Rude awakening for adjunct wannabes?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by SurfDoctor, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Just for the sake of discussion: I've noticed a trend in the aspirations of many of the new members who come to the board to ask questions. It seems like everyone wants to get a degree online and then teach online. Do you think that many of these individuals will have a rude awakening when they enter the online adjunct job market? (This question is purposely open-ended and vague; interpret it as you see fit)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2011
  2. agschmidt

    agschmidt New Member

    I have no idea about the process for becoming an adjunct or any other online position, but most places require teaching experience to teach. You get that experience in traditional Ph.D. (and some master's) programs as a TA.

    I have come across some DL job postings that require or desire experience in teaching online courses - they are a different animal and require a unique pedagogy from a traditional classroom setting. People with DL degrees might be uniquely positioned to teach in DL programs; I'd almost trust them to do a better job than a traditional professor just looking to supplement income.

    However, the same theory probably applies to those seeking DL professorships as in traditional professorships: you generally can only teach at a school lateral or sub to your degree-granting institution (e.g., an Auburn Ph.D. has a better chance teaching at UGA than he does at Yale). I'm not sure how the online schools are ranked, but I'm sure you all have your own ideas about where an Argosy graduate would be able to adjunct in an online situation.
  3. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    It will probably depend upon a number of factors (school, background of individual, etc.). However, I believe that the biggest factor will be the subject area of the degree in question. A graduate of an online degree in business, IT or education will face stiff competition with other online adjuncts. Graduates of statistics programs (for example) will find a much easier time in locating work (in or outside of academia). Wish I was better at math! :)
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry much about getting an online adjunct position. The market is explosive and it seems to be growing at an exponential rate.

    The issue seems to be for those looking for full time faculty positions. These positions are becoming less available while adjunct demand is increasing.

    The other issue is salary. Many are attracted to become adjuncts but only few actually continue with the job once they figure they amount of time it takes to run a class. Some schools are paying as little as $50 dlls per student and expect grading is less than 48 hrs, once some realize that can make a lot more money selling Avon they just give up.
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    If all they want to do is "teach online", then no problem, the adjunct job market will probably accomodate them. There is a lot of competition in this field, but it's a big, growing field with a lot of turnover, so new teachers are always needed.

    But if they want to "teach online and get decent compensation", then a rude awakening may be on the way. The reason for the high turnover rate is that salaries are poor; they continue to fall as schools realize that they can fill those adjunct slots with eager new graduates, no matter how low they go. Some degreeinfo readers have posted that they would be willing to teach for free, just so they can get the experience.

    I wouldn't be surprised if online schools eventually start charging prospective adjuncts for the privilege of teaching. If people will pay good money for the title of "Doctor", then maybe they will pay good money for the title of "Professor" as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2011
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Interesting concept. This is a bit like the vanity publishing companies that charge to become a published author.

    It is already happening in a way, TUI requires you to get a non paid training in order to become an adjunct. It was a tradition to get paid training and sometimes even paid on site training with hotel and accommodation.

    The next step would be to teach a free trial probation class. The other idea would be to have "guess" faculty that gets to have their name included in a catalog for a fee and few free online lectures a year.

    I made a living for a while teaching at 4 different online schools. Salaries were never raised at 2 schools and the others only raised them once during 4 years. The real salary is going down as more people become available with online degrees.

    The other trend that I noticed is asking for a doctorate as the minimum requirement, this with the intention to trigger more demand for online doctorates.

    So basically, you are dishing 60K for a doctoral title that gets you the same job with a lower salary that before only required a masters. Who is the winner?
  7. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    FWIW, there are 103 adjunct faculty wanted jobs listed on this morning. Find Jobs: Find your next job and advance your career today |

    And let us remember that a favorite technique of the bad guys is to advertise on-line teaching positions, sign people up with promises of lots of students, never communicate again . . . but use the applicants' names and credentials on their own faculty lists
  8. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    I think the online adunct market is specially suited for those with online graduate degrees with the work experience to back it up. But I do agree that it probably requires a lot more work and dedication than some folks may realize. I've occassionaly took an online gig to supplement my income but personally I don't think I have the energy and focus to pursue this on a full time basis.
  9. BizProf

    BizProf New Member

    Actually, stats isn't that hot a field at least for B&M positions, the hottest fields are acct and finance, you're right about IT and education. Math in general is very tight in academia, tough to find a position. Reason why my spouse got out of it. Perhaps stats is more of a seller's mkt for online, and that's what you're referring to.
  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Hey! I suggested that possibility first! ;)
  11. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I am a witness to the veracity of this statement. :smile:
  12. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    I had lunch yesterday with the Dean of a school (BM+DL) where I used to adjunct. He told me that his programs (not the entire DL division) is hiring 75 adjuncts by Fall '11.

    I'm in the process of trying to transition out of my "full-time" office position into doing adjunct "close to full time" while trying to knock-out by dissertation. I adjunct for 3 schools (seeking to add a 4th - see above); two of those four are for-profit DL-only schools. I think that it has less to do with my graduate degree itself (I'm ABD) and more to do with my clinical experience combined with previous online teaching experience.
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I concur. Experience is the key; the degree is important but experience in the field the biggest consideration.
  14. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Asking people to teach for free is an even greater likelihood. I would bet that there are a number of adjunct wanabees who would be willing to teach for free for awhile to gain the experience and to have that experience on their vita or resume.

    Do you know of any schools that are asking adjuncts to teach for free for a semester or two? I'll bet that is already happening.
  15. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Here's another possible approach that we might see in the future.

    The market for online adjunct positions is obviously competitive, right ?
    So maybe your online doctorate just isn't enough to set you apart from the crowd, right ?
    And in that case, then obviously the solution is ... another credential.

    Online schools could introduce new post-doctoral certificate programs in online teaching, which would be conveniently available to meet the busy schedules of working adults, with numerous easy financing options. And the online schools could announce that they will give hiring preference to applicants with both the doctorate and this new supplemental "Online Teaching Credential".

    And you can bet that lots of eager prospective adjuncts would sign up immediately -- to bolster their resumes, enhance their skills, and set themselves apart from all those other doctorate-wielding prospective adjuncts out there. Just as they got the doctorate to stand out from all of the MBAs, and just as they got the MBA to stand out from all of the BAs.

    This is how Credential Inflation works. You flood the market with credentials at one level until it is completely saturated. Then, as people realize that their credential has been devalued, offer to sell them a new, higher credential. Repeat as necessary.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2011
  16. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    As online schools are asking now for publications on top of the online doctorate, you might see online schools creating online journals that can charge a publication fee to prospect online adjuncts.

    The other twist could be to create a designation to teach like a Certified Dotcom Professor (CDP), the online adjuncts would need to pay yearly membership fees to be eligible to teach and pay training to get CPD points to keep the certification.

    The business model is indeed working, people are buying the dot com doctorates for 60K so it seems that there are plenty people out there willing to burn the bucks.
  17. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Is it possible that University of Phoenix is already doing this?

    This idea is a little more usury and less likely to fly, but not entirely impossible.
  18. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    There was an actual thread here inquiring as to whether there are any volunteer professorates available.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

  20. Cyber

    Cyber New Member


Share This Page