College Professor Job Market Trends

The college professor job market is a particularly diverse, and often complex field. The complexity is based partly on the multiple streams of colleges, and their often very different approaches to professorships. The other elements in the job market issues are based on the education sector as a whole, and the changing face of macro-educational roles and needs.

Job Market Issues and Academic College Professor Roles

The academic college professorships are slowly increasing as the demand for higher education penetrates the wider global job market. The glacial speed of increased professorships is based on built in sector problems.

The primary problems are basic:

  • Colleges have only so much capacity.
  • College budgets can only afford a defined salary base.
  • The high prices of tuition have effectively capped college revenue by reducing accessibility for students, thus restricting capital inflows.
  • Overheads for college operations increase over time, reducing the capital base.

This situation is changing, thanks mainly to online course options and some strong innovations by high profile US colleges like Berkeley, which have been promoting this option. But the increase in tutorial positions hasn’t been particularly rapid, despite strong levels of interest in the sector. The slow progress of development of these options relates mainly to bonafide academic situations, limited resources and qualifications standards issues. 

Community College Professorships

In contrast, community college professorships are growing rapidly, as the community college option for undergraduates in particular explodes across the US. The community colleges are picking up much of the primary workload at these levels, including some overflow from the academic colleges.

There’s also been a significant grassroots push among educators for wider roles for the community colleges. This is basically an economically driven argument, citing the huge gap in demand compared with the availability of college places. The ever-increasing demand in the employment market for qualifications is another factor, and employers have also been supportive of a higher capacity to support necessary qualifications levels.

The Future 

College professorships are very likely to become an essential integer of college structures in the future. The demand for senior teachers with strong professional and organizational status roles, particularly experienced teachers who can also operate as supports for junior instructors, will continue to increase rapidly.

That’s likely to produce a big change in the ratio of college professor roles in comparison to the present. The “online education factor” alone will create a natural demand for these roles.

Skills and Future Education Issues

It’s inevitable that the ongoing rapid expansion of skill sets in the workforce will feed back into the educational and training areas very forcibly. That means that the qualification standards of teachers and instructors will also be forced to rise, particularly in the senior levels.

College professors fit this model very well. They’re highly qualified, and have the broader range of teaching skills to deal with this demand effectively. The result will be creation of professorships as a necessary organizational role, to cope with the demand for these higher levels of education.