Before I got my teaching job, I had made a conscious effort to get published and secure internships at some very prominent places. For teaching posts, I made a few applications which were unsuccessful. I asked for feedback (there goes my inquisitive nature again!) and the general consensus was that I interviewed extremely well but my lack of teaching experience was the issue.
So it brought me to consider what was deemed to be more ‘impressive’ to prospective employers for teaching. What was more important: a couple of publications or teaching experience? I’ve concluded that while both are equally important, particularly if you’re looking for a teaching job, your ability to demonstrate your capability to teach takes precedence.
When you apply for a teaching post, universities are looking for evidence that you can teach a class. They need to be fully convinced that they can leave you in a room, unaided, and you can deliver material to a classroom full of enquiring minds. They won’t necessarily see that from you publishing articles.
Publishing is an important aspect of getting into academia, but it does two things. It helps YOU as an early career researcher develop your international profile. It also helps with the universities profile. Universities want to see that you have that ability to contribute to their broader research profile. What makes you different from every other applicant that they have interviewed? It’s about what you’re bringing to the table.
However, before you get to that stage, they want to see that you can do what they primarily do for students – teach.
So to summarise, definitely try to set time aside for writing articles/papers to get published during the PhD. However, for getting your foot into the teaching door, getting that teaching experience is absolutely key!!