Are you someone who’s got a knack for guiding and instructing others? Do you also have a keen interest in the unknown and ways of how things work? If the answer is yes to both of these questions, then becoming a science professor might be the career you’re looking for. However, becoming a science professor isn’t as simple as becoming just everyday teacher. Professors know the ins and outs of their preferred subject down to the smallest detail. In this article, we’ll be going over what you need to know about becoming a science professor.
Table of Contents
Receive a Comprehensive College Education
The first step to becoming a science professor, and any career for that matter, is to attend college and immerse yourself in your studies. Since we’re talking about specifically science professors, your degree options are pretty narrow. Here’s a list of the degree programs that you can get to be a science professor:
- Computer science
- Computer engineering
- Biological sciences
- Cognitive science
- Geographical science
- Earth science
- Human biology
These are the options you have when choosing your undergraduate program. Once you choose and complete your bachelor’s degree, your next step is to earn your graduate degree. Unlike a BA, a master’s degree or Ph.D. is far harder to obtain because the work is more advanced. Furthermore, the cost of a graduate’s degree is substantially higher than a bachelor’s. The cost does ultimately depend on the university you go to and the state you’re in. Regardless, paying for this out of pocket can be difficult. A great way to quickly and efficiently finance your degree is to Earnest private student loans. A student loan can be used to pay for the tuition as well as any other supplies you might need. It can be used for your textbooks, a new computer, and even room and board, depending on your situation.
Apply for an Apprenticeship
Most who are looking to become a professor of any kind typically apply for an apprenticeship, and a science professor is no exception. In fact, there are a lot of advantages to getting involved in an apprenticeship. Not only will you be able to consider opportunity costs, you will be given the work experience you need, and you can also be given a remission on your tuition costs. It’s also possible that you can earn additional credit hours through your apprenticeship.
You Need to Master the Right Skills
No professor can succeed without having the proper skills under their belt. But learning these skills is only the beginning of it. You really need to master the necessary skills first. Here’s a list of the skills every science professor needs to have:
- Critical thinking
- Adapting to different learning styles
- Coming up with curriculums
- Effective time management
- Listening to students
- Problem solving
- Being charismatic
- Promoting teamwork
Honing these skills is absolutely paramount to be an effective professor. In fact, it’s because of these skills that you’ll be able to connect with your students better. This is especially true when it comes to being charismatic and actively listening to them. Some of your students may need additional guidance, so it falls to you to make the class easier and more enjoyable for them. This is where adapting to different learning styles comes in. Some are audible learners while others learn by visual representation.
Look to Acquiring Post-Doctoral Experience
Post-doctoral experience is something that a lot of professors-to-be hope to get before officially applying for a position. It’s basically a small course that allows people with a Ph.D. to get additional training and education for a specific field. This is something that’s recommended for science professors in particular because of the wide array of sub-categories. If your specialty is biochemistry, participating in a few lectures by other established professionals can help you refresh and learn something new. You can even model your curriculum around the advice you receive.
Since this is most likely your first time getting post-doctoral experience, you might not know how to go about this. Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you get comfortable with it. The first tip we have is to actively look for more than one mentor. You can stick with only one, but having multiple mentors can be far more beneficial. Each mentor has a different way of approaching the subject and know things that others might not. The whole premise of acquiring post-doctoral experience is to broaden your horizons and open your mind further, so you can apply everything you learn to your own career.