Postsecondary and College Teacher
- Surrounded by other faculty with similar interests
- Research your field extensively, occasionally publish findings
- Work with students, inspire learning
- Flexible scheduling, decide when and where to work
- Goal is to achieve tenure status
To the right person, teaching in a postsecondary environment – i.e. at colleges, universities and trade schools – can be one of the most rewarding careers. Postsecondary teachers not only educate and work with over 15 million students nationally, but they also provide a substantial portion of the nation’s research in a variety of fields. The demands of the job are considerable, often requiring extensive education and personal experience in one’s field of expertise.
Vocational or trade-school teachers may hold a bachelor or master’s degree, but at least three years of personal experience in their field of instruction is the most important qualification. At the college and university level, full-time, tenure-track professors usually hold a doctoral degree, while part-time or temporary teachers may hold a master’s. Teachers at all levels spend a great deal of time working with students, as well as researching on their own. Thus, communication and time-management skills are valuable, as are self-motivation and an inquisitive, analytical mind.
Being able to set one’s own hours, including usually around 12-16 classroom and 3-6 office hours per week, plus having three months out of the year to pursue other teachings, research, or leisure activities, also makes university and trade school teaching one of the most flexible occupations.
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2-year institution: requires BA or MA and experience in field of expertise
4-year institution: requires MA or PhD and experience in field of expertise
Communication, both written and verbal
Public speaking ability
Enjoy working with students
Inquiring, analytical mind
Self-motivated under little supervision
Experience in field of expertise
Willingness to work evenings, weekends, in some fields
Time management skills