Human Development Professor Job Description

What is a Human Development Professor?

Human Development Professors are individuals who teach about human development in various contexts. Some of these areas include psychology, sociology, biology, anthropology, family studies, or related disciplines. Human development involves the stages individuals go through from birth to death. A Human Development Professor teaches others what happens during each stage and how age can impact health, lifestyle choices, etc.

What Does a Human Development Professor ​Do?

Human development can be taught in a variety of different settings. A Human Development Professor might do the following:

  • Teach at a university and conduct research on human development and related issues
  • Work with school systems to implement curriculums and help students grow emotionally and socially
  • Provide consulting services for businesses or corporations that wish to develop their employees into better leaders or workers
  • Manage personal health care teams that work with patients who have chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, etc.

What Are Some Similar Professions?

Some other professions similar to Human Development Professor include Child Development Professor, Developmental Psychologist, Sociologist, Anthropologist. As you can see, many of these are overlapping. However, a Human Development Professor specifically teaches about human development and how it impacts daily life.

What Are Some Similar Degrees?

Some other degree programs similar to a Human Development Professor include Child Education, Sociology, Anthropology, or a related field. A bachelor's or master's degree is usually required for these types of professions. Many professionals also hold PhDs.

What Is It Like Being a Human Development Professor?

A typical workday for this profession includes planning lessons to teach students, grading papers, conducting research on human development topics, attending meetings to discuss school issues with teachers and principals, collaborating with other scientists who are doing research on related topics (possibly even publishing together), etc. Although many days will involve teaching classes, there are plenty of opportunities to do other things as well.

What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages?

Some advantages of this profession include:

  • Being able to help students learn about human development topics, how to become better leaders or workers, etc. which can impact their lives in positive ways.
  • Have flexible work hours that allow you to spend time with your family.

Some disadvantages of this profession include:

  • Human Development is always changing so it can be difficult to keep up with what classes will be important for future careers. This makes job security less than other professions that don't change as much (examples would include working for the government or colleges/universities).

Essential skills a Human Development Professor Needs

  1. Critical thinking: A Human Development Professor needs to be able to critically analyze research, read scientific journals, and think about how they can properly teach others about human development.
  2. Time management: Projects often take longer than expected so the ability to manage time effectively is essential for this profession. It is also important to work well on a team because you will likely collaborate with other scientists or educators when doing research or developing new curriculums.
  3. Communication skills: Because of the nature of this profession, good communication skills are very important since you will need to communicate ideas, results from research studies, etc., both orally and in writing. Being able to review the works of others is also required due to collaboration efforts.
  4. Creativity: It takes creativity to think of new and interesting ways to teach students about human development issues.
  5. Technical skills: You will need strong technical skills, such as statistical analysis or computer literacy, in order to ensure you use the best tools available for research and education.
  6. Curiosity: A curiosity about how people behave is an important character trait that all Human Development Professors should possess (and also one of the reasons they became interested in this profession). This allows you to experiment with different activities while teaching students or planning new curriculums for your school/university system. This also enables you to conduct research studies that are very insightful.
  7. Problem-solving: You will also need strong problem-solving skills to be able to work through any issues that may come up throughout the course of your career (examples could include not having enough funding for needed additional equipment, time constraints due to other responsibilities, etc.).
  8. Leadership capabilities: You will need leadership skills in order to lead your own research studies or student projects, but you do not necessarily need to be the one in charge (you can focus on editing others' work instead). However, you may choose to take on this role depending on your personal goals.
  9. Community-mindedness: Due to this profession's close ties with communities and schools, having a good sense of community is important so you can develop programs that are appropriate for your school's/university community.
  10. Organization: Because you will be juggling many different responsibilities, it is important to have strong organizational skills so you can prioritize tasks and meet deadlines.
  11. Interpersonal skills: People who work in this profession often need to communicate with others within their own department or branch of science as well as with other departments outside of their immediate area of study (such as psychology, economics, anthropology). It is also helpful to interact with students on a regular basis because they are the ones that will eventually go into leadership roles after graduation.
  12. Problem-identification: You will need great problem identification skills because not every research project or class session goes smoothly. This means being able to adapt to different situations and come up with solutions to unique issues.
  13. Analytical thinking: This is important because you will need to be able to think critically about the information that you read or receive to determine if it can help your research project or teaching methods/curricula.
  14. Instructing ability: A good instructing ability is essential for this profession because students will eventually become the next generation of scientists, researchers, educators, etc., so they must know how to properly transmit information in a way that allows them to learn effectively.
  15. Empathy: You must have empathy for people who are different than yourself (be this cultural differences, physical differences like handicaps, mental differences like ADHD) because these are the people you will be working with within schools/communities.

How Can You Prepare to become a Human Development Professor?

If you are interested in becoming a Human Development Professor, it is recommended that you take courses related to psychology during your bachelor's degree. Some universities will even let you count these courses toward your major. It is also helpful to get involved with school clubs or organizations while you are an undergraduate student so that you can learn more about the field and possibly get some real-world experience.

Graduate students should expect to focus on mastering their teaching skills while gaining knowledge of their subject area (which could be human development, psychology, experimental design, etc.). They must also learn how to work with others since most graduate programs require group projects. While completing his or her graduate studies, Human Development Professors will gain research experience through exposure to academic journals and other research opportunities.

Scheduling is important in this career because you will be teaching classes or leading research projects/classes for multiple semesters of the year, so it is crucial to stay on top of your work and plan ahead.

What Should I Major in to Become a Human Development Professor?

Some universities offer a Human Development degree, but most Human Development Professors have degrees in areas such as psychology or experimental design. These universities also place a heavy emphasis on their students' ability to help others through teaching and community outreach.

Is This Career a Good Fit For Me?

If you enjoy helping others and teaching them how to become better people, then this career is for you. You should also have strong leadership qualities because at some point during your career, you will likely be responsible for leading others when they reach the next stage of their growth (i.e., student instructors). If you feel that you would thrive in this atmosphere with these responsibilities, then this might be the right for you!

How Long Does it Take to Become a Human Development Professor?

Typically, it takes around six years to complete your bachelor's degree and another five or six years to complete your PhD. However, the time needed to complete these requirements can vary depending on a number of factors such as whether you have a full-time or part-time job/school schedule and if you attend a traditional brick-and-mortar school or an online school.

Most Common Colleges to earn Human Development Professor Degree

Bachelor and graduate degrees in human development and psychology-related subjects (i.e., experimental design) can be earned at universities such as:

  • University of California - Irvine
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • Simmons College - Massachusetts, Boston
  • Indiana State University - Indiana, Terre Haute
  • Southern Utah University - Utah, Cedar City (online)

 How Can I Earn a Human Development Professor Degree?

There are many ways to earn a Human Development degree. Many bachelor's degrees come with options for concentrations while some universities only offer the option to pursue a general major and minor. Some examples include: online programs, Bachelor's in Psychology, Bachelor's in Human Development

Many colleges offer graduate degrees for those who have already earned a bachelor's degree. There are also self-paced online programs that can be completed on your own time. Because of the flexible options available, it is relatively easy to earn a Human Development degree through one method or another.

The following are some of the key responsibilities associated with the Human Development Professor:

• Teach classes either in person or online: This entails preparing coursework, creating an engaging curriculum, and effectively managing time.

• Conduct research: This involves finding a topic, securing the necessary funding, determining study methods, recruiting volunteers/participants, conducting experiments or surveys to collect data, analyzing results of your experiments or surveys, writing up findings in the appropriate academic journal format (APA), etc.

• Contribute to professional development by taking on leadership roles within the Human Development department(s) at your university. Individual departments may have their own requirements for their professors' professional development activities so it is important that you check into these expectations early on in your career. You might be expected to serve as a research assistant or teaching assistant at some point during graduate school which will give you experience and knowledge that you can use as a professional development activity on your resume.

• Serve as part of university committees: These committees may be specific to Human Development at your university or they could touch on all aspects of college administration. This service usually entails attending meetings and giving professors' opinions about various issues relevant to improving the community (i.e., department, school, state).

• Conduct research and maintain an open dialogue with professionals within the same field: This can be done through participation in conferences and academic journals. Depending on the subject you choose to research, you may also develop consulting or speaking engagements with other professionals (i.e., human resources).  

• Aid students as they transition through various developmental milestones such as adolescence, young adulthood, and midlife: This process can entail anything from making academic connections with your students to conducting research on developmental stages and creating lesson plans specifically tailored to the information you find.

• Conduct longitudinal studies which track changes in individuals over time: This type of research is very beneficial for those who want to become a human development professor because it will give you plenty of data from which you can draw conclusions about the impact of certain variables on behavior or development.

Professors in Human Development spend the majority of their time working independently. In addition, this career field requires significant self-discipline as well as training in areas such as cross-disciplinary fields (i.e., statistics). Professors conduct research, teach students both face-to face and online, seek out other professionals' opinions, and work to maintain a community that is focused on growth.

Are There Any Certifications Associated with Human Development Professor?           

Certifications are not typically required for this profession but you might consider gaining relevant certification within your field if that interests you. There are a number of certifications including Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Master's Degree in Psychology, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), etc.  

What Should I Expect as a Human Development Professor?

Human Development Professors must expect to spend time outside of normal working hours helping those who are less fortunate. They may also be required to work evenings and/or weekends depending on their university's guidelines.

Most Common Industries for Human Development Professor Jobs

The following are some of the industries that hire Human Development Professors:

  • Education
  • Self-Employment / Entrepreneur

Wages and Salary for Human Development Professor:

The average salary for a human development professor is $59K. The bottom 10% of the earners in this profession make less than $31K, while the top 10% make more than $96K.

The Career Outlook for Human Development Professors:   

Human development professors can expect to see an employment growth of about 11%. This slow but steady increase in employment is due to an aging population that is living longer as well as more people becoming interested in health care. A growing concern over public health will also contribute to the creation of new career opportunities.