How to Become an Asian Studies Professor (From Student to Sensei!)

how to become an asian studies professor

If you’ve ever been captivated by the richness of Asian culture, history, and languages, and envisioned yourself teaching it, you’re on the right track.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the precise steps you need to take to establish your career as an Asian Studies Professor. We will delve into:

  • The skills you need to master.
  • The education that will propel you towards your goal.
  • Strategies for securing your first job as an Asian Studies Professor.

So, whether you’re a novice in Asian Studies or an experienced academic hoping to specialize, stick around.

We’re about to unravel the roadmap to becoming an Asian Studies Professor.

Let’s embark on this journey!

Contents show

Steps to Become an Asian Studies Professor


Step 1: Gain a Deep Understanding of Asian Cultures and Histories

As an initial step towards becoming an Asian Studies Professor, you must gain a profound understanding of Asian cultures and histories.

This can be achieved by taking undergraduate courses related to Asian Studies, including areas such as history, literature, philosophy, religion, and language studies related to various Asian countries.

While pursuing your undergraduate degree, try to take a broad range of courses that cover different regions of Asia, such as East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

This will not only provide you with a well-rounded education but also help you determine which specific area you might want to focus on later.

In addition to formal education, immerse yourself in Asian cultures as much as possible.

This could mean studying abroad in an Asian country, learning an Asian language, participating in Asian cultural events, or even conducting independent research on a topic of interest.

This immersion can provide you with invaluable firsthand experience and insights that can greatly enrich your academic understanding.

Remember, the goal of this step is not just to acquire knowledge but to develop a deep, nuanced understanding of the complex histories, cultures, societies, and philosophies of Asia.

This foundation will be crucial for your future studies and research in Asian Studies.


Step 2: Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian Studies or Related Field

To start your journey towards becoming an Asian Studies Professor, you’ll need to first complete a bachelor’s degree.

The most common undergraduate path is to major in Asian Studies, History, International Relations, or another closely related field.

During your undergraduate studies, you’ll study the politics, history, culture, and language of various Asian countries.

Courses often cover a wide range of topics including Asian history, comparative politics, international relations, and language studies.

It’s important to choose a major that offers ample opportunities to study specific areas of Asia in depth.

If you are passionate about a particular country or region in Asia, you can also consider studying the language spoken there.

Fluency in an Asian language such as Mandarin, Japanese, or Korean can significantly enhance your understanding of the culture and the region, and it is often a requirement for graduate programs in Asian Studies.

It’s also beneficial to participate in study abroad programs or internships in Asia, which can provide you with hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of the Asian culture and society.

This experience can be very advantageous when applying for graduate programs or research positions.

Remember, the goal during this step is not just to achieve a degree, but to gain a profound understanding of Asia, its languages, and its cultures.

This will prepare you for the more specialized work at the master’s and doctoral levels, which are essential steps in becoming an Asian Studies Professor.


Step 3: Learn Asian Languages

As an Asian Studies Professor, it’s important to gain proficiency in at least one or more Asian languages.

This can not only provide a deeper insight into the culture and society you will be studying, but also open up opportunities to read primary sources and conduct in-depth research.

If you’re just starting out, consider focusing on a language that is relevant to your area of interest within Asian Studies.

For example, if you’re interested in ancient Chinese philosophy, learning Mandarin would be beneficial.

If modern Japanese society fascinates you, mastering Japanese should be your goal.

Many graduate programs in Asian Studies require language proficiency as part of their admission criteria, so it’s helpful to start learning as early as possible.

You can take language courses at a university, attend language immersion programs, or even study abroad in an Asian country to learn the language.

Remember, language learning is a long-term commitment.

It’s not enough to just learn the basics; you need to keep using and practicing the language to maintain and improve your skills.

This might involve reading books and newspapers, watching movies, or speaking with native speakers.

Mastering an Asian language will not only enhance your understanding of Asian culture and society but also make you more marketable as a professor in Asian Studies.

It can also pave the way to collaborative research opportunities with scholars from Asia.


Step 4: Complete a Master’s Degree in Asian Studies

Continuing your education beyond a bachelor’s degree is an essential step to becoming an Asian Studies Professor.

After your undergraduate studies, enroll in a master’s degree program in Asian Studies.

This advanced degree will give you a deeper understanding and broader knowledge about various aspects of Asian history, culture, economy, politics, and languages.

During your master’s program, you will be expected to undertake a significant amount of research.

You may choose to specialize in a specific area such as East Asian history, Southeast Asian politics, Asian philosophy, or Asian literature, among others.

Many programs also require you to become proficient in at least one Asian language, which can be an invaluable tool for your research and future teaching.

A master’s thesis, a substantial piece of original academic research, is often a part of this degree.

This can serve as a precursor to the kind of in-depth research you will undertake during your doctoral studies.

Remember, this degree is not just a stepping stone for your doctoral degree but it is also an opportunity to establish your niche in the field.

After the completion of your master’s degree, you might choose to gain some practical experience by teaching at a high school or community college, or by working in a non-academic setting related to Asian studies before you proceed to a doctoral program.

This could provide valuable experience and make you a more attractive candidate for future academic positions.


Step 5: Engage in Cultural Immersion Experiences

As an aspiring Asian Studies professor, it’s crucial that you go beyond bookish knowledge and actively immerse yourself in the cultures you are studying.

This could involve spending extended periods in various Asian countries, participating in local festivals, learning the language, and understanding their traditions and societal norms.

Cultural immersion will not only deepen your understanding of the subject matter, but will also give you first-hand experiences and anecdotes to share with your future students, making your teaching more authentic and engaging.

You might consider studying abroad, participating in exchange programs, or working in Asia during your vacations.

Besides this, you might also want to engage with Asian communities in your home country, attend cultural events, and develop relationships with people from the cultures you are studying.

You could also undertake fieldwork in Asia as part of your postgraduate or doctoral research.

This exposure will not only help you develop a nuanced understanding of Asian cultures but also help establish professional connections in academic circles in Asia, which can be beneficial for your future career.


Step 6: Conduct Original Research

As an aspiring Asian Studies Professor, conducting original research in your area of interest within Asian Studies is pivotal.

The field is broad, encompassing various regions, cultures, histories, and phenomena from Asia.

Your research could focus on anything from historical events, cultural studies, comparative studies, regional politics, economics, or literature.

During your doctoral program, you’ll typically identify a research topic and start working on your dissertation.

This is your opportunity to contribute new knowledge to the field.

You might spend months or even years collecting data, conducting fieldwork, or doing archival research.

This rigorous process often involves traveling to the region you are studying, acquiring language proficiency, and collaborating with international scholars.

Conducting original research not only positions you as an expert in a specific area but also improves your prospects for academic employment.

Universities often look for professors who can bring fresh perspectives and novel insights into their departments.

Additionally, publishing your research findings in reputable academic journals can help you gain recognition in the field.

Remember, your research is not a one-time affair; as an Asian Studies Professor, you are expected to continue pursuing research, contributing to ongoing scholarly conversations, and staying updated with the latest developments in your specialty.


Step 7: Publish Scholarly Articles and Papers

As an aspiring Asian Studies professor, it is essential to publish scholarly articles and papers in your field of specialization.

Having your work published in reputable academic journals or conference proceedings showcases your research capabilities, and gives you credibility in your field.

This also helps you to stay abreast of the latest research trends and issues concerning Asian studies.

When choosing topics to write about, focus on subjects that interest you and align with your expertise.

You can also explore areas where there are gaps in the current research literature.

Consider collaborating with fellow academics, as this can expand your professional network and offer more comprehensive insights into your chosen topic.

Publishing requires rigorous research, academic writing skills, and patience, as the peer-review process can be lengthy.

Feedback from reviewers can be used constructively to improve your future work.

Remember, the goal is to contribute new knowledge to the field of Asian Studies.

Being an active publisher not only strengthens your resume but also enhances your chances of securing a tenure-track position in a university or college.

It is important to remember that the frequency and quality of your publications can significantly impact your career progression as an Asian Studies professor.


Step 8: Enroll in a Ph.D. Program

If you’re aspiring to become an Asian Studies Professor, the next crucial step you’ll need to take is enrolling in a Ph.D. program.

This program is essential for gaining in-depth knowledge and specialization in the field of Asian Studies.

You’ll be able to focus on specific areas such as history, literature, culture, or languages of various Asian regions.

During the Ph.D. program, you will have the opportunity to conduct extensive research on your chosen topic within Asian Studies.

This is typically presented in the form of a dissertation, which contributes new knowledge to the field.

Your research can focus on any aspect of Asian Studies, whether it be a deep dive into particular historical events or an exploration of cultural practices in a certain region.

Being part of a Ph.D. program also allows you to build a strong network with fellow scholars and professors.

These relationships can provide valuable opportunities for mentorship, collaboration, and future job prospects.

Remember, your commitment to a Ph.D. program is a significant one, often requiring several years of intensive study and research.

Therefore, it’s crucial to select a program and research focus that aligns with your long-term career goals and passion for Asian Studies.


Step 9: Teach Undergraduate Classes or Work as a Teaching Assistant

In order to gain practical experience in teaching, it is advisable for aspiring Asian Studies Professors to start by teaching undergraduate classes or work as a teaching assistant.

This step is usually taken during the doctoral program.

This role includes tasks such as leading discussion sections, grading papers, and developing course material under the supervision of a senior professor.

This practical experience will not only help you understand how to manage a classroom but also allow you to experiment with different teaching methods and styles.

Teaching at this level also helps to build your resume, showcasing your capacity to teach the subject matter.

It provides an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge in Asian studies and hone your presentation and communication skills, which are critical for a career in academia.

Remember, teaching is more than just imparting knowledge; it’s about inspiring students to learn more about the subject matter.

Therefore, use this opportunity to develop your teaching philosophy and to cultivate a dynamic teaching style that engages students in the learning process.

It’s also a good idea to seek out feedback from both your students and supervising professors to continuously improve your teaching skills.

Be open to criticism and willing to adapt and grow.

This experience will be invaluable when it comes time to apply for professorship positions.


Step 10: Write and Defend a Dissertation

After advancing to candidacy, aspiring Asian Studies Professors need to produce a dissertation, which is essentially a lengthy and original research project.

This should be an in-depth study of a topic within Asian Studies, and should make a significant and original contribution to the field.

You will be working under the guidance of your dissertation advisor or committee, often comprising of faculty members in your department.

During this stage, you will be expected to carry out independent research, interpret your findings, and write your dissertation.

This process can take several years and requires a great deal of commitment and perseverance.

Your work should demonstrate mastery and understanding of your chosen area within Asian Studies.

After completing your dissertation, the next step is to defend it in front of a committee.

The defense usually consists of a public presentation, followed by a private question and answer session.

You will need to explain your research methodology, share your findings, and demonstrate how your work contributes to the existing body of knowledge in Asian Studies.

The successful completion and defense of your dissertation is the final step in earning your Ph.D., the qualification typically required to become an Asian Studies Professor.


Step 11: Network with Academics and Professionals in the Field

Establishing a strong network in the field of Asian Studies is crucial for your development as a professor.

Building relationships with other academics can provide opportunities for collaboration, research partnerships, and valuable mentorships.

Attend academic conferences, symposiums, and seminars regularly, both domestically and internationally.

These events offer excellent opportunities to meet scholars, present your research, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

Join relevant professional associations such as the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) or regional studies associations.

These organizations often have networking events and provide access to journals and other resources.

You should also consider building relationships with professionals outside of academia who are involved in Asian Studies.

This could include policy makers, journalists, or employees of non-governmental organizations.

These connections can provide different perspectives and potential career opportunities.

Don’t forget to leverage online platforms like LinkedIn and to connect with other professionals, share your research, and contribute to discussions.

Remember, networking is a two-way street.

It’s not just about what you can gain from others but also how you can contribute to the field and support your peers.


Step 12: Apply for Postdoctoral Research Positions

Once you have successfully achieved your Ph.D. in Asian Studies, your next step is to apply for postdoctoral research positions.

These positions offer a unique opportunity to further specialize in your area of interest, whether that’s a particular historical period, region, or interdisciplinary topic within Asian studies.

During your postdoctoral research, you’ll continue to develop your expertise and contribute to the academic community through your research, publications, and conference presentations.

You may also have the opportunity to teach courses in your area of expertise, which can be beneficial for your future career as a professor.

When applying for these positions, it’s important to highlight your research potential and your commitment to the field of Asian studies.

Tailor your application to each position, clearly outlining how your research interests align with the opportunity being offered.

Remember, these roles can be highly competitive.

You should network and connect with professors and researchers in your field to know about openings and opportunities.

This period of your career is a stepping stone towards becoming an Asian Studies professor.


Step 13: Pursue Faculty Positions at Colleges and Universities

After earning your Ph.D. in Asian Studies, it’s time to start applying for academic positions.

As an Asian Studies Professor, your ideal workplace would be a college or university.

Begin searching for job postings on online job portals, academic journals, and websites of colleges and universities.

Positions can range from adjunct faculty to tenure-track professorships.

It’s important to note that the academic job market is highly competitive.

You may need to apply for many positions before getting an offer.

When applying, your application should include an academic CV, cover letter, teaching statement, research statement, and letters of recommendation.

Tailor your application to each individual job posting, highlighting your academic achievements, research, teaching experience, and specific interest in Asian Studies.

It’s also beneficial to network with other academics in the field of Asian Studies.

Attending academic conferences, seminars, and workshops can provide opportunities to meet potential employers and learn about job openings.

Keep in mind that starting as an adjunct faculty member or assistant professor is a common path.

These positions can lead to tenure-track roles, where you’ll have the opportunity to conduct your own research, teach and mentor students, and contribute to the academic community.


Step 14: Continue Personal and Professional Development

As an Asian Studies Professor, it’s crucial to remain up-to-date with the latest research, theories, and developments in your field.

This involves attending academic conferences, participating in seminars and workshops, and continuously reading scholarly articles and books.

Conferences are a great way to network with other professionals, present your research, and gain exposure to new ideas and methodologies.

Seminars and workshops can provide more intensive and focused learning experiences, often revolving around a specific theme or question.

Additionally, consider publishing your research.

This not only contributes to the academic community but also enhances your credibility and reputation.

Publishing in peer-reviewed journals or presenting at conferences is a way to gain recognition and establish yourself as a thought leader in Asian Studies.

Moreover, consider learning or maintaining proficiency in an Asian language relevant to your specialization.

Language skills can greatly enhance your research and teaching abilities, and open up opportunities for collaboration with scholars and institutions in Asia.

Finally, never stop learning.

Engage with different cultures, travel to Asian countries, immerse yourself in their history and society.

This will not only give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the subjects you teach but will also make your classes more authentic and engaging for your students.


Step 15: Contribute to Academic Journals and Conferences

As an Asian Studies Professor, it is crucial that you contribute to academic journals and conferences regularly.

This will not only increase your visibility in the academic community but also establish your expertise in your chosen field of Asian Studies.

Start by identifying relevant academic journals where you can submit articles or research papers.

The articles should be based on original research or offer a critical analysis of the existing work in your field.

Remember that getting published in reputed academic journals can be competitive, so ensure your work is of the highest quality and contributes something novel to the field.

Next, participate in academic conferences related to Asian Studies.

These conferences offer an opportunity to present your research, learn about the latest trends and developments in your field, and network with other professionals.

You might have the opportunity to present a paper, participate in a panel discussion, or even deliver a keynote speech.

Contributing to academic journals and conferences not only advances the field of Asian Studies but also raises your profile as a scholar.

This can open up more opportunities for research grants and collaborations, and enhance your chances of achieving tenure or promotion in your academic career.


Asian Studies Professor Roles and Responsibilities

An Asian Studies Professor uses their extensive knowledge of Asian cultures, histories, and languages to educate students and conduct research.

This professor may specialize in a specific area or discipline related to Asian Studies such as politics, religion, literature, or anthropology.

They have the following roles and responsibilities:



  • Develop and deliver lectures to undergraduate and graduate students on Asian history, culture, politics, literature, and languages.
  • Design comprehensive course syllabi for each semester.
  • Conduct seminars, discussions, and workshops to facilitate learning.



  • Conduct in-depth research on various aspects of Asian studies, contributing to the broader academic field.
  • Publish research findings in academic journals, books, and conference proceedings.
  • Stay updated on the latest research trends and developments in Asian studies.


Student Guidance

  • Provide academic advice and support to students.
  • Supervise student research projects and theses.
  • Evaluate student performance through assignments, examinations, and presentations.


Academic Service

  • Participate in departmental and university meetings and serve on academic committees.
  • Collaborate with colleagues on curriculum planning and development.
  • Contribute to academic program accreditation processes.



  • Participate in public lectures, community education events, and media engagements to promote the study and understanding of Asian cultures.
  • Network with other professionals in the field to establish partnerships and collaborative research projects.


Grant Application

  • Apply for research grants from university, governmental, and private sources.
  • Manage grant funds to ensure research projects are completed on time and within budget.


Professional Development

  • Continue to develop professional competence through continued education, professional development activities, and research.
  • Attend academic conferences and workshops.



  • Perform administrative duties such as scheduling classes, maintaining office hours, and managing teaching assistants.
  • Assist in departmental recruitment efforts, including interviewing potential faculty members.


What Does an Asian Studies Professor Do?

An Asian Studies Professor typically works in universities, colleges, or other higher education institutions.

They specialize in teaching and researching various aspects of Asian history, culture, language, and politics.

They are tasked with developing course syllabi, preparing lesson plans, and delivering lectures on various Asian studies topics.

This can range from the history of a particular Asian country to the analysis of contemporary Asian societies.

They assess students’ progress and performance, providing feedback and assistance where needed.

Asian Studies Professors may also supervise students’ theses or dissertations, providing guidance and support throughout the research process.

Aside from teaching, Asian Studies Professors engage in scholarly research, contributing to the body of knowledge in their field.

This can involve writing scholarly papers, presenting findings at academic conferences, or publishing books.

They also participate in departmental meetings, serve on academic committees, and may be involved in the development of academic programs.

Some may even play a role in student recruitment and advising.

Finally, they may contribute to broader community engagement, such as organizing public lectures or cultural events that promote an understanding of Asian cultures and societies.


Essential Asian Studies Professor Skills

  • Subject Mastery: A deep and comprehensive understanding of Asian history, culture, politics, economy, and society is essential. This also includes knowledge of various Asian languages.
  • Research Skills: Professors must have strong research skills, including the ability to use primary and secondary sources, conduct ethnographic studies, and employ quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Teaching Abilities: Effective teaching methods and strategies are crucial. Professors must be able to present complex topics in an understandable and engaging manner to students.
  • Communication: Professors must communicate clearly, both in writing and verbally. This includes the ability to explain complex ideas clearly and the ability to give and receive feedback effectively.
  • Critical Thinking: The ability to analyze information from a variety of sources, form an informed opinion, and discuss these topics with students is key.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Given the nature of the subject, professors need to demonstrate cultural sensitivity and respect for diverse viewpoints. They should be able to facilitate discussions about cultural differences and similarities.
  • Language Skills: Proficiency in one or more Asian languages is often necessary for research and teaching, especially if the professor specializes in a specific region.
  • Adaptability: The field of Asian studies is vast and constantly evolving. Professors should be able to adapt their teaching methods to new developments and different student needs.
  • Project Management: Professors often lead research projects or organize events and need to be able to plan, coordinate resources, and manage these projects effectively.
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge: Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary field that often intersects with history, anthropology, political science, and more. A broad knowledge base can enhance teaching and research.
  • Public Speaking: Whether delivering lectures, presenting at conferences, or engaging in public outreach, effective public speaking skills are essential.
  • Writing Skills: Professors need to write clear, concise, and compelling academic papers, articles, and grant proposals. They may also need to assist students in developing their writing skills.
  • Networking: Building relationships with other academics, institutions, and communities is important for collaborative research, funding opportunities, and career development.
  • Mentorship: Professors often mentor students, providing guidance on academic studies, career decisions, and personal development. Good interpersonal and mentorship skills are therefore crucial.
  • Technological Proficiency: Professors need to be comfortable with technology used in teaching and research, such as learning management systems, digital archives, and statistical analysis software.


Asian Studies Professor Career Path Progression

The Foundation: Assistant Professor in Asian Studies

Your academic journey usually begins as an Assistant Professor in Asian Studies.

At this stage, you’ll be primarily focused on teaching and research, with a chance to shape the minds of future leaders.

Here are some tips for success in this role:

  1. Teaching Excellence: Strive to be an excellent educator and inspire students with your passion for Asian Studies.
  2. Research Continuously: Conduct original research in your area of specialization and seek opportunities to publish your findings.
  3. Community Involvement: Participate in departmental meetings and university activities to build relationships and gain experience.


The Ascent: Associate Professor in Asian Studies

As you gain experience and establish a solid research portfolio, you’ll move into the Associate Professor role.

In addition to teaching and research, you’ll also have administrative responsibilities.

Here’s how to thrive in this stage:

  1. Scholarly Contribution: Strive for excellence in your research and contribute significantly to the field of Asian Studies.
  2. Mentorship: Guide junior faculty members and graduate students to enhance their research and teaching skills.
  3. Administrative Expertise: Develop administrative skills and contribute to the governance and policy-making of your department.


Reaching New Heights: Full Professor in Asian Studies

The next step on the academic ladder is the position of Full Professor.

At this level, you’re recognized for your expertise and leadership within the department.

You’ll have more administrative duties, and you’ll play a key role in shaping the department’s future.

To excel as a Full Professor:

  1. Leadership: Lead initiatives within your department and serve on important committees.
  2. External Engagement: Represent your university at national and international conferences and seminars.
  3. Academic Influence: Continue to produce high-quality research and strive to become a recognized authority in your field.


Beyond the Horizon: Chair of the Department and Beyond

As your career progresses, you may choose to take on leadership roles such as the Chair of the Department or the Dean of the Faculty.

These roles involve greater responsibilities, including strategic planning, budgeting, and personnel decisions.

Here’s what to focus on:

  1. Strategic Leadership: Guide the direction of your department or faculty, ensuring it aligns with the overall strategic goals of the university.
  2. Resource Management: Learn to effectively manage budgets, personnel, and other resources.
  3. Stakeholder Engagement: Communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the broader community.


Pinnacle of Success: University President or Provost

You may reach roles like University President or Provost at the peak of the academic career ladder.

In these positions, you’ll be responsible for shaping the university’s overall strategy, making critical decisions, and leading the entire academic community.


Asian Studies Professor Salary

Entry-Level Asian Studies Professor

  • Median Salary: $50,000 – $65,000 per year
  • Entry-level Asian Studies Professors typically have 0-2 years of experience and hold a PhD in Asian Studies or a related field. Their duties often include developing a course curriculum, conducting research, and publishing scholarly papers.


Mid-Level Asian Studies Professor

  • Median Salary: $65,000 – $85,000 per year
  • Mid-level professors have 2-5 years of experience. They assume more complex responsibilities, such as leading departmental research initiatives, mentoring junior faculty members, and contributing to the development of academic policies.


Senior Asian Studies Professor

  • Median Salary: $85,000 – $110,000 per year
  • Senior Asian Studies Professors have 5+ years of experience. They are responsible for leading research projects, making significant contributions to their field, and often hold leadership positions within their academic departments.


Department Chair of Asian Studies

  • Median Salary: $90,000 – $130,000+ per year
  • This role requires extensive experience and often involves administrative responsibilities, such as making key decisions for the department, overseeing budgeting, and managing faculty members.


Dean of Asian Studies

  • Median Salary: $120,000 – $200,000+ per year
  • This high-level academic position requires deep expertise in Asian Studies and extensive leadership experience. Deans are responsible for setting the strategic direction for the Asian Studies department and overseeing its overall operation.


Asian Studies Professor Work Environment

Asian Studies Professors typically work in universities and colleges, but may also find opportunities at research institutions, think tanks, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Their work primarily involves lecturing in classrooms, conducting and publishing research, supervising student research projects, and participating in academic conferences.

They also spend considerable time in their offices preparing for classes, grading assignments, and providing consultation to students.

In addition, Asian Studies Professors often need to stay updated with developments in their field and may need to travel frequently, especially to Asian countries, for field research and conferences.

These professors typically have a full-time schedule, although teaching hours can be quite flexible and concentrated in specific days of the week.

Nonetheless, their research and administrative duties often require a substantial time commitment beyond the classroom.

Some Asian Studies Professors may also take on administrative roles within their institutions, further diversifying their work environment.


FAQs About Becoming an Asian Studies Professor

What is needed to become an Asian Studies Professor?

To become an Asian Studies Professor, you generally need a strong background in Asian history, culture, politics, economics, and languages.

This can be achieved through formal education, such as a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies, followed by a master’s degree and a PhD in a specialized area of Asian Studies.

Key skills include proficiency in at least one Asian language, interdisciplinary research abilities, critical thinking, and teaching skills.

Soft skills like communication, cultural sensitivity, and adaptability are also crucial in this field.


How long does it take to be an Asian Studies Professor?

The time it takes to become an Asian Studies Professor can vary depending on your educational path and experience level.

Typically, you will need a four-year bachelor’s degree, followed by a two-year master’s degree and a PhD, which can take 4 to 6 years or more.

This means it could take 10 to 12 years of higher education to become an Asian Studies Professor.

Additionally, many universities require or prefer candidates to have postdoctoral research or teaching experience, which can take additional time.


Can I be an Asian Studies Professor without a PhD?

While it is technically possible to teach at a college or university with a master’s degree, most full-time, tenure-track professor positions, especially in a specialized field like Asian Studies, require a PhD.

Having a PhD not only enhances your knowledge and research skills in your area of specialty but also increases your competitiveness in the job market.


Is being an Asian Studies Professor a stressful job?

Being an Asian Studies Professor can be stressful at times, as it involves managing teaching responsibilities, conducting research, publishing academic papers, and often administrative duties.

Furthermore, the process of achieving tenure can be particularly challenging.

However, many professors find the work intellectually stimulating and rewarding, as they get to continually learn and share their passion for Asian Studies with students.

Workload and stress levels can also depend on the institution, the individual’s time management skills, and work-life balance strategies.


What are the prospects for Asian Studies Professors in the next decade?

The prospects for Asian Studies Professors are expected to remain relatively stable in the next decade.

With Asia’s growing influence in global affairs, interest in the region is likely to continue, leading to a steady demand for experts in this field.

The job market may vary depending on the specific area of expertise, the type and location of the institution, and the availability of funding for humanities and social science research.



And there you have it.

Embarking on a journey to become an Asian Studies professor is indeed a lofty endeavor, but it’s remarkably fulfilling.

Armed with the right academic background, cultural knowledge, and resilience, you’re well on your way to making a substantial contribution to the world of academia.

Remember, the path may be rigorous, but the prospects are boundless. Your research could lead to groundbreaking insights into Asian cultures and societies, reshaping how we understand, appreciate, and interact with the East.

So, take that first step. Immerse yourself in profound learning. Connect with academic professionals. And most importantly, never stop exploring.

Because the world is waiting for the knowledge you can impart.

And if you’re looking for personalized guidance on starting or advancing your career as an Asian Studies professor, check out our AI Career Path Advisor.

This complimentary tool is designed to offer tailored advice and resources to help you navigate your academic career path effectively.

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