A polytechnic lecturer is the term used to describe an individual employed by a technical school to instruct students on a variety of topics. Primarily, such topics relate to applied sciences and industrial arts. While polytechnic secondary schools do exist, it is most common for a polytechnic lecturer to work at an institute of higher education such as a college or university. In addition to lecturing, some professionals employed in this field also conduct and publish research reports on a variety of subject areas.
While polytechnic colleges and universities do exist in the United States, most people instructing at the university level in the U.S. are referred to simply as lecturers or may be referred to as professors or teachers, instead. In countries such as Singapore, Ghana and Kenya, however, the term polytechnic lecturer is more commonly applied to university-level teaching positions. In any instance, a polytechnic lecturer may be employed as a part-time or full-time faculty member and some may work at more than one institution at a time.
In order to become a lecturer, a teacher must first obtain a graduate level degree in the subject she or he intends to instruct students in. Depending on the institution, a post-graduate degree is often required. A polytechnic lecturer may find employment as a new graduate, but competition for such jobs is often stiff with more experienced lecturers being in greater demand.
It is not unusual for an experienced polytechnic lecturer to be recruited from another country to work in a particular school. While salaries may vary, a lecturer imported from another country is often offered a lucrative salary or a very attractive benefits package in exchange for becoming a lecturer. Such benefits often include a large number of vacation days, housing and performance bonuses.
In addition to teaching, a polytechnic lecturer may also lead student groups in the completion of special projects outside of the classroom. Many lecturers also supervise students while performing important academic research and some are even assigned key administrative tasks. Due to an extended workload, many full-time lecturers work long hours and it is not unusual for some to forfeit vacation days in order to complete demanding research projects. In order to become a successful polytechnic lecturer, it is, therefore, important for individuals applying for such positions to have a passion for teaching within a particular discipline, performing research and leading students toward successful outcomes.