In one of the endless series of lists by which American journalism props itself up, Money Magazine has determined that College Professor is the third best job in America, besting Nurse Practioner (4) and Information Technology Project Manager (5), and narrowly losing out to Physician Assistant (2), and the best job of all, Systems Engineer. If I knew what that meant, I might advise Maria and Lizy to study it.
While professoring is unsurprisingly not even in the top ten in salary, it cleaned up in such categories as Stress (low) and Flexibility (high). The problem with this and I guess most surveys is oversimplification. If you have tenure, being a professor combines those attributes with a pretty good salary, plus the job security of a Supreme Court justice. If you are untenured or an adjunct, it can couple low pay with a heavy work load, no benefits, and less respect. The adjuncts I know teach for one reason and one reason only: they love it. Which in itself puts it ahead of a lot of other jobs.