Lecturing suits the analytical, studious personality profile. You will need to be an academic high achiever and enjoy study.
Lecturers must have a first degree at Bachelor or Masters level and often a PhD. To progress your career you will need to continue on the research path and endeavour to publish articles or books. Universities offer structured career pathways to professorship, dean, vice chancellor and many other tangential posts of responsibility such as Director of a Business School.
Whilst the commercial work environment has metamorphosed from being predominantly people-influenced to task-focused, high-level educational establishments are one of the last employment bastions where politics is rife. And from my experience of coaching professors and lecturers the frustration is evident when they are struggling to implement forward-thinking policy against a political sea wall incorporating personality differences, tactical innuendo, apathy and obstruction. I know that within Universities there can be a tendency for silo thinking and protectionism and this is an understandable reaction when you realise that the corporate goals are difficult to define and to act as a motivator or rallying call, whereas commercial organisations can singularly focus on the bottom line as the ultimate goal and where annual report and share price are transparent indicators of performance.
Universities have wider responsibilities. They too must manage income against expenditure but they must also offer educational opportunities to the widest spectrum of society, to the rich and the less well-off, to the very intelligent and the less bright. And whilst conforming to these grand mission objectives, they must compete with each other and demonstrate through yardsticks such as passes, failures, satisfaction and dropouts surveys that, however relatively, they are doing a good job. Balancing the need to manage the budget, concurrent with the less definitional responsibility of encouraging students to develop their intellectual capacity through learning and debate, is a unique challenge for academic institutions, particularly where student fees are increasing and government financial support is constricting.
Learning is a development process which often is an unknown journey and never a destination. It discovers, questions, debates, discusses, argues, agrees, disagrees and creates a mentality where students can enter the world of work feeling more confident, more competent, more interrogatory and what they don't know, they know how to find out. As an educationist you will have the opportunity to develop courses which reflect the current needs and trends, embracing blended and flexible learning as a facilitator of the learning process.
Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, eLearning and Podcasting will all be a part of your remit meshed with lectures and tutorials – exciting times.
Skills for Lecturing for the Analyst
The intellectual and academic rigour required will suit the Analytical personality profile. The environment of continual discovery through academic research will be the catalyst for challenge and on-going motivation and I believe that good lecturers will empathise closely with the student’s mentality in their constant quest for knowledge.