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20-06-2009, 23:51   #1
kafukled
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How do you become a lecturer?

I've been thinking lately that I would love to be a college lecturer.
What are the qualifications you need?
Im starting a degree in marine science in september, I think its to specific to progress to being a lecturer but its the only option available to me.
Whats it like being a lecturer, I assume its hard work but do ye really get 3 months holidays every year
Is it satisfying or just fustrating?
Thanks very much
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20-06-2009, 23:59   #2
dublintuition
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this is something that I have also thought about over the years. I can't see myself settling into secondary teaching forever, I like to keep challenged.

One thing I do know from college was that our lecturers (obviously) corrected our exams at the end of the year. So I would say alot of those 3 months off are still pretty busy
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21-06-2009, 00:06   #3
kafukled
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The holidays wouldnt really be the main thing for me tbh.
Just it seems like a job that would suit me. I'm good at simplifying complicated things and that.
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21-06-2009, 00:12   #4
dublintuition
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The holidays wouldnt really be the main thing for me tbh.
Just it seems like a job that would suit me. I'm good at simplifying complicated things and that.
Whereas I on the otherhand love to in-depthly analyse stuff. I would love it. My subject would be english. The qualifications however, I'm really not that sure about, as although it's something I plan to do, it's not something I plan to do for another few years. I'm imagining a phD though.
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21-06-2009, 02:04   #5
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The main qualifications you need are patience and the ability to network for, usually, many years before securing your tenured permanent position as a lecturer.

It helps hugely if you are not in a serious relationship/ have no pressure to secure a permanent job quickly in order to receive a mortgage.

A PhD is nowadays the normal basic academic qualification and it would be extraordinarily unusual to be considered for any lecturing position unless you have those three letters on your cv. More commonly the PhD is followed by two or three post-doctorate positions of varying lengths but usually of 1-2 years duration each. In between these post-docs you will, if you're lucky, receive a year-long lecturing contract which is essentially much the same work as you do during your post-doc. (Being a "lecturer" is not that hard; it most involves moving from contract to contract. Being a permanent lecture is a different matter entirely.)

Then, having networked ferociously throughout all those years and successfully navigated the politics and egos, you may be extraordinarily lucky to receive a permanent lecturing position about ten years after you have been conferred with your doctorate. Three years after being made permanent you will usually be given tenure, meaning you cannot be sacked for issues relating to your intellectual freedom. You've arrived then.

Over 80% of people with PhDs leave academia pretty quickly. Some keep digging after their doctorate and do one or two post-docs before giving up the ghost and leaving academia disillusioned, older and poor.
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21-06-2009, 11:41   #6
Lord TSC
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I remember talking to a lecturer in NUIM, and he told me that the classes were actually only a minor part of their job. I got the feeling that the college employ them more to do their own research and such rather than just teach. The lectures are more a way of the college getting some of their money back off the researchers. In this way, they don't get 3 months "off", as while their classes may be over, they are still in their offices working on their own projects and such.
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21-06-2009, 11:55   #7
Powerhouse
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Yes, it is far from a situation where someone is going around lecturing all day long. You'd have only a few lectures a week and the rest would be research, writing papers etc.

And it takes a long period of what a friend of mine called "slave labour" in the uni beforehand. The funny thing is that it is often not necessarily the best people who get the job but those who have the stomach for the long haul and the banality of it all and are prepared to 'go native'.

Do you really get 3 months holidays each year? No. Not sure where that idea came from. Perhaps it is an assumption that lecturers have nothing else to do except lecture students and if they are not around then there's nothing to do. 6 weeks holidays would be about right.
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21-06-2009, 12:17   #8
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While I would believe that in places like Trinity and other universities, lecturers are over-worked with research, college events and all manner of extra-curricular activities on top of their class time, I think thats far from the case across the system. I completed a degree in an Institute of Technology and I came across alot of lecturers who were fresh from completing a masters and were very green in their field. One in particular was routinely late for classes, never attending a final year project class on Fridays (despite the fact he was our mentor), never had any handouts or paperwork outside of the textbook prepared and generally had a slapdash approach to his job. He just gave off the aura that he was happy to collect the fat paycheck and chillout from May to September.

Now there was obviously many lecturers who were exceptionally diligent, just that guy sticks in my mind. He was far from the bumbling old Prof who spent his time consumed in his reseach or writing papers. He was more of a chancer than anything!
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21-06-2009, 17:23   #9
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how many years does it take to reacht the top of the salary scale for sec school. totally off topic but just curious
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21-06-2009, 17:27   #10
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how many years does it take to reacht the top of the salary scale for sec school. totally off topic but just curious
25 years or thereabouts.
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21-06-2009, 21:10   #11
Tom Dunne
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What are the qualifications you need?
A keen interest in reading. Such as reading the sticky at the top of the forum titled "How to become a lecturer". Lots of info there.

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Whats it like being a lecturer, I assume its hard work but do ye really get 3 months holidays every year
No, it more like 4.5 months (Christmas, Easter and the odd mid-term break). There is a massive difference between the Institutes of Technology and Universities. The figure I give is of course for IT's.

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Is it satisfying or just fustrating?
It is the most satisfying, enjoyable and worthwhile career ever. Unfortunately, I am no longer doing in since the recession (and the minor fact that I have a mortgage). And that is a very important point - getting a permanent position 4-5 years ago was nigh on impossible.

There is pretty much no hope of getting one now.
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22-06-2009, 09:46   #12
beya2009
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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to add on what Dionysus was saying as that was spot on. Obviously on the money side, third level teaching is very attractive. I know my course leader was on the region of €120,000 a year...ok he's been there for like 20 years but still!

Theses days STANDARD procedure is to have a phd in your cv however it is my understanding that if you have a masters and have invaluable experience in your industry say i.e. business..then you usually have a good chance. Like one of our lectures only had a masters but because he had so much experience working for the HSE, he was givenn lecturing hours for health promotion.

But yea..let no one kid themselves..this economic recession changes a lot of things that might have been taken for granted in the past.
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22-06-2009, 09:51   #13
beya2009
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Also just to breakdown. I finished doing my mbs in marketing which i started in last sept in wit and MOST of my class m8s said they want to get into third level teaching. Moreover, another close m8 of mine is doing her research masters over a two year period. For arguements sake, we will just say the average age was like 25 for my class.

There is no doubt that it is going to take them a very long time to try and break into third level teaching. Being so young means you have no experience. Gettiing into a phd aint easy either and is a timely process too. I think its like 6 years part time and 3 years full time. Even after that..you will need some experience.
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22-06-2009, 09:59   #14
Tom Dunne
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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to add on what Dionysus was saying as that was spot on. Obviously on the money side, third level teaching is very attractive. I know my course leader was on the region of €120,000 a year...ok he's been there for like 20 years but still!
The key point to your statement is the last bit - it took 20 years to get there. Starting salaries are in the region of €42,000 for an assistant lecturer in an IT.
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22-06-2009, 10:00   #15
Rosita
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Gettiing into a phd aint easy either and is a timely process too. I think its like 6 years part time and 3 years full time. Even after that..you will need some experience.


Sorry, this is diverting the topic slightly but I am curious about this.

Can anyone explain to me the practical difference between a part-time Phd and a full-time one. Given that it is by definition a research degree where presumably (or maybe not) you are essentially doing your own research and reporting back every so often I'm just wondering if there is a practical difference between full-time and part-time other than allowing yourself more time. Does a full-time one require you to be at the beck and call of the college to do tutorials or things like that? Or - apart from spreading the workload more thinly and making it more manageable which might be a good idea if you were working at the same time - why would someone do a part-time one rather than a full-time one?
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