I spend a great deal of time in my job traveling around various skills and teaching kids how to elect the career which they are after, and how they can find the career which best fits their skills and their character. Because of my job, I am always keen to speak to successful people and get their take on their industries and the advice that t hey would give to people looking to start a career within it.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the great Kevin Rolle, ex-university professor and now Executive Vice President of the highly regarded Alabama University. Kevin has worked throughout universities and educational facilities for over 20 years in administrative roles and I wanted to pick his brains to find out what kind of skills a university professor would require.

If this is a career that you are looking at then it is important to know that the number of positions available is fewer each year and in order to get in, you will need to possess all of these skills.


When you are teaching kids at a high school level or lower, you will only be sharing a small amount of the knowledge that you possess in your chosen subject with the students. Once you get to college level however, you will be teaching at a far, far higher level and for this reason you really need to be an expert in your field. Not only do you need to become an expert but you also need to continuously strive to update your knowledge to stay that way.

Communication Skills

As with any teaching job, you need to be able to communicate clearly with your students and ensure that you are also able to listen to any concerns, questions or complaints which they may have. Communication skills are vital.


Students will have chosen your class because they have a passion for it and it is your duty to take that passion and use it to continuously motivate you students. University life has a lot of temptations for students and it is your responsibility that they stay focussed on your course, through your inspiration.


If you do not love what you do, adore watching students reach the best that they can be and helping to share knowledge throughout the classroom, you will never succeed as a college professor. Make sure that before everything else, you have a real passion for education.

Work Ethic

You could probably say this about a hundred different types of jobs but if you don’t have the strength, passion or focus to work hard, being a college professor is not for you. Not only do you need to study hard to even qualify to be a professor, attaining your degree and a PhD, you also need to work extremely hard when doing the job, Professors spend hours upon hours planning lessons, syllabuses and marking papers, as well as teaching and you need to be prepared to really hustle if you want this job.