How do You Become a Professor of Early Childhood Education?

Are you interested in becoming a professor of early childhood education? If so, perhaps you’re wondering about what academic credentials, previous work experience, professional licenses and certifications you might need to obtain a position in this line of work. Read on to gain a better understanding of how to get a job working as a professor of early childhood education.

Academic Credentials Necessary for Becoming a Professor of Early Childhood Ed

To become a professor at most academic institutions, you’ll need a PhD degree. It’s ideal if you earned your doctoral degree in education, child development or a closely related field such as special education or early childhood special education. If you want to teach at a community college, a master’s degree may be sufficient; this depends on the requirements of the specific position you’d be applying for.

Related: Top 15 Cheap Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Degree Programs

Work Experience and Skills Needed to Become a Professor of Early Childhood Ed

Most employers will require you to have relevant classroom experience teaching young children. Five years worth of recent experience is a common requirement at the time of initial hire. Many employers are likely to also require several years worth of post-secondary teaching experience.

It’s also beneficial to have had prior involvement with children’s programs such as Head Start. Some employers will want assurance that you have experience with Common Core and are up to date on all the latest academic trends. In some geographic areas, you’ll have an advantage if you have experience with bilingual education. Some universities will consider it an advantage if you have extensive research experience and the ability to acquire grant funding. Student advising is typically part of the job description in this line of work, so it’s a good idea to develop this skill if you haven’t already.

Many institutions are now offering online classes. You may need to have an understanding of how to teach courses using videoconferencing technology such as Zoom or Skype and how to conduct virtual classes.

In the early childhood educator specialization, assistant professor positions are much more readily available than professor positions are. It’s ideal if you’re willing to accept work as an assistant professor prior to seeking work as a professor.

Licenses and Certifications Necessary for Becoming a Professor of Early Childhood Ed

You will probably need to have obtained your teaching certification in the state where you’ll be working. Some states also require licensure.

Additional Materials You May Need to Provide to Prospective Employers

Employers in this line of work may ask you to provide them with references, letters of recommendation, letters of application and official copies of relevant transcripts. Some may ask for statements of research philosophy or statements of educational philosophy. You’ll probably also have to send a cover letter and CV. Some employers in this field will conduct background checks on their job applicants prior to hiring.

We hope this overview of typical qualifications will be helpful to you as you decide whether you want to pursue this type of career as a professional educator. Now that you have a better idea about how to become a professor of early childhood education, you’re better positioned to tailor your academic courses and work experience to gain credentials for meeting this career goal.