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How Do I Become an Economics Professor?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 25 January 2019
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Economics professors teach classes and seminars and lead tutorials at colleges and universities. Someone wishing to become an economics professor must have successfully graduated from high school and completed both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs. Additionally, most colleges require applicants for these roles to have gained some relevant work experience in a less senior teaching role.

Typically, anyone wishing to become an economics professor must graduate from high school with above average grades in mathematics and other finance and economics related topics. Many universities offer economics undergraduate degree courses; successful completion of either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in the topic is normally a prerequisite for a professor role. BS degrees are focused on using financial information for practical purposes such as finding ways to improve economic efficiency while BA degrees are usually geared around studying the history of economics and the doctrines and papers produced by financial theorists.

Having completed an undergraduate degree, someone wishing to become an economics professor must enroll in a masters degree program. Typically, colleges only accept applications from students who have higher than average scores while studying for undergraduate degrees. As with bachelor's programs, many colleges offer both Master of Science (MS) and Master of Arts (MA) programs; typically those who have completed arts undergraduate degrees study MA programs while BS graduates enroll in the MS courses.

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The final academic step in preparing to become an economics professor involves completing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the subject. These programs normally last for several years and students are often required to teach undergraduate classes while studying for the degree course. Some universities employ a large number of economics professors each of whom is tasked with leading classes that focus on one area of the subject such as macroeconomics or microeconomics. The professor's specialty normally relates directly to his or her PhD course.

Professors are normally full-time employees of the university but many educational establishments only fill these roles with people who have already gained some college level teaching experience as assistant professors. Generally, assistant roles are filled by people who have completed PhD courses, and many of the jobs are part-time positions. Major colleges require applicants for professor roles to have spent a certain number of years working as assistants before applying for the job. Additionally, academics often publish papers covering topics such as econometrics, financial regulations and social policy and many universities prefer to hire PhD graduates who have had their works published in journals or in books.

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