This is a contributor’s blogpost …
If you are academic, then you have a wealth of career options in front of you. But that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to decide which one to actually take. In particular, there are two that you might be trying to decide between – teaching and researching. But before you make that choice you will need to know about both of them. So read on to find out more.
As a career being a researcher can sound pretty exciting. Making new discoveries in your field, whether it’s science, psychology or medicine may really appeal. But the truth of the matter is that while you can have that once-in-a-lifetime Eureka moment, a lot of research is about the hard slog of the day to day work you have to do.
To come up with any valid find you have to follow the proper method, and repeat your experiments. Plus you will need to secure funding, do the admin, and sometimes even a little teaching seeps into this role too.
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Of course, the idea is to pick a subject that you love and are fascinated by. So even day to day work without discovering breakthroughs can still give you satisfaction and enjoyment.
Pay and working conditions are usually fairly good as you will be employed by a university or a large organization with proper funding. Obviously, salaries are higher in the private sector, but starting pay grades are pretty reasonable everywhere.
If you want to consider research as a career you not only need good grades, but you need to be dedicated and self-motivating too. As well as being able to wear a few different hats to fulfill everything that is needed in this role.
Teaching is perhaps seen as the younger brother of research, and consequently not seen as exciting. However, this is not always the case, as many teaching posts are challenging and rewarding.
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Teaching, a profession popular for career changes and graduates alike, is way less didactic than it used to be, and much more interactive. Meaning that you and the students get to the learning objective together, rather than it just being your job to fill their head with knowledge.
It also may be a little easier to get into teaching as well. As there are significant more teaching posts than research ones available, both in this country and world wide.
To find the best Teaching Jobs will need to ensure you have the right qualifications, and then approach an agency that can help place you in the right environment.
Pay isn’t quite as high as the salary of researchers. But as there are so many opportunities for promotion in teaching, this tends to even out 20 years + into your career.
Of course, you will need similar qualities such as dedication, and self-motivation to be a good teacher. But it can also help to have a little charisma and some good leadership skills in order to get the students to follow your lead.
So, in conclusion, while both are similar in that they deal with information. Research is perhaps better suited to those that are happy to do a little teaching but don’t want that to be their main focus. Whereas teaching would suit those who enjoy leading and managing large groups to help people to achieve their learning goals.