I know other PhD students (at a different university) who have minimal duties like preparing exercise sheets.

I am going to enter a PhD programme which does not involve any teaching components, but throughout the years before, I have frequently worked as a tutor, leading exercise classes.

I wonder whether the lack of teaching in my PhD will negatively affect my future employment chances in academia (or whether my teaching experience until now will positively affect my chances). What do you know?

  • I did no teaching at the University where I completed my PhD; however, I was/am a high school teacher (full time) - so I am not sure that my experience would be relevant.
    – user7130
    Oct 23, 2013 at 9:51
  • 6
    While there may be no required teaching component, there may be some optional teaching experiences that you could do if you asked.
    – Ben Norris
    Oct 23, 2013 at 10:48
  • 1
    Short answer: Yes, a lack of teaching experience could negatively affect postdoc opportunities. If you can pick up TA responsibilities for extra pay, there's no reason why you shouldn't.
    – Moriarty
    Oct 23, 2013 at 12:03
  • Yes, been in three search committees and overall it's a red flag. The past tutor experience may help if you have i) group tutorial experience, and ii) the tutored students were at the same academic level/stage of the students at the target institution. (e.g. experience of tutoring undergrad does not have much appeal for a faculty position teaching mainly master and doctoral students.) Get a TA job and be as involved as possible, help revise syllabus and slides, grade homework, and even propose to give one lecture. Oct 23, 2013 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


Definitely yes: if in the future you're looking for a teaching (or part-time teaching) position, having less experience than other candidates will be a really bad experience.

Yes to some extent: even for non-teaching research-only positions, teaching experience can be seen as a positive for the applicant. Some of the qualities required for teaching are necessary for other aspects of the job (handling a team, tutoring interns or PhD students, communication with non-scientists, etc.).

So, I would advise you to continue having some teaching duties during your PhD, even if you have to take those outside of your own institution or do some of it pro bono (or for not-so-great pay).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .