If you are interested in Politics you will love to be a Political Theory Professor. You will get the opportunity to teach students in the best Universities around the world every single day. It is important that you are an expert in your field and keep up-to-date with all of the latest developments. If you put enough effort into your work it won't be long before you earn well.
What will you do as a political theory professor?
As a professor, you will provide your students with valuable insights into politics and let them learn about the basics of theories. You will also help them to understand the groundwork behind politics which is very valuable for their future careers too. It can be quite interesting seeing all of the different ideas that they come up with throughout the lessons.
You should also take time to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news in order to give your students valuable information outside of what they learn through textbooks. This will mean that you always have things to talk about during class time even if there are no new topics coming up. Keep an eye on history as well because this plays an important role when learning about politics too - you can't have a great understanding of the past without knowing how it has shaped the future.
Your classes will be with a maximum of around 20 students which is a lot less than most other professorships out there. This is because everyone needs to feel involved and valued in order to get the best results from their lessons. You will also want to give as much individual attention as possible so that you can help each student achieve their potential throughout their studies at University.
What are educational requirements?
To become a Political Theory Professor you will need to have completed a Master's Degree in Politics. There are no other educational requirements which is something that not every job can say.
What skills do I need?
There are plenty of transferable skills that you will need before becoming a Political Theory Professor including:
- An interest in politics and current affairs: It's important that you are passionate about politics and keep up-to-date with the latest news.
- Strong communication skills: You will be teaching students new ideas so it's vital that you can communicate these effectively through your lesson plans.
- An open mind: It's important to keep an open mind when dealing with different beliefs rather than sticking to your own values all of the time.
- The ability to think critically about politics: You will need to be able to form your own opinions on different political issues that come into play.
- An understanding of the key ideas and theories: All good professors will be familiar with a range of different theoretical perspectives which you can explore during their lessons.
- The ability to research independently: You will have plenty of time available for researching new topics so it's important that you are able to do this independently rather than relying on others.
- The motivation to keep up with all the latest developments even if they are outside of your expertise: There is a lot of research produced which you will need to stay up-to-date with even if it's not directly related to politics.
Are there any perks?
You should expect some great benefits as well as the satisfaction of teaching students how to be better at what they do:
- You can work part-time if you would prefer.
- Flexible working hours so you can create your own schedule.
- The choice of where to work as there are multiple options available such as universities and colleges.
What will it be like day to day?
During your first year as a professor, you should expect to spend most of your time planning lessons and creating course materials. As an expert in the field, you will lead discussions and debates on political issues with students. You'll also help students explore any problems that they face through first-hand experience rather than just theoretical discussion.
Once the term starts you should expect to teach one or two classes each week. Your role will be to motivate students and make sure that they are always engaged with the topics. This means you'll also spend a lot of time on attendance, marking work, sending emails, and liaising with students about their progress.
You can expect to lead research projects for second or third-year students depending on your experience level. You will usually have between 12-15 hours available each week for this type of work which is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable extra income if you want it.
What tools and software do you need to use in this position?
You will need a range of different tools and software to help you run your teaching sessions effectively:
- A Dictaphone so you can make notes during research tasks.
- An email account with access to the University's student network system.
- A laptop or PC with Microsoft Office Suite for creating course materials.
What training, qualifications, or certifications are required?
To become a Political Theory Professor you will need to complete a Master's Degree in Politics which typically takes three years of full-time study. If this is not available then it may be possible to complete an MSc qualification but this would be more difficult due to the extra workload involved. You will also need clearance from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). Finally, you will need to pass the Skills Tests for Lecturers which most universities offer as part of their courses.
What salary are you expected to get from state to state?
The average salary for a professor is $75,000 with some earning more than $100,000. This is significantly higher than the American national average of $44,884 according to 2011 figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
How do I advance in this position?
To make the most of your salary you should aim to gain as much experience as possible by taking on extra work such as running research projects or assisting with different classes. You may also want to consider setting up your own private tutorials for individuals who need extra help which could be an excellent way to generate some additional income.
It's important that you show a willingness to contribute both financially and socially to the university though so don't turn down any opportunities that come along!
How do I find this job?
You'll need experience as well as a qualification in politics or education which means that you'll usually have to work within those fields first. You can then begin applying for an assistant or associate professor jobs before continuing upwards from there. It might also be possible for you to follow a career path where you move sideways into education after gaining your full professorship.
How can I prepare for an interview?
You should learn about how to use the Dictaphone and emailing software before you attend your first interview so that you can show off your skills. You may be able to demonstrate these on a practical basis during the interview itself if you have access to them at work or home. A good way to begin preparing is by trying out some of the current course materials from different subjects in order to get an idea of what they require from you as a professor.
You'll also need to research career paths in more detail prior to attending any interviews, especially if this is not something that you've done before. This means that you'll need to find out what qualifications you'll need and how long they will take. You should then set yourself a timeline for getting them completed which will allow you months of breathing space in order to get the best possible grades at university.
You can also prepare by reading up on employment law and discussing it with other professors so that you know what your rights are if you lose your job or the contract ends during the interview process.
What questions can the committee ask?
Committee members will usually ask about your specialism and expertise in the area as well as how you intend to improve it. They may also ask questions like: What experience do you have of working with students and what training and support do you need? How would your courses differ from those already available? What steps would you take if one of your lectures was disrupted by a student protest?
The main thing that they will want to establish at this stage is whether you are experienced, qualified, and suited to the role as opposed to any particular skill set. The interview process itself may be carried out over several different sessions so that each member can get an equal say.
You should wear something that you feel suits your personality and which will help to give the committee a good idea of how you present yourself. This means wearing something conservative and clean with no excessive jewelry, ornamentation, or patterns.
When should you expect a response to your application?
The hiring manager will have a number of applications to get through so don't be surprised if it takes weeks or even months before you hear back from them. In some cases, they may decide that there are other candidates who better fit their criteria which means that you'll need to look for other vacancies instead.
You can also follow up with the employer after two or three weeks in order to remind them about your interest in the position and check that they have everything that they need from you. This is one way of making sure that you remain at the top of their list when an opportunity does come up and they want someone for the role. It's unlikely but possible.
Who may become your employer?
Some of the employers that you may be able to work for include:
- Colleges and universities in your local area
- Professional societies and academic institutions abroad
- State, county, or city departments or agencies
You could also use your experience to teach at a secondary school although this would provide less job security than teaching at college. It's important to note that if you'd like to benefit from tenure (which is when full professors enjoy permanent contracts) then you'll most likely need to go through several years of probationary periods first.
Some popular places to find vacancies include:
- The Chronicle of Higher Education
- AJIL Unbound
- AALL Spectrum
- EHE Network (Higher Ed Jobs) You can search for jobs using the databases that are provided by your university or an associate of one. They may also run job fairs where you can meet representatives from different colleges and universities around the country. This is a good way to get information about specific employers as well as find out what qualifications they ask for in order to be considered. Depending on which subject you specialize in, it might even be possible to look at Ph.D. vacancies on sites like HigherEdJobs.com.
What other jobs relative to the political theory professor position?
It's possible to move into related areas like political research, journalism, or teaching. Other specific options include becoming a lawyer (especially within international law) or working for charities and non-profit agencies.
Career paths are different depending on the institution that you work for. For this reason, it's important to research the requirements of your potential employers carefully beforehand so that you can put together an effective application.
Once you've established how much experience they require, where else you can find vacancies, and what qualifications are necessary then you should focus on getting them before attending any interviews. This means looking at whether there are courses available in your local area which directly relate to this field as well as finding out about any online options through universities or professional societies.
You'll also need details of when these courses start and finish, how long they take to complete and what entry requirements they have along with costs so that you can determine whether it will be possible for you to do them after committing to a job.
What advice would you give someone who wants this job?
Think about why you want to be a Political Theory Professor and how this will help your students. Make sure that any motivations aren't just based on money as these won't last over the long term.
Think about your skillset and what value it can offer students if you were teaching them political ideas. This will allow you to develop your own unique style of delivering classes that appeal to current and prospective employers alike.
Consider whether you're able to work as a professor full time or would prefer to take up contract work where you can. This will help ensure that you don't end up with too much pressure if your workload ends up being higher than expected.
Think about any research interests and whether you can gain extra funding for this type of work. For example, many professors will offer free seminars to students in exchange for taking part in surveys or experiments.