Being a lecturer can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, and it comes with a lot of prestige, a decent amount of pay, access to research grants and funding, opportunities for governmental appointments, and most importantly a chance to mould and impact the future generation.
As such, lecturing is a very critical job, designed for those who have a flair for academics, research, and most importantly; patient teaching. As lecturers are those in charge of raising the future generation of professionals and leaders, becoming a lecturer is not a walk in the park. However, with the right qualifications and attitude, you become one. So, how do you become a lecturer in South Africa?
Lecturers teach and carry out research in universities and higher education establishments. They teach academic and vocational subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level to students over the age of 18. Lecturers also contribute to their department’s research activities and publish their work in journals and books.
Becoming a Lecturer in South Africa
As a lecturer you must possess academic ability; be interested in original research; enjoy and have an aptitude for teaching; have good oral and written communication skills; have confidence in presenting information to an audience and fielding questions; be able to work as part of a team; have leadership and supervisory skills; have organisational skills and attention to detail, and be able to analyse and solve problems
To become a university lecturer you usually have to complete a degree in your field, preferably at a masters or doctoral degree level. Relevant courses are widely available, and you can consult institution handbooks for more information on courses in your field of interest. Previous teaching, research and/or industry experience is also looked on favourably by employing institutions.
Postgraduate teaching courses may help you gain employment. Entry to postgraduate teaching courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree, as well as relevant work experience. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Generally, the minimum requirements for entry into lecturing are a bachelor degree and a postgraduate qualification (often a PhD) that are relevant to the subject you want to teach.
Many lecturers are mature candidates who have also gained several years of’ professional or industrial work experience. You may be able to gain experience by taking on teaching duties while studying. Or there may be opportunities with some universities to work as a graduate teaching assistant. Your area of study at Masters or the PhD level will naturally determine what courses you can teach at the university.
Salaries of Lecturers in South Africa
The average salary for a Lecturer is R 13 716 per month in South Africa. Salary estimates are based on 149 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed.co.za by Lecturer employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months. The typical tenure for a Lecturer is 1-3 years.
So, if you have a passion for teaching, and you fancy the research and academic filled life of a lecturer, while having the chance to shape the lives of the younger generation, then lecturing might just be for you, and these are the simple steps to become one.