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English Language and Literature Teacher Jobs
English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
Overview of Education & Training
Most Significant Source of Postsecondary Education or Training
In-Depth Look at Education & Training
The education and training required of postsecondary teachers varies widely, depending on the subject taught and the educational institution employing them. Educational requirements for teachers generally are highest at research universities, where a Ph.D. is the most commonly held degree.
Education and training. Four-year colleges and universities usually require candidates for full-time, tenure-track positions to hold a doctoral degree. However, they may hire master's degree holders or doctoral candidates for certain disciplines, such as the arts, or for part-time and temporary jobs.
Doctoral programs take an average of 6 years of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree, including time spent completing a master's degree and a dissertation. Some programs, such as those in the humanities, may take longer to complete; others, such as those in engineering, usually are shorter. Candidates specialize in a subfield of a discipline—for example, organic chemistry, counseling psychology, or European history—and also take courses covering the entire discipline. Programs typically include 20 or more increasingly specialized courses and seminars, plus comprehensive examinations in all major areas of the field. Candidates also must complete a dissertation—a paper on original research in the candidate's major field of study. The dissertation sets forth an original hypothesis or proposes a model and tests it. Students in the natural sciences and engineering often do theoretical or laboratory work; in the humanities, they study original documents and other published material. The dissertation is done under the guidance of one or more faculty advisors and usually takes 1 or 2 years of full-time work.
In 2-year colleges, master's degree holders fill most full-time teaching positions. However, in certain fields where there may be more applicants than available jobs, institutions can be more selective in their hiring practices. In these fields, master's degree holders may be passed over in favor of candidates holding Ph.D.s. Many 2-year institutions increasingly prefer job applicants to have some teaching experience or experience with distance learning. Preference also may be given to those holding dual master's degrees, especially at smaller institutions, because those with dual degrees can teach more subjects.
Other qualifications. Postsecondary teachers should communicate and relate well with students, enj...