Careers in Teaching

Careers in Teaching

Careers in Teaching

If you are inclined to conducting research, follow methodology in imparting knowledge, have the passion to speak effectively and explain details systematically, the ability to assess and analyse performance, then you have all the makings of a great teacher. Those interested in becoming a college professor should have excellent verbal and communication skills; they should have a high level of knowledge and be well organized. Good personality traits for college professors include a high level of enthusiasm, self-confidence, and the willingness to mentor students. 

College professors instruct students in a variety of different areas at the post-secondary level. They can produce scholarly articles, perform research, and teach. Many college professors find their work rewarding since they are usually interested in the course of study they have chosen. They spend a lot of time in a classroom setting, conducting lectures, or in an office, setting meeting with students, colleagues, and preparing materials. College professors work anywhere from 9-12 hours a week teaching classes, an additional 20-30 hours preparing for classes, and around 10 hours a week grading, reviewing, and evaluating course assignments.

Becoming a university professor has major benefits:

  1. Rewarding profession – You get a platform to talk about a subject you enjoy and get to see young people’s love of their subject increase. 
  2. Flexible working hours – Many university departments allow you to work flexibly from home during times when you do not have to be in the University for work. This means that you can juggle family commitments more easily than in a traditional ‘nine to five’ role. Plus, one gets to enjoy paid holidays!!
  3. Encouraged to research – Additionally, lecturers are encouraged to be active researchers. Working on your research and publications will mean that you are perceived as an expert in your field which will help enhance your reputation as a teacher in the eyes of your colleagues and your students.

Students wanting to pursue a career in this field must be able to demonstrate academic excellence at every level of study; high school, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral. Gaining relevant career experience is essential as academic positions are highly competitive, and universities generally prefer to hire professors who have teaching experience. To become a university professor, a great way is to gain relevant career experience by working as a graduate teaching assistant or taking up teaching internships while you are a graduate student. Typically, students start working as graduate teaching assistants in the school that they are enrolled in as graduate students. 

As a foreign educated student, there are some rules that you must adhere to before you can gain employment as a teacher in the US. In most U.S. states, foreign-educated teachers seeking certification must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of the foreign equivalent of a U.S. undergraduate degree.
  2. Completion of a teacher preparation program that meets the requirements of the state where the individual would like to teach.
  3. Completion of a certain number of university-level credit hours in education and in the subject area they wish to teach. 

Additional Requirements:

  • Most states will also require foreign-educated teachers to submit a credential evaluation report with their teaching application. This report explains an applicant’s foreign credentials to the state board of education and is usually only accepted if it has been prepared by credential evaluators designated by the state. 
  • Prospective teachers, who were educated outside the U.S. may be required to take an exam or a series of exams to demonstrate their reading, writing, and speaking proficiency in the English language (if it is not their native language).
  • Some states also require passing scores onstate-specific certification tests (For more information on Teacher Licensure and Certification tests, visit the Educational Testing Service site).
  • Foreign-educated teachers who meet all of the state’s certification requirements will also need to complete an application for certification and submit a processing fee (normally around $100 US). 

Salaries of Teachers in the USA:

By rank, the average was $98,974 for professors, $69,911 for associate professors, $58,662 for assistant professors, $42,609 for instructors, and $48,289 for lecturers. Faculty in 4-year institutions earn higher salaries, on average, than do those in 2-year schools. Careers in Teaching

Teaching in a German University:

If you’re looking to teach in a German university, after completing your doctorate you need to achieve “eligibility for professorship” (Berufungsfähigkeit). Depending on your subject, field of research and academic interest, this postdoctoral qualification phase can differ considerably.

  • To apply for the post of a professor at a German university, you need a PhD and several years of recognized research experience. 
  • The common method to get a professorship at a German university is habilitation (teaching thesis). It consists of a postdoctoral thesis, the habilitation treatise, and a public lecture. Usually, one cannot get a professorship at the university at which the habilitation thesis was written.
  • Besides research and managing tasks, you will have teaching duties. Having teaching experience is therefore very advantageous.
  • To apply for a professor position at a German University of applied sciences, you need a PhD and 5 years of occupational experience after the doctorate, of which 3 years have to be done at a non-university institution. The kind of working experience depends on the subject that has to be taught and on the requirements of the department. 

Positions Available:

Junior Professorship: The Junior Professorship (Assistant Professorship) carry out research, and teach on their own. Rights and responsibilities depend on the requirements of the university. However, they are similar to those of regular professors. The gross monthly salary is between roughly 3,800 and 4,300 euros. The position as junior professor lasts three years and can be extended for another three years.

Ordinary Professorship: Ordinary Professorships are usually permanent positions. The professors are appointed by the university. They have their own research groups and generally have teaching duties.

Department Chairs: Often times, college professors conduct research in order to publish work in their field and in addition, they take on more responsibility by seeking positions such as Department Chairs.

Try speaking to your professors about your career ambitions to gain guidance about the steps to take to become a professor. After all, who better to guide you than your own professors? 

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