The job of a professor at the postsecondary or higher education level involves not only lecturing and teaching students in the classroom, but working with them to develop research, dissertations, or thesis-based papers as well. A professor also must be able to perform research, collect and analyze data, and examine original documents, literature, and other source material.
In the classroom, a professor must be able to effectively present or guide lectures, exercises, and sometimes laboratory experiments. He/She must also grade exams and papers, as well as work well with students.
A professor typically works indoors in a classroom, lab and/or office setting at a college or university. He/She often works alone, but may also work with a teaching assistant or aide depending upon the size and difficulty of the class. The job of a professor often is not physically demanding; however, it is very mentally challenging. He/She must be have full mastery of his/her specialized subject material, as well as be able to field any questions posited by their students. In addition, a professor must keep with the newest developments in his/her field.
The education requirements are lengthy, involving both high school and college education, typically including a graduate-level degree. Professors' work mainly includes regular business hours; however, additional research, grading, and office hours often may take place during off-hours.
Professor, Postsecondary / Higher Education Tasks
- Publish research findings.
- Prepare lectures, exercises and laboratory experiments; grade exams and papers; advise and work with students individually.
- Supervise graduate students' teaching and research.
- Perform research to expand knowledge by performing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, or examining original documents, literature, and other source material.
- Keep up with developments in an academic field.