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Teaching assistant work

  1. Jan 12, 2007 #1
    I am wondering how good TAing as an undergraduate looks to potential employers and/or graduate school admission officers. I'm pretty sure it looks very good for grad school, but what about in industry?

    I have the opportunity to TA for a pretty significant class in the EE program. It will be a lot of work, and I'll be sacrificing an EE elective I would like to take, but it seems like a good opportunity. I've finished all of my elective positions, so I'm fine in that area, and I've taken plenty of extra EE electives.

    So the real question is how much weight does TAing hold in industry? This decision is the difference between potentially a lot of work and taking an easy final semester.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2007 #2

    JasonRox

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    I think it would look awesome for graduate school and employers.

    It shows leadership, communication skills, organization, and other things as well.

    I would do it simply because it's fun. The only boring part is marking, but that's money.

    I started TAing in September for Linear Algebra, and now I'm doing Calculus for this term. It's awesome. Next year, I'd like to do Abstract Algebra, and then maybe Analysis. All different kinds of courses.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2007 #3
    Well the thing is, Jason, is that I won't be paid for it. Undergraduate TAs earn credit for their teaching. The money goes to graduate student TAs.

    It should be fun but, like I mentioned, it's for a pretty heavy class that involves a lot of design, etc. When I took it I remember the TAs being bothered all the time. So while it would be interesting, it's also a lot of work. This is my last undergraduate semester and I have a lot of things on my plate already - the most major being my senior project.

    I think I'll do it, though, because it does radiate the skills that you listed in your post.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Jan 12, 2007 #4

    JasonRox

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    You don't get paid?

    That sucks. I'm an undergrad too, and I couldn't imagine doing all that work for free.

    I did free work, as in voluntary help students. I don't mind doing that at all.

    Will you teach class? Or just help students?

    I get to teach a class. If I didn't get to do that, I wouldn't take the job. I wrote that directly on the application.
     
  6. Jan 12, 2007 #5
    Are you sure you don't get paid? Being a TA should fall under work study at least. I was offered a TA postion by my Computer Science professor but I declined because it was more work with less pay than getting hired at the computer center. But he was still going to pay me 7.00 an hour.
     
  7. Jan 12, 2007 #6
    My university doesn't have any TAs so I don't get these opportunities..I could get a tutoring position though. My biggest class ever was like 30 students, and about 80% of the classes have less than 15 students so there's not really a need for TAs. I've had classes with 3 students.
     
  8. Jan 12, 2007 #7
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure I won't get paid.

    What I would be required to do is to be at at least two laboratory sessions and help the students with whatever problems they have with their designs. The course is a culmination of many different classes, so I’d be helping them with whatever issues may arise during the design phase. I'd probably also be responsible for doing a portion of the grading - most likely technical reports and quizzes.
     
  9. Jan 12, 2007 #8
    hm...that sounds like a rip off...
    I was going to say, if ur just over looking a few labs and helping with questions, but if ur grading hw/exams thats a ton of work. I would rather suggest you try to get a job in the university in your area of interest.

    For me working at the computer center I would get paid 8.00 an hour for answering a phone a few times during my shift and answering a stupid computer problem then go about doing my homework and making sure the labs don't catch fire.

    But experience is experience....if he's not paying you perhaps the work is not that time demanding. You could also send him an e-mail and ask him if this counts as work study. You wouldn't be straight out asking him, "Do i get paid?" But your curious if this would count as work study due to finical aid issues.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
  10. Jan 12, 2007 #9

    Well, don't forget he's getting getting some elective credit out of this, which translates into a lot of money saved at many schools.
     
  11. Jan 12, 2007 #10
    oh my bad I didn't realize that, at my school I don't think TAing at the undergrad level counted as credits perhaps thats why they offered to pay me.
     
  12. Jan 12, 2007 #11
    Yeah, I'll be taking it as a course called "College Teaching" or something like that. It’s a generic class of variable credit that all undergraduate TA’s sign up for. I get credit for it and it can be used as an engineering elective. However, I've finished my engineering electives. I'll be taking it for the experience of teaching, and to basically place it on my resume.
     
  13. Jan 12, 2007 #12

    JasonRox

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    Wow, I get paid like $16 an hour.

    I get around $1000-2000 a term depending on how many students there are.

    I certainly wouldn't grade homework for free. No way.
     
  14. Jan 12, 2007 #13

    Dr Transport

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    But think about doing all those problems over again and really learning the material.

    When I was in graduate school, we TA'd for our professors who were paying us to be RA's, it was expected along with taking all of your professors graduate course offerings regardless of the content.
     
  15. Jan 13, 2007 #14

    JasonRox

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    I'll mark 3rd year work and up, but not 1st and 2nd year. That's just hell.
     
  16. Jan 13, 2007 #15

    Dr Transport

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    They are the fun problems.....
     
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