Career Development

16 College Professor Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important College Professor skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Teaching at the college level requires a mix of hard and soft skills. College professors must be able to develop and deliver lectures, manage a classroom and provide feedback to students. In addition, college professors need to be able to work with other faculty members, conduct research and publish their findings. Understanding these skills is important to becoming a successful college professor.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly and concisely. College professors often communicate with students, administrators and other faculty members. They also need to be able to explain complex topics in a way that their students can understand them. Strong communication skills are essential for college professors because they allow you to relay important information to your students and colleagues effectively.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. College professors often use problem solving skills in their work, as they may encounter challenges with students or course materials. For example, if a student has an issue understanding a topic, the professor can help them find ways to overcome it. Professors also use problem solving when resolving conflicts between students or faculty members.

Facilitating Discussions

Discussions are a common part of many college courses, and professors need to be able to facilitate them effectively. This means knowing how to guide the conversation so that all students have an opportunity to contribute and ensuring that everyone understands the material. It also means being aware of any potential conflicts between students and addressing them quickly and appropriately.

Public Speaking

Public speaking is the ability to speak in front of an audience. College professors often have to give lectures and presentations, so public speaking skills are important for this job. Public speaking can also help you connect with students and build trust with them. This can make your classroom more effective as a learning environment.


College professors often provide academic guidance to students, including advice on coursework and career paths. Professors who are skilled in advisement can help their students make informed decisions about their education and future careers. They may also advise students on how to overcome challenges or improve their performance in certain subjects.


Organization is the ability to keep track of your tasks and responsibilities. College professors often have many duties, such as preparing lectures, grading assignments and maintaining office hours. Having strong organizational skills can help you stay on top of your workload and meet deadlines. It’s also important to be organized in your personal life so that you can manage household chores, finances and other daily responsibilities.

Leading Group Projects

Group projects are a common assignment in college courses, especially for subjects like business or education. Professors who can lead group projects effectively have the ability to motivate students and encourage them to work together productively. They also know how to manage conflicts that may arise during group projects and find ways to resolve them.


Leadership is the ability to guide and motivate others. College professors often lead their students through an educational experience, so it’s important for them to be able to provide guidance and maintain a positive learning environment. Strong leadership skills can also help college professors develop effective lesson plans and manage classroom discussions effectively.

Decision Making

College professors make decisions about their courses, lesson plans and research. They also need to make decisions about student grades, class schedules and other aspects of the job. For example, if a professor has two students who have similar test scores, they might decide which one deserves an “A” grade or whether both students should receive the same grade.

Decision-making skills are important for college professors because they help them determine what is best for their students and how to improve their classes.


Mentoring is the process by which an experienced professional guides a less-experienced colleague. College professors often mentor their students, guiding them through their academic careers and helping them achieve success in their classes. Mentorship can also be useful for college professors who are new to their positions, as it allows them to learn from more experienced colleagues.

Assessment & Evaluation

College professors assess their students’ progress and provide feedback to help them improve. This can include evaluating student performance on tests, assignments or projects and providing constructive criticism when necessary. Professors also evaluate the success of their own teaching methods by observing how engaged their students are in class and whether they understand the material.

Classroom Management

Classroom management refers to the ability to maintain order in a classroom. Professors often have to manage large groups of students, and they need to be able to keep their classrooms safe and productive. Classroom management skills can include knowing how to handle student behavior issues, maintaining an organized classroom environment and keeping track of student information like grades and attendance records.

Scholarly Writing

Scholarly writing is the ability to write about topics that are academic in nature. Professors often use scholarly writing when creating lesson plans, research papers and other documents related to their field of study. This skill requires a thorough understanding of the topic at hand as well as an ability to communicate complex ideas clearly through written language.


Lecturing is the process by which a professor explains course material to students. Professors who are skilled at lecturing can explain complex topics in an engaging and informative way that allows their students to understand the subject matter. Lecturing also involves answering student questions about course materials, so professors should be knowledgeable enough about their subjects to answer any question a student may have.

Instructional Design

Instructional design is the process by which college professors create course materials and lesson plans. They use instructional design skills to develop their curriculum, including lecture notes, reading assignments, homework assignments, quizzes and exams. Professors with strong instructional design skills can create engaging courses that help students learn effectively.

Curriculum Development

Curriculum development is the process by which college professors create course materials for their classes. This includes creating lesson plans, designing assignments and devising tests to evaluate student progress. Professors who are skilled in curriculum development can design courses that appeal to students and help them learn effectively.

How Can I Learn These College Professor Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the skills necessary to be a college professor. Many of these skills can be learned through experience, such as communication, problem solving, facilitating discussions, public speaking, advisement, organization, leading group projects, leadership, decision making, mentoring, assessment and evaluation, and classroom management. Other skills, such as scholarly writing, lecturing, instructional design, and curriculum development, can be learned through formal education, such as a master’s or doctorate degree in education.


16 Mechatronics Engineer Skills for Your Career and Resume

Back to Career Development

16 Cabinet Maker Skills for Your Career and Resume