Difference Between Associate Professor and PhD

Almost the same are the levels involving lecturing titles. However, there is a thin line of difference between associate professor and PhD holders in this business. The lecturing business has various levels to it. It at all definitely begins from having a Masters’ degree, to having PhD in the midst of all other assignments, courses, and trainings before one touches the highest rank, which is the Professorial position.

In education, there are levels which we call academic ranks. This deals with the ranks of scientists or teachers in colleges, high schools, universities or research establishments. The academic ranks indicate relative importance and power of individuals in academia. Among the common ranks are professor, associate professor (docent), assistant professor and instructor.

In most cases, the academic rank is automatically attached to a person at the time of employment in a position with the same name, and deprived when a working relation is expired. This is often the case in schools across the world. No matter what, whether you are a lecturer, senior lecturer, assistant lecturer, professor or whatever, the major role is lecturing.

So, what is the academic difference between associate professor and PhD holders when employed?

PhD Holder’s Position

Colleges and universities generally require tenure-track faculty to hold a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or another doctoral degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Two-year and community colleges do hire some instructors with master’s degrees, the BLS notes, but still tend to favor those with doctorates.

When it comes to having the certificate itself, it involves some rigors. Detailed requirements for the award of a PhD degree vary throughout the world and even from school to school. It is usually required for the student to hold an Honors degree or a Master’s degree with high academic standing, in order to be considered for a PhD program.

Some individual universities or departments specify additional requirements for students not already in possession of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent or higher. In order to submit a successful PhD admission application, copies of academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a research proposal, and a personal statement are often required. Most universities also invite for a special interview before admission.

After completing a PhD, graduates often take up part-time teaching roles. The experience gained will make them more competitive candidates to apply for research or teaching fellowships and permanent lecture positions. Many candidates taking a PhD supervise groups of students while on their research degree. This is particularly common in studentships because the student completes a project as ‘an employee’.

Studentships facilitated though a research school or Doctoral College will have training programmes built into the studentship. These provide valuable skills that the research student will be free to utilize once they have completed their PhD project. Many universities now have teaching-focused career pathways which you can follow.

Teaching and lecturing in universities does not require a PhD. Many teachers enter the field at university level after an established career in industry, so they complete additional teaching qualifications in order to carry out the typical roles needed for teaching groups of students.

Read Also: Difference Between Research Professor and Professor

Associate Professor’s Position

Assistant professors are most often hired on six- or seven-year contracts. In the final year, an assistant professor can apply for tenure and promotion to associate professor. An associate professor is a mid-level professor who has been granted tenure.

Once promoted, an associate professor continues to work in teaching, research, and service, but at higher levels. The instructor may teach more advanced classes and devote more time to research. The biggest shift for an associate professor is often an expansion of service activities. The instructor must find time for administrative duties, such as serving on committees.

An assistant professor becomes an associate professor when they achieve tenure, which is usually five to seven years into employment with a demonstration of exceptional teaching or research skills. They develop curricula, teach classes and conduct research.

The job duties of an associate professor and a tenured professor vary and depend on where they teach as well as other factors. An associate professor’s duties may include:

  • Acquiring funding for research

  • Conducting research

  • Creating lesson plans and syllabuses

  • Teaching classes and advising students in their specialty field

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