What is a Professor?
Table of Contents
A professor is someone who instructs students in a wide variety of academic and vocational subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books. They work in public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, junior or community colleges, and career and vocational schools.
What does a Professor do?
Professors typically do the following:
- Teach courses in a wide variety of subjects, such as chemistry, culinary arts, and nursing
- Work with students who are studying for a degree or a certificate or certification or are taking classes to improve their knowledge or career skills
- Develop a curriculum for their course and ensure that it meets college and department standards
- Plan lessons and assignments
- Assess students’ progress by grading papers and tests
- Advise students about which classes to take and how to achieve their goals
- Stay informed about changes and innovations in their field
- Conduct research and experiments to advance knowledge in their field
- Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees
- Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals
- Serve on academic and administrative committees that review and recommend policies, make budget decisions, or advise on hiring and promotions within their department
Professors specialize in any of a wide variety of subjects and fields. Some teach academic subjects, such as English or philosophy. Others focus on career-related subjects, such as law, nursing, or culinary arts.
Professors usually work for large universities. In this setting, they often spend a large portion of their time conducting research and experiments and applying for grants to fund their research. Frequently, they spend less time teaching. Classes may be taught by graduate teaching assistants, who are supervised by a professor. Professors may teach large classes of several hundred students (usually with the help of several graduate teaching assistants), small classes of about 40 to 50 students, seminars with just a few students, or laboratories where students practice the subject matter. They may work with an increasingly varied student population as more part-time, older, and culturally diverse students are coming to postsecondary schools.
Professors keep up with developments in their field by reading scholarly articles, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences. To gain tenure (a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause), they must do research, such as experiments, document analysis, or critical reviews, and publish their findings. Full-time professors, particularly those who have tenure, often are expected to spend more time on their research. They also may be expected to serve on more college and university committees. Part-time professors, often known as adjunct professors, spend most of their time teaching students.
Find your perfect career
Would you make a good professor? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!
What is the workplace of a Professor like?
Many postsecondary teachers find their jobs rewarding because they are surrounded by others who enjoy their subject. The opportunity to share their expertise with others also is appealing to many. However, some postsecondary teachers must find a balance between teaching students and doing research and publishing their findings. This can be stressful, especially for beginning teachers seeking advancement in four-year research universities.
Classes are generally held during the day. Some are held on nights and weekends to accommodate students who have jobs or family obligations. Many professors do not teach classes in the summer, but they use that time to conduct research or to travel. Professors’ schedules are generally flexible. They need to be on campus to teach classes and keep office hours. Otherwise, they are free to set their schedule and decide when and where they will prepare for class and grade assignments.
Collections With This Career
- ENTJ Careers
- Careers for Social people
- Careers for Chemistry majors
- Jobs that require Initiative
- Jobs for people who like Speaking
- Jobs for people who like Teaching
- Jobs for people who like Active Learning
- Jobs that require Integrity
- Jobs that require Persistence
- Jobs that require Independence
- Careers for History majors
- Careers for Physics majors
- Careers for Philosophy And Religious Studies majors
- INTJ Careers
- Careers for Anthropology And Archeology majors
- ENTJs are natural born leaders, possessing charisma and confidence and projecting authority in a way that draws people together behind a common goal.
- A collection of careers suited perfectly to social people. Read More
- The most common careers people pursue after attaining a Chemistry degree. Read More
- A collection of careers that require initiative and dedication in order to be successful at. Read More
- Discover careers that are good for people who like Speaking. Read More
- Discover careers that are good for people who like Teaching. Read More
- Discover careers that are good for people who like Active Learning. Read More
- A collection of careers that require a high level of integrity in order to be successful at. Read More
- These careers require a high level of Persistence. Read More
- These careers require a high level of Independence. Read More
- The most common careers people pursue after attaining a History degree. Read More
- The most common careers people pursue after attaining a Physics degree. Read More
- The most common careers people pursue after attaining a Philosophy And Religious Studies degree. Read More
- INTJs are amazing when it comes to grasping complex theories and applying them to problems to come up with long-term strategies. Read More
- The most common careers people pursue after attaining a Anthropology And Archeology degree. Read More