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A finance professor is an instructor at a college or university who specializes in teaching business economics principles. A professor might teach general financial management courses, or specialize in a certain aspect of accounting, investment banking, business law, or government finance. Professionals help to prepare students for eventual careers in corporate finance as well as personal money management. Most full-time professors are required to hold doctoral degrees and gain several years of teaching experience to obtain tenured positions.
Business-minded students at many colleges have the opportunity to pursue undergraduate and advanced degrees in finance. They are generally required to take a broad range of business courses, but tend to focus the majority of their studies on economics, financial analysis, insurance, and investment. Such courses are taught by expert finance professors who usually have many years of experience in the field. In order to provide the best possible information, professors tend to specialize in one of those subjects. Since many modern businesses rely on computer programs, a finance professor may also specialize in teaching courses on electronic financial management and record-keeping.
A knowledgeable finance professor may use a number of different teaching techniques to impart knowledge on his or her students. In a large undergraduate class, for example, a finance professor might give traditional lectures, assign textbook readings, and schedule written exams. In some smaller classes, especially those at the graduate level, a professor is likely to provide a more hands-on course for students that involves participation in interactive group projects.
In order to become a finance professor at most universities, an individual is required to obtain a doctoral degree in his or her specialty and complete a specialized education program. Many professors gain years of practical experience in financial management jobs at corporations or government offices before deciding to become teachers. Once employed by a college, a new teacher is usually expected to work for a specified amount of time, sometimes several years, before attaining professorship status. He or she begins as an instructor and moves up the ranks to an assistant or associate professor, and finally to senior finance professor.
By proving his or her skills as an instructor and participating in the business matters of a university, a finance professor can become eligible for tenure. A tenured professor enjoys a high level of job security and flexibility in the type of independent research projects and teaching methods he or she wishes to pursue. Most professors are required to gain at least seven years of experience to reach tenure status, though the length of time and particular conditions vary between schools and countries.