Adunct Professor with a master's degree

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by anngriffin777, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. anngriffin777

    anngriffin777 New Member

    Can I become adjunct Professor without a doctoral degree? Which online colleges fairly easy to get a job at?:yikes: Don't bother to write the University of Phoenix.
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Yes, it's quite possible. I've taught/teach for several different schools (online and in-seat) with my Master's degrees as the highest credential.

    I moved this to the online teaching section, as there are several threads (including stuck threads) that address which schools are good about hiring fairly regularly.
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, but this depends on the field. Computer Science, Engineering, Accounting and Finance normally require a MS for an undergraduate adjunct position. However, if you want to teach general management, arts, history, etc, I would say that a PhD is the bear minimum.

    The reputation of your MS plays also a big factor, a MS from Stanford would trump a PhD from University of Phoenix. If you only want a MS to teach, get a solid one. There are schools like Stanford that offer degrees online.

    A MS alone from the UoP would not be very helpful to teach, some folks get PhDs from the UoP but after a solid MS so the UoP degree is more like an ice of the cake rather than the main seller.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    In one of those other threads a member has asked about teaching online at non-US universities. To me this is a fascinating question and one, to my knowledge, that no one really knows the answer. If I was in that market I'd be exploring that option along with all others.
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This is quite possible. I was teaching at 3 different countries online at some point. Laureate has universities in many countries so you could be teaching in the UK, Mexico or other country with this online company.
    If you can manage several languages this helps, I speak and write in English, French and Spanish. I interviewed with few online schools in Spain but the paid was too low. Laureate has some programs in Spanish.
    Language skills and good degrees help.
  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I've taught as an adjunct at two CCs. One with only a bachelor's and the other with an NA masters.

    Certain fields have certain needs and are willing to make concessions in some cases as well.

    I have a colleague who teaches at a SUNY school with only a bachelor's (teaching bachelor's level students) he can do it because he is a CPA and they want CPAs teaching there. In another geographic area, where there may be more accountants with masters degrees looking for adjunct work, he would probably be out of luck.

    So there are "general rules" but YMMV depending upon your specific area of expertise and the labor market where you are applying,
  7. TomE

    TomE New Member

    There are definitely opportunities out there. I know several people who actually teach online with Bachelors degrees. Granted, these people are working almost exclusively in community colleges or trade, technical, or vocational institutes where credentialing is a bit different, but the possibilities are out there.

    I would suggest researching some larger community colleges that are in your area and taking a look at their online learning offerings as well as the instructors who are teaching these courses. If there is some overlap with your field of study/interest, it may be worth reaching out to program or department coordinators to see if they have openings or what they generally are looking for in candidates. Education is important, but a combination of some academic credentialing and work experience can make up for a lack of more advanced degrees or degrees obtained from less prestigious institutions.
  8. jonlevy

    jonlevy Active Member

    I would rephrase this; does it make any economic sense to get a PhD to teach as an adjunct? The answer is No.
  9. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    It's actually quite difficult to land a job as a professor at University of Phoenix.... which I'm shocked to be the first person to say.

    So, this question reminds me of Black Friday. When a store opens at 7am and you show up at 6:55am- you think you're on time, but you're 5 hours too late. All the best though.

    PS adjunct average salary is under $3000 per course per semester.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2016
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I cannot comment about the UoP but it took me two years of sending resumes before getting my first online gig at a for profit. I agree that you cannot assume that schools like the UoP would be offering you gigs after your PhD so the return of investment for a PhD is a risky proposition.
    I applied once at UoP and remember the offer was about $1800 per course after passing some training. You can expect to teach about 7 or 8 classes at the time for about 4 to 5 sessions a year that is about 70K a year but with no benefits and no job security. If this figure makes sense to you go for it.
  11. TomE

    TomE New Member

    This may be true to an extent, but if one is able to land gigs at institutions that pay significantly more than $1800 a course, there is a bit more of an incentive. I agree that the "no benefits and no job security" can be a bit intimidating and should make just about anyone think twice, but thankfully, some institutions are becoming more generous with benefits, even for adjuncts (a school that I adjunct with has a 401k plan available for ALL employees).
  12. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    To dissect the "how" behind 7-8 sections / $70,000 a person has to look a little deeper. First of all, clearly that "figure" would appeal to nearly anyone considering teaching. It's unlikely someone would leave industry to do that, but that's nearly double what the average American earns each year, so let's not pretend that's chump change.

    I'll have a heart attack right here at my keyboard if someone on this board comes forward telling me they are teaching 7-8 different classes per semester for one college? Every semester? In fact, you'll have to prove it because I just don't believe it. 1-2? Yes. 2-3? Maybe. >3? Now you're going into unicorn land. One semester one year when half the staff was out on maternity leave maybe....but it's not doing anyone any favors to paint a picture like this.

    Now, tell me that you work for 5-7 different colleges, and it makes sense, but most people struggle landing gigs at 1 college, so to hint to the OP that she'd be able to land teaching jobs at multiple colleges or teach that many sections per semester is just as crazy, especially with ZERO teaching experience.

    Here's my advice to the OP. Don't quit your day job. Grab an adjunct job teaching a class or two a year. Do that, see if you like it. See if you're good at it, and then decide. But do all that now, before you drop any money on additional degrees. In most cases, additional degrees DO NOT mean more pay at the adjunct level, so you have nothing to lose.
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I meant 5 to 7 classes at different schools. Many schools put limits at the number of classes you can teach at the time.

    An online adjunct career is not terrible but not great, this depends a lot on your present job prospects. I have a friend with a Masters degree in IT making less than 70K as all she can get is tech support positions. She is doing a PhD at Capella with the hopes to get into online teaching.

    An online teaching career is feasible but there are drawbacks as lack of benefits, hectic schedule, endless meetings, stressful course evaluations every term, almost no salary increases, no research opportunities, etc, etc.

    I did this as a full time career for several years and got anxiety problems, health issues, relationship issues as my spouse wouldn't like me to take my computer every vacation I went, gained weight as most of the time are in front of your computer, etc. Not a very healthy career in my opinion.
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Accreditors don't like it. Then again, they don't dislike it enough to stop institutions from hiring people from teaching at multiple institutions.
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Even if she succeeds, and that's a very big if, the ROI just isn't there under any normal circumstances. Is her employer covering her tuition or something?
  16. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Someone more mathy than me can calculate the ROI, but I think the math only makes sense if you have the degree anyway. In other words, it's a supplement to your existing career or income, or as a deliberate alternative to full time employment (retirement, disability, raising kids, etc.).
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    For me the ROI was negative, I have a MSEE and a MBA and was making a lot more than the 70K that I was making as an online adjunct. I mistakenly though that this was going to give me a better life style but did not count with the stressful deadlines for marking, responding to questions, no job security, etc.
    I eventually moved into a full time position at a B&M school and now making about the same that I was making 15 years ago before the doctorate.

    People might argue that you can make extra money but if you are an engineer, you can always work as a contractor and make a lot more than the 1800 bucks for 80 to 100 hrs that you have to put to teach an online class.

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