Teach in the Post-Secondary Classroom

Interested in teaching at the college or university level? There are a number of different academic options you can pursue, including:

  • Small, primarily undergraduate institutions, which tend to emphasize teaching over research;
  • Universities that serves both undergraduate and graduate students and tend to emphasize both research and teaching;
  • Two-year or community colleges, which, like primarily undergraduate institutions, tend to emphasize teaching over research and serve a variety of students, including many non-traditional students.

The Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences module from On the Cutting Edge provides a wealth of information related to the job search process, applying for jobs, interviewing, the negotiation process, and getting started as a new post-secondary educator. While the module (and its annual workshop) focuses on geoscience opportunities, the information on the site is applicable across the STEM disciplines. See resources that address the most frequently asked questions about teaching, research, and the job search process. See the Career site guide for more

Explore the Options and Find the Best Fit

Explore a day in the life of a professor or instructor at different institution types through Cutting Edge's collection of academic career profiles. Get a glimpse of career descriptions from 8 faculty at different institution types through a screencast of a webinar about exploring the range of possibilities for faculty positions.

If you're not sure a teaching job is right for you, but are interested in education and outreach take a look at profiles that describe a variety of careers beyond academia from Cutting Edge or through the Building Strong Geoscience Departments web page on non-traditional careers. Learn more about geoscience careers from the SAGE 2YC project.

Find a Job

While a basic internet search can yield a great deal of job postings, honing your search from the get-go maty aid in the overwhelming search return. Try the following resources:

  • Check out the websites for and join professional organizations, which often post job classifieds in their organizations' website and publications. These organizations also tend to hold conferences, which can used as networking opportunities. Many also have publications, which can be used to explore career opportunities or as a means to publish and get your name out to the community. Examples of job postings from professional societies include:
  • Explore the Inside Higher Ed job search engine. The links lead to job postings, including features that allow you to search for dual-career opportunities and the ability to post your resume for potential employers.
  • Chronicle of Higher Ed Vitae site ( This site may be offline. )
  • Check out links to several sites with nationally-advertised job listings at the On the Cutting Edge Preparing for an Academic Career Beginning your Search page.

Interviews and Negotiation

A large compilation of tips, advice, and resources on interviewing and negotiation are available on the Preparing for an Academic Career website, part of On the Cutting Edge. While some are written to a geoscience audience, most of the advice provided is applicable across the STEM disciplines.

Additional Resources

  • The Preparing for an Academic Career website offers a wealth of information for early career faculty, including:
  • The Early Career website also offers a wealth of information for early career faculty, including:
    • Tips for time management and Finding your Balance between teaching, research, and/or personal life
    • Effective and Efficient Teaching, including sections on course design, teaching large classes, learning styles, student assessment, building your case for tenure, and more
    • Developing a Thriving Research Program, including planning and funding your research, tips for finding and working with students, setting up your lab, making time for research, and publishing your work
    • Tips for demystifying the process of Getting Tenure, including how to prepare yourself for the process, how to compile your tenure package, and frequently asked questions from your peers
    • Resources for International Faculty Members, including advice and resources for overcoming challenges in teaching and research, social and financial challenges, immigration and citizenship issues, and more
  • The Career Development website offers a variety of resources, including webinar recordings, for early and mid-career faculty, including topics related to career preparation, course design, teaching, and assessment
  • The National Institute for Faculty Equity provides presentations and other resources aimed at increasing the population of minority groups and women in the STEM disciplines. It includes pages on teaching, tenure, mentors, innovation/patents/entrepreneurship, developing a research program, finding funding, getting published, time management, as well as advice for faculty following tenure.
  • The SERC Site Guide: Career Development provides links to SERC partner projects that have resources on career development