Meet Juanitta Calitz, a Professor in the Law Faculty at the University of Johannesburg, who started her career in law at the Department of Justice, and after 11 years decided that she wanted to become a lecturer. Here is a short summary all about a ‘day in the life’ of a professor.
What are your working hours?
This is one of the awesome perks of being a lecturer! You have flexible working hours.
What does this job entail?
You do a lot of teaching and research and often spend a lot of time preparing for lectures. Teaching is hard work but the rewards are endless.
Are there any ‘glamorous’ aspects to being a professor?
You travel the world doing research, attending conferences and teaching at foreign universities. You also get to meet interesting people of all different walks of life.
What are the mundane aspects?
You spend a lot of time alone with only your books as company. During exam time you are also responsible for marking exam papers.
What are some of the personality attributes required to make a great professor?
You have to be accessible, enthusiastic and caring of nature. You have to love books, reading and studying.
Are there different aspects a person could get involved with in this career field?
You could practise as a lawyer, advocate or judge.
Where and what should I study for this career?
You have to obtain a law degree as well as a PhD in law.
What entry-level requirements should I have to qualify to study law?
A very high APS score!
Breakdown of the subjects I can expect to learn/study:
You will mostly be studying certain law subjects and in the first few years you will study a combination of law and BCom or BA subjects.
Do you constantly have to go on courses to keep up to date in your field of expertise?
Yes and no. You choose your own area of expertise and interest and although it is necessary to keep up to date with the latest developments in law, you could achieve this on your own.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Each and every student’s graduation is a highlight not only for the student but for his or her lecturers as well.
What can I expect to earn in this career?
You don’t earn as much as your colleagues in practice, but the endless opportunities and being able to do what you love every day make up for it.
What are the benefits in this career?
You have a job with a high level of job security and good fringe benefits.
What is the market like in terms of jobs and competition?
There is a certain amount of competition in academia as the number of career opportunities remains limited. It is, however, possible for every lecturer who works hard and is driven towards a goal to become a professor.
Any tips for teens who may want to pursue a career as a professor?
Study hard, obtain good grades, but most of all enjoy what you do.