A college lecturer presents the material, distributes assignments, and assigns final grades for classes in a higher education setting. This type of instructor typically teaches large numbers of students who need to fulfill certain course requirements to receive a degree. The typical lecturer is an expert in a specific academic field. Most colleges and universities require a prospective academic lecturer to have a master's degree at minimum to be hired as part of the faculty. In addition to teaching duties, a college lecturer is often required to publish a certain number of researched academic papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Preparing for an academic career as a college lecturer typically starts during the undergraduate years. Future lecturers are often passionate about a certain subject and want to share their knowledge with others. A college lecturer usually starts with receiving a bachelor's degree in this concentrated subject area and also may take additional courses in teaching theory, educational psychology, or classroom management. Most prospective lecturers move directly into graduate-level studies once they have completed these undergraduate requirements. Many find that working as a volunteer lecturer or a teaching assistant is an effective way to become comfortable with speaking in front of large groups and with making interesting presentations.
Some requirements to become a college lecturer may also include passing a comprehensive exam for licensure or certification as a higher education instructor. The scope of this exam can vary by region, and new college lecturers typically have a limited amount of time to achieve a passing score. Once a new professional lecturer completes this exam, he is eligible to begin interviewing for open job positions at the university level. Many colleges hire entry-level lecturers as junior or adjunct instructors. After several years of teaching, publishing, and involvement in extra school endeavors, a college lecturer can be promoted to a tenure-track teaching position.
A tenure-track lecturer usually has a good salary, a good benefits package, and job security. Just as with promotion criteria in other types of jobs, a college lecturer normally receives this position based on performance evaluations. Positive student reviews and continued improvement of teaching skills are usually examined when supervisors or administrators are considering a college lecturer for a tenured position. Lecturers who publish unique ideas in their field's academic journals also have good chances for promotions and rewards throughout their academic careers.