 
  • Once you complete your doctoral degree you will need to apply for the professor position in different institutions. However, if you are applying for the position just after getting the master’s degree you must research properly as there are many institutions that will want you to have a Ph.D. for becoming a professor.
What Makes Someone a Professor? (Updated 2023)

What is the average salary of the professor?

The average salary you get as a professor is different depending upon various factors like the location of the institution, the level of the professorship, the type of the institution etc. If you are a Professor at a private institution then your salary will be more than the professor working at a public institution. Similarly, if you are an assistant professor then your salary will be less when compared to the salary of an associate professor.

Also if you are an adjunct assistant professor or non-tenured professor then your salary will be less than the tenured professor. It will also depend upon whether you have done PhD or not. The average salary that you get as a PhD professor, is around $98,000 whereas the average salary of a professor without a PhD is around $64,000-$1,70,000.

What Makes Someone a Professor? (Updated 2023)

How long it takes to become a professor?

The first step to becoming a professor is to complete an undergraduate degree which I’ll take four 4 years. After that, you will need to get your master’s degree which is of 2 years. If you are applying for the professor position just after your degree then it will take you 6 years. However, if you want to become a professor after completing a Ph. D., then it will take you 3-4 more years as you need to take part in a lot of publications. Therefore we can say that you will need to spend 9-10 years to become a professor if you want to get a Ph.D.

Conclusion

A professor is the one who will be teaching the students at a higher level of education including colleges and universities. To become a professor you will need to complete an undergraduate degree and also your master’s degree. You can apply for the position of a professor just after completing the master’s degree full stop however some educational institutions may require you to have a PhD in the related subject. Further, you must know that it will take your 9 to 10 years to become a professor. Some of the skills that you may need to become a professor are communication skills, leadership, punctuality, etc.

FAQ

Can you be considered a Professor without a PhD?

There is no doubt that you can be considered a professor without a Ph.D. The only condition for that is you must be teaching at a higher level of education that is a college or a university. Also, you must have having least a master’s degree to become a professor in a University or college. You will also be known as a professor even if you are hired on the basis of part-time. 

William Christie
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