Introvert as a Professor

<p>Hi guys! I would consider myself an introvert, but I am in love with physics and I am considering majoring in physics and getting a phd. Since the majority of physics PhDs become professors at research universities, do you think as an introvert and someone who isn't very excited by the idea of talking in front of a lot of people, that I could still make or be happy as a successful professor?</p>

<p>I think your assumption that "the majority of physics PhDs become professors at research universities" is faulty. You might want to check some statistics about that. That said, there are plenty of introverts in physics, computer science and math, so, assuming you make it, you'll fit right in.</p>

<p>I don't think so. I'm a bit of an introvert, but I wouldn't dream of being one as a teacher. I currently have a teacher who is only 26, 4 years older than me, with his PhD and he is totally apathetic to teaching and generally bad at it. You might be able to make it as a successful researcher but as a teacher? I have my doubts. He makes me want to kill myself every time he lectures in physics. Tough shoes to fill but look up Richard Feynman and how many people loved him because he was a great teacher as well as a brilliant scientist. I would try to be more social.</p>

<p>If you dont think you'd make a good professor, then don't be one. there are plenty of other opportunities other than teaching</p>

<p>There are many introverted professors who have very successful teaching careers; the idea of teaching or public speaking may not be very appealing to you as a student, but as you gain knowledge and experience in your field, you also gain self-confidence and this, along with a passion and love for your area of study - and a desire to share that passion and knowledge with others - may help you overcome aversions to public speaking and look at tecahing in a completely different light further down the road.</p>

<p>On the other hand, I would agree that there are other opportunities for physicists besides teaching and you may want to do some research on these (S, a recent Chem Eng college grad is currently working for a private company that does R&D/consulting work primarily for the government/military; the majority of the tech staff are Physicist with PhDs or Masters degrees). Here is a good resource for exploring STEM careers:</p>

<p>Sloan</a> Career Cornerstone Center: Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine</p>