Requirements: College degree, PhD, possible work, or research experience
Time investment: 9-11 years
Cost investment: $200,000+
To teach in a college, you basically never leave it. If you're serious about that tenure, which is kind of the goal, you must pursue a PhD in your subject immediately upon college graduation.
Serving as a TA will likely offset some costs, but you're still in for 5-7 more years of studying, which will easily rack up $100k. And if you think it's over once you've added "Dr" to your name, guess again. Many colleges expect a lengthy list of papers, research projects, and/or other relevant work experience to accompany any staffer's bio, so better work on getting published in The Journal of Dead Languages ASAP. And also make it out to a mixer once in a while. "A lot of times people who have been highly academic don’t have some of the social skills or aren’t active in organizations, like volunteering," Gerberg says. "They aren’t out meeting people who could be good for their career."