2 Replies - 1721 Views - Last Post: 08 September 2010 - 09:16 PM

#1 Brewer   User is offline

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Becoming a Professor

Posted 08 September 2010 - 06:54 PM

Talking with my new CS professor today made me start to think. I have always considered teaching as a career, but there are more cons than there are pros at the pre-secondary school level.

First off, I would NEVER teacher below high school because I just can not deal with other peoples children. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with people who do teach elementary and middle school, I have a great deal of respect for these people; but it is not for me. I just can not deal with the immaturity, and thinking now, even high school is too immature. Those of us who have taken computer courses in high school know that most other people will take them because it is an easy class. I would want my students to be genuinely interested in what I am teaching. I also would like to be in charge of what I teach in my own classroom.

Second of all, this may sound very shallow, but they pay is not good enough even at the high school level. I believe that our teachers are some of the most important people in the would, in that they are shaping the leaders of tomorrow's world. And I also believe that they are not paid what they are worth, but that's the government for you. The pay for professors with tenure can range up to $160,000 or better.

The third thing, and possibly the most important for me, is the freedom and respect earned by being recognized as a leader in your field of academia. You get to choose how your classes are taught, something that you aren't allowed to do at the high school level. You get to apply your theory to the real world by conducting research. You get to publish your research and know that people will read it, be it your own book, an article in a magazine, or any other form of media. And finally you get to travel to conferences and meet other leaders in your field!

All of this put together is extremely appealing to me. I believe that I would like to have another career first, as a Software Engineer. Taking this time to prove myself and gain recognition in the field of Computer Science.

What are your views on being a professor? Have you ever considered teaching at the university level? Have you ever considered teaching at all? How do you think teaching at the university level compares to teaching at the elementary, middle, or high school levels?

For those who might have been or currently are professors: What do you think of your job? What are you most and least favorite things about your job? Overall, do you enjoy the lifestyle of a college professor? What did you do before you taught? Would you recommend this career path to another person?

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Replies To: Becoming a Professor

#2 Nikitin   User is offline

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Re: Becoming a Professor

Posted 08 September 2010 - 07:45 PM

When you have no idea what it means to be in grad school, to perform research, and to work on a PhD, as well as being a professor, it all does sound dreamy, doesn't it? Lol. No offense, of course.

I myself don't plan to be a teacher - not my thing. How's teaching different on a university-level? Well, in these cases, your teaching job is really just a part-time gig. You're at the university to perform research, to do real work. Teaching is just something you do on the side - come to class, talk for an hour then get back to work, and let your TA's do the grunt work.

At high school, teaching *is* your job.

This post has been edited by Nikitin: 08 September 2010 - 07:47 PM

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#3 mojo666   User is offline

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Re: Becoming a Professor

Posted 08 September 2010 - 09:16 PM

Not to be discouraging, but....

How to Become a Professor
How to Become a Scientist

I too would love to teach undergraduate courses in computer science or mathematics, but as has already been pointed out, that is just a side job. The real work is something entirely different. If it were just research, I would also be willing to try my hand at that, but as these videos indicate, the position of professor becomes very administrative. That is not my cup of tea.
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