Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 143

SPOTLIGHT ON TEACHING

410,000 staff were employed
in higher education in the same
academic year, both in academic
and non-academic roles.
From lecturing, academic research
and cooking up a banquet to
marketing and planting the college
grounds, opportunities abound.

Photography: Shutterstock

TEACHING ROLES

The first thing people think about
when working for a university
is teaching, or lecturing.
A university lecturer is someone
who teaches academic subjects to
undergraduate or postgraduate
students aged 18 or above. A key
part of the job is delivering lectures
and seminars, as well as taking
tutorials and supporting students.
Lecturers are also expected to
undertake research projects and
publish in books or scholarly
journals as a way of increasing their
knowledge and raising the profile of
the establishment in which they work.
Other tasks include marking
exams, preparing teaching materials,
assessing coursework, supervising
students' research, managing other
staff and participating in conferences.
Universities also employ people in
academic research. These positions
become available as and when a
project needs team members, and
often rely on grants for funding.
Research can be in any field
and usually involves discovering
something new - such as in the field
of medicine - or developing new
technology. You'll need to publish
your results in academic journals and
attend corporate events, as well as
possibly supervise research students.
What qualifications do I need?
To be a lecturer you'll need a first or
2:1 degree in the area you want to
teach, a PhD in a relevant subject,
as well as teaching experience and
original research for publication.
Academic researchers require
a master's or PhD in the subject
area and experience within that
field, plus good time-management
and organisational skills.
How much can I earn? Lecturer
salaries start at £33,000 to £58,000,

while academic researchers can
earn from around £30,000.

ADMINISTRATIVE ROLES

All good businesses require
excellent staff behind the scenes,
and universities are no different.
There are many administrative roles
available, such as health and safety
assistant, library services assistant,
finance administrator, support
secretary, receptionist, student support
adviser and careers adviser, as well
as plenty of opportunities in human
resources. Strong communication
skills are key, as are super-efficient
organisational abilities.
What qualifications do I need?
The exact requirements depend on
the role. A finance administrator,
for example, will require A-levels,
an AAT accounting qualification
and experience in using accounting
systems. A careers adviser needs
experience in careers coaching and
client relationship building. If you
want to work in library services,
GCSE qualifications are a must, along
with good organisational skills.
How much can I earn? Again,
salary depends on the job at hand. A
finance administrator can expect to
earn a starting salary of £25,000 to
£30,000; a careers adviser, £25,000
to £35,000; and those in library
services, £16,000 to £25,000.

TECHNICAL AND LABORATORY ROLES

In the science field, researchers need
staff such as technicians and laboratory
assistants to help them in their work.
As a technician you may prepare
materials for practical classes, provide
technical support to students and
manage equipment and resources.
You'll also work as part of the team
that's leading research, and may
get the chance to take part too.
Lab assistants may be expected to
sterilise glassware, collect and organise
lab supplies and carry out maintenance
tasks, including care of equipment.
What qualifications do I need?
Technicians should be educated to at
least GCSE-level. Experience in the
subject area, good communication
skills, a high level of awareness of

health and safety and an ability to
work as part of a team are also
highly valued.
Lab assistants are usually
required to have previous lab
experience, the ability to carry
out routine and repetitive tasks,
knowledge of how to use databases
and spreadsheets, as well as good
organisational and team skills.
How much can I earn?
Technicians start at around £15,000
but can earn more than £30,000;
lab assistants earn £20,000-plus.

MAINTENANCE ROLES

A university can't run on academic
staff alone. Buildings - some of
which are hundreds of years old -
need maintaining, grounds need
planting, clearing and mowing,
pitches need maintaining, and
staff and students need feeding.
Other crucial roles include
marketing and events management.
For the latter, a good skillset
includes managing social
media, planning and overseeing
advertising campaigns, budgeting
and creating brand identity.
What qualifications do I need?
For marketing roles, previous
marketing experience and good
communication skills are key. In
catering, a previous role in a hotel
or restaurant will be useful, as well
as a creative talent for cooking.
If you would like to try your hand
at being a groundsperson, an NVQ
Level 2 in horticulture is a good
start. For housekeeper, experience
in a similar role is usually required.
How much can I earn? Salaries
start around £16,000 for entrylevel roles in many departments,
increasing with experience.

FIND OUT MORE
College Jobs
college.jobs.ac.uk
FE Careers
fecareers.co.uk
National Careers Service
nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk
Prospects
prospects.ac.uk

J O B S & C A R E E R S /// 1 4 3

140 J&C JC17 Ed roles jw2.indd 143

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http://college.jobs.ac.uk http://fecareers.co.uk http://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk http://prospects.ac.uk

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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Careers/jcspring2018
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Careers/YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Careers/Careers/Careers_with_Hayley_Taylor_2011
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