Becoming a successful academic demands a lot of skill, talent, determination - and some luck. It can be an extraordinarily competitive field, although it does vary between disciplines. However, even Nobel prize-winning professors have to start somewhere.

Use these questions as prompts to assess your chances of making it in academia. Where you don't yet meet the requirements, don't automatically dismiss academia as an option. What might you do to make yourself more competitive - and more importantly, what are you prepared to do?

Academic achievement