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Is it bad if I am not a teaching assistant during my PhD?

up vote 14 down vote favorite

I've applied to be a teaching assistant (helps with running undergrad labs and marking reports/tests/exams) every year so far during my PhD, but have never been successful. I'm getting to the end of my PhD, and despite my best efforts, have no teaching experience, thus that section of my CV is blank.

Would this be a bad sign for post-PhD employment?

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

If you want to stay in academia, then teaching is going to be part of the job, and you will need some experience in that field. Not having that at the end of your PhD is not a disaster, but you will need to rectify that blank spot during your postdoc phase. How big of a deal this is will depend on your discipline and your country.

up vote 3 down vote

I do wish to add - it also depends on your research abilities. My advisor, who happens to be a very new hire (at a top 10 university), was not a TA even once during his PhD. He's a superstar in his field. And yet, he got a tenured-track faculty position at my university.


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Is it bad if I am not a teaching assistant during my PhD?

up vote 14 down vote

I've applied to be a teaching assistant (helps with running undergrad labs and marking reports/tests/exams) every year so far during my PhD, but have never been successful. I'm getting to the end of my PhD, and despite my best efforts, have no teaching experience, thus that section of my CV is blank.

Would this be a bad sign for post-PhD employment?


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up vote 9 down vote

If you want to stay in academia, then teaching is going to be part of the job, and you will need some experience in that field. Not having that at the end of your PhD is not a disaster, but you will need to rectify that blank spot during your postdoc phase. How big of a deal this is will depend on your discipline and your country.

edit

"If you want to stay in academia, then teaching is going to be part of the job" not necessarily. However the competition for research-only jobs is even more intense than for "normal" jobs. - Najib Idrissi Jan 26 at 8:42

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