After a few years in college, it is increasingly common to find students or recent graduates thinking about continuing their studies as a graduate. These people ponder the possibility of taking a master’s degree and sometimes even continuing to research for a possible doctorate and then pursuing an academic career.
However, for some this decision is not so easy and it can bring doubts. If this is your case and you are still not sure if you want to pursue an academic career, then take this post to clear your doubts. Come on?
What does it mean to pursue an academic career?
The possibility of pursuing an academic career has gained visibility in recent years. If people used to just prepare for classes for children and teenagers, today they prefer to focus their efforts on college students.
And no less: teaching for higher education involves very specific intellectual knowledge, and salary and recognition can be very rewarding.
But whoever thinks that being a teacher is the only way forward in this career is foolhardy. It is possible to become a researcher and make a living out of it, even if you teach less.
One thing is certain: whether for one or the other, this career develops with much study and dedication. In this case, after graduating, the professional must follow the path of strictu sensu graduate, the famous masters and doctorate.
How does strictu sensu graduation work?
During this period of study (2 years for the master’s degree and 4 years for the doctorate), the student presents a relevant question within his area of action that will be the focus of the research.
If approved, it begins to develop this theme based on scientific methodologies with the guidance of a teacher throughout the process. All this combined with the traditional expository classes that happen a few times a week on a more flexible grid.
At the end of the research, the master’s or doctoral student will go through an examining board to present the project and demonstrate, in an argumentative and convincing way, everything that has developed in that time and to which conclusions reached. This bank will determine whether or not he deserves the degree. This process is called “thesis defense”.
It is worth remembering that those who want to make a career in the field should also be involved with university extension activities. The focus is to provide services to society, spreading knowledge and contributing to the development of a community. That is, the work can be much larger than you think.
Those who decide to pursue academic careers must always study, keeping constantly updated – and this is especially true of those who want to teach at universities. However, with the goal in mind and looking for results, it is much easier to prepare for this type of situation.
Should I follow this path?
This may be a fairly recurring question. However, it is worth stressing that the decision is strictly personal and the best person to answer it is yourself. What can help you in this period of discovery is, first, to consider your profile. This is already a first step in making a more assertive decision.
If you are the type that likes to study, have many articles published and presented during graduation, spent in research projects (such as PIBEX or PIBICT), made the presentation of various panels and banners during graduation, in short. If you get involved and enjoy these activities, your profile is probably ideal for pursuing an academic career.
However, if you like the job market more, you dream of a career in promotions, and you want to be an executive, for example, you may not have so much achievement in the academic field. However, it is up to you to consider yourself and find out what path you want to take, considering your personal goals and tastes.
How is the process for admission to master’s or doctorate?
To get a masters degree or doctorate you must have a good baggage. This is because the main universities in Brazil are demanding with students. They make a prior analysis of the academic curriculum, followed by general and specific knowledge tests and a test of proficiency in a foreign language (usually English).
And not only that: after all this process, they still conduct an interview about the research project. That is, a selection and so much!
To increase the chances of getting a good tutor for your research and a scholarship, the student must have a good academic record and must have carried out, during the graduation, research in his area of activity, as a scientific initiation program. And those who are going to try a doctorate pass through the same selection screen and preferably should already have a master’s degree.
What should I do to be successful in the process?
Know the program well
To not be disappointed and get lost in the academic career, nothing better than to know the program that you want to be part of. To do this, find out about the research lines that the university follows, what are the possible opportunities, besides knowing the teachers, the infrastructure and all the details that you consider pertinent.
Having a more global view of the program can help a lot and let you know whether or not to follow this path.
Chat with other students
To know a real reality, nothing better than talking to someone who experiences it every day. Take some time to talk to students who are already enrolled in the graduate program; ask them for tips, ask them how they have been and other information that is important to you.
Read and study the project selection edict
Colleges issue a call for proposals as soon as they open the project selection process. To be successful and successful, study all the requirements and steps you will take. Many people end up missing a great opportunity for banal mistakes that can be avoided with a thoughtful study of the edict.
Now that you have a more complete picture of the gym, it is easier to decide whether or not you want to walk that path, right? Following academic career requires preparation, a lot of willpower and passion!
And to start off on the right foot, be sure to read our text on how to prepare for a masters selection. That way you increase your chances in this process that is getting more and more involved.