Becoming an academic instructor for a school or college can be quite a tedious task. Of course, if you start building on your CV and portfolio early, you can manage it with ease. So in case, you are wondering how you can do so, here are some tips that will come in handy.
As an academic instructor, your students as well as your employers will expect you to be adept at a particular subject or area. Your area of expertise will depend on what you have studied, and what you know and can work with best. And you cannot just choose a subject and be done with it. You also need to work out a niche that you are comfortable with.
For instance, as a computer science graduate, you can always teach the basics of this subject to high school and even college kids. However, for the advancement of your career, you need to dive deeper.
So instead of just focusing on the entirety of computer science, why not develop your skills in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, or any other niche? That way, you can teach a specific subject, and make progress in your career accordingly.
Ideally, you can graduate as a computer science student, and then do a postgrad in the niche of your choice. Or, you could even get a job after graduation to learn more about that niche, and then return to a full-time teaching position. People will appreciate that as well, plus you will be bringing valuable knowledge from the industry, which is a bonus.
One of the best ways to gain some experience as an instructor during your undergraduate studies or right after it is by landing a job as a student tutor or teaching assistant. Not only will you be earning through this job, but you will also gain experience and see what it is like to teach. Of course, to get to that stage, you need to have good grades.
Most colleges prefer hiring students as teaching assistants or tutors who demonstrate excellent academic prowess. Preferably, you will need a GPA of around 3.5 or more on a scale of 4.0. Hence, make sure your GPA is within that range to garner better chances of landing a job as an ST or a TA.
In case you cannot work as an ST or a TA, you can always offer your tutoring services online. Many online tutoring and homework assistance websites hire skilled students, adept at their respective fields, to provide homework help & answers, as well as tutor other students.
These platforms will hire you based on your skills. Given that you are capable of handling tough assignments and homework problems, you too can join the ranks of SweetStudy’s impressive roster of tutors. That will also add to your CV and you can later use the experience to apply for a different teaching job elsewhere.
One benefit of signing up for platforms like SweetStudy is that you can offer classes and homework assistance for several different subjects. So you can teach maths alongside computer science as long as you are good at it, and have the necessary skill sets.
Colleges always look for instructors who are active in their respective research fields. This is a qualification that allows educational institutions to pick out the best and dedicated teachers for their students.
Besides, such instructors are always bumping into new things from their respective fields, which makes them aware of the latest developments in those fields. This is a vital necessity in today’s academia, given how dynamic the fields are these days.
Instructors who are dedicated to their research always stay up to date with these developments. That in turn allows them to keep their students informed about those things as well.
Ideally, you need to pick a research interest that matches your academics. It needs to be in line with what you are teaching or whatever courses you plan on taking. That makes it easier for these colleges to decide whether or not they should hire you.
You should attempt to work with an experienced professor from your department even if you cannot land a job as an ST or a TA. These small jobs could include everything from checking lab or theory assignment papers to helping your teacher with their research work.
You could also make grammatical corrections on their research or conference papers. Sometimes, they can also ask you to keep tabs on the latest developments related to their research fields. In a way, you will work as their teaching or research assistant.
Apart from gaining experience, you can also expect a good recommendation letter from your instructor. Such letters of recommendation will always help you in the long run. Be it for a lecturing job or applying to a master’s program, these letters will surely come in handy.
Once you have done all this, you are sure to land a job as an academic instructor in the near future. Remember to be patient, and take every chance that comes your way.