Choosing a Career as a University Lecturer

Choosing a Career as a University Lecturer
Lecturing is not simply a matter of standing in front of a class and reciting what you know. A classroom lecture is a special form of communication in which voice, gesture, movement, facial expression, and eye contact can either complement or detract from the content. No matter what your topic, your delivery, and manner of speaking immeasurably influence your students’ attentiveness and learning.

Required Skills


To be a successful lecturer, an obvious requirement is for you to have good communication skills. Both written and verbal communication skills will be important.

Also, working in any educational environment requires patience and understanding. You will come into contact with students at varying levels of ability, so you will want to be able to provide them with what they need to best learn.

The most loved lecturers tend to share a common trait: passion. Those who care and are genuinely interested in what they teach show their love for a subject in how they talk about it. This can increase engagement and promote respect on behalf of students.

Responsibilities of a Lecturer


Lecturers may work alongside other staff members, but they will likely have to know how to do the following:

  • Lecture (of course)
  • Create activities
  • Improve teaching techniques
  • Assess work
  • Prepare and grade exams and written work

Career Progression


There are varying levels of the profession. While you work towards your own educational goals, you can start lecturing as an entry-level lecturer. Here’s a look at the progression:

  • Entry-level: You have your master’s and can start teaching, but may still be pursuing your PhD.
  • Lecturer: Your PhD is complete and your class sizes may increase.
  • Senior Lecturer: Your responsibilities grow with your experience. You may even assess students who are not your own and give lectures at other universities.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Being a Lecturer


Before deciding if this career is the right path for you, let’s take a look at some of the upsides and downsides of becoming a lecturer at a college.

Advantages


  • Research: As a lecturer, the institution may provide you with time and resources to perform research.
  • Job Satisfaction: Most people who become lecturers have a passion for the subject they teach. As a lecturer, you have the opportunity to challenge ideas and debate theories.
  • Making a Difference: Lecturers are in the perfect place to serve as mentors and inspire students. You will know that you are making a difference in the lives of many.
  • Flexibility: For the most part, the job has a lot of flexibility. Whether a sabbatical is taken or not, university lecturers can balance work and life through their teaching schedule.
  • Travel: This is especially true of experienced lecturers, but all lecturers may have the opportunity to travel abroad to give a lecture at other universities and at conferences.

Disadvantages


On the flipside, there are some downsides to considering a career as a university lecturer.

  • Competition: It is a highly competitive field, so finding a job isn’t always easy, even with the qualifications.
  • Working Hours: Despite the flexibility of the schedule, lecturers often work weekends and during the evenings.
  • Wage: Lecturers can make a decent living, but it’s not always commensurate with the effort and time they dedicate to the job.

The Bottom Line


Choosing to pursue a degree in Education and a career as a lecturer is highly subjective. But, if it is right for you, you have the opportunity for a highly rewarding career. Lecturers have the freedom to pursue their own research. At the same time, they become experts in their field and share their knowledge with students.
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