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Get Started On a University Career As a Lecturer

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Obtaining the position of lecturer is the way most university professors get their start in teaching at these institutions of higher learning. You can get a start by giving lectures to students, for an hourly wage or being paid per lecture when you are in graduate school studying for your doctoral degree. There are some universities that will also hire you in this position with a Master’s degree, especially during the spring and summer terms when the associate and full professors tend to take time off.

If you are a teacher with teaching experience and a Master’s degree you may get hired as a lecturer for night classes or during summer school in the Education department of the university. This is especially true if you have been recognized by your school district for innovative teaching methods or if your students have experienced dramatic increases in their reading and writing levels in the end of year exams.

With either a postgraduate degree or extensive experience, you can become a lecturer. This is the lowest rank in academia from which you can work up through the ranks. When you start publishing scholarly writing as part of your duties, then the upper echelons of the university will recognize you. This will help you gain a higher position leading to tenure at the university. You will be expected to report on your research to other faculty members and include them in discussions about your work. This is part of the evaluation that will determine whether or not you are offered a further contract. For the most part lecturers are hired per course provided there are enough students registered for that course or by contract for a one or two year term. At the end of the term, if your work has been satisfactory, then you can receive a contract for an additional term. This position is on a contractual basis only.

Lecturing provides you with on-the-job training as you teach classes. You must also plan the courses according to the university guidelines and deliver the curriculum outlined for each course. As a rule, in this position, you don’t have much choice over the textbooks or course material, as this will be decided by the associate professors in the faculty. Knowledge of how to prepare lectures and deliver them to students is essential as is the ability to answer questions on the lecture. You will also be responsible for grading the various assessments for the course, whether they are exams, essays or research assignments. It is quite possible that you will be expected to supervise students as they complete their research and make presentations to the faculty and at conferences.

The personal requirements you need to have to obtain a job as a lecturer include experience at teaching and lecturing. You do need to have in-depth knowledge of the subject you are lecturing on, excellent writing and presentation skills as well as excellent research skills. Technological skill is also a necessity as many of the courses taught at universities today incorporate the use of computers and other technological devices.
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