Professors at colleges and universities teach a variety of courses at various stages of their academic careers. Professors at universities typically work toward a tenure-track position, which guarantees them a teaching position until they retire from the institution. When a college has a greater need for teachers than available tenured teaching positions, it will hire individuals to teach as junior lecturers. A junior lecturer’s job is to teach classes and instruct students. Lecturers may also conduct their own research and continue to publish in their field, particularly if they aspire to a full-time tenured teaching position in the future.
A junior lecturer may be responsible for teaching multiple classes during an academic quarter or semester because it is an entry-level position. Teaching summer classes may be part of a junior lecturer’s job description, as free time in the summer is typically only given to full-time tenured teaching staff at a university. A junior lecturer’s classes are usually held during regular business hours. Weekend and evening classes may be required on occasion. A lecturer may also be in charge of developing and maintaining a university’s online course.
Lecturers have the same authority as full professors, which means they can choose course topics and create a syllabus for class instruction. Courses are typically taught in a set number of lecture classes per term. Typically, lecturers write and administer tests and assignments at a university. Lecturers may be responsible for grading their students’ work in small classes. Teaching assistants are usually present in larger classes to assist professors and lecturers in grading exams and homework.
A junior lecturer might be in charge of office hours. Professors make themselves available to the students they lecture for questions for a set time each week. Students can ask the lecturer for help with homework and clarification on the lecture.
A junior lecturer position can serve as a stepping stone toward a career as a college professor. Students who want to work as a junior lecturer should go to college and earn at least an undergraduate degree. A master’s degree or a doctorate is usually required to become a lecturer. The path to becoming a lecturer will vary depending on the type of academic study pursued, but it may be a good idea to publish as much as possible during college and graduate school. Publications can help secure lecture slots that will allow for personal research and semesters off from teaching, eventually leading to tenure.