University Tutors conduct tutorials in one or more subjects within a prescribed course of study at a university. A formal qualification in an area of expertise is usually needed to work as a University Tutor. Some workers have a postgraduate qualification.
A University Tutor prepares and conducts tutorials, seminars and stimulates and guides class discussions. They conduct research and facilitate laboratory sessions, marks essays, assignments and examinations and compile bibliographies of specialised materials for reading assignments. They advise students on academic and related matters. They attends departmental and faculty meetings, conferences and seminars and serve on committees and boards.
A career as an academic will often begin with short-term or casual positions as a Tutor. To secure these positions you need to be a standout performer as a student. This means highly competitive marks (ideally including some academic merit prizes), strong relationships with faculty and successful admission to an honours program (many of which require prospective applicants to possess a distinction average and several references).
From this point, it’s a matter of continuing to distinguish yourself, through excellence in teaching and research, so that you can pursue new academic opportunities as they arise. You’ll need to make a concerted effort to publish articles in prestigious journals or take up extracurricular activities.
Another way you may want to become an academic is by completing a masters program or PhD. Today most candidates need a PhD to obtain a full-time position, as the criteria for most academic jobs tend to favour coursework over research. Impressive professional experience is also looked upon favourably. Ideally, the experience will be aligned with your research interests. For example, you have experience in audit and accounting at a large accounting firm and are interested in pursuing further research in this area.
To move forward into Lecturer and Research roles, Associate Professor and Professor requires the ability to demonstrate expertise, qualifications and recognition in the area of expertise.
- Active listener
- Public speaking
- Have an exceptional academic transcript
- Love research and have an inquiring mind
- Are highly self-motivated
- Wish to teach