Too many online adjuncts?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by me again, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Is the competition getting to be fierce for those few/coveted/remaining online adjunct positions for those with Masters degrees, even with the explosive growth of online universities? If the competition gets more fierce, then will only regionally accredited doctoral holders be allowed to take those part-time online adjunct jobs?! :eek:

    The sky IS falling!!!

    I believe that our economy is eventually going to collapse and, when it does, it will be interesting to see what happens to the explosive "online college boom." :eek: Normally, educational institutions fare better during economic down-times because people want to educationally re-tool to try and get better jobs, but the explosive advent and growth of online colleges and universities is unprecedented -- and college graduates are being churned out at a higher rate than in the 20th Century -- so if a severe economic downturn does come (and I believe that it will), then how well will the online educational institutions fare, if the market potentially has a glut of well educated citizens, with many who obtained non-traditional degrees? It remains to be seen and may be played out over the next century, which is well beyond my lifetime.
  2. scaredrain

    scaredrain Member

    Well I can attest to what you have said. I have fared better as an adjunct at traditional colleges, than I have with online ones. I have applied to numerous online colleges only to get turned down, but I was accepted at all 4 of the traditional colleges I applied to and I teach online and tradititional courses for those colleges.

    I think that with all the online learning you will always have people going back to school as you stated, to increase their skills and to remain competitive. I do think we will either see some of the online colleges consolidate or close their doors, it may start with the NA schools first, since many RA schools offer online degrees and courses. Of course an NA school like Penn Foster or Ashworth College probably wont fold because they offer students to make low monthly payments without falling into the student loan hell trap.
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I see it as more cyclical; a few years back the Chronicle jobs page was flooded with online adjunct positions, and now you don't see them. I think it stands to reason the positions were all filled by people who probably still have them, and in another few years you'll see openings again as the incumbents retire, quit, and die off.
  4. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    It seems that the online colleges only want to hire adjuncts who have:
    1. a Masters (or preferably a Doctorate) in the field to be taught
    2. with extensive "real world experience" in the field to be taught.

    Traditional colleges and universities seem to be more willing to hire adjuncts who simply fulfill the academic requirements, such as having a Masters degree, without necessarily having extensive real world experience. The online colleges and universities really push for adjuncts who have extensive experience in the subject matter to be taught. Has anyone else noticed this "requirement difference" between online programs and traditional programs?

    I just got hired as an online adjunct (I'd rather not mention the name of the university -- at least not yet -- let's wait and see how things work-out) and in the year 2000, they had zero online students and about 6000 traditional in-resident students. In 2007, they had around 30,000 online students and still only around 6000 traditional in-resident students. From zero to 30,000 online students in only eight years is definately a wave and their in-resident program is now dwarfed by their online program! Wow! How long will the wave ride? Will the wave get significantly bigger or is it just a bubble that will eventually burst? If I were a betting man, I'd say that the wave will get significantly bigger in the 21st Century; but who knows? Maybe I'm wrong and maybe it's just a bubble that will burst? :eek:

    Year 2000: 6000 in-resident students vs. 0 online students
    Year 2007: 6000 in-resident students vs. 30,000 online students
    Future radios: ???

    The profitability and opportunity is obviously in the online market, but how long can it be sustained or grown? Will any challenges ever come that causes the bubble to burst or is it a preliminary sign of future explosive growth in the online market? :eek:
  5. buckwheat3

    buckwheat3 Master of the Obvious

    I dont think it is a bubble in the sense of bursting like in the .com days. Online learning will ebb and flow like the tide, but I dont think it will implode, it appears to be here to stay.

    I too just received word on Friday, that an online teaching gig is coming my way very soon. I think Bruce is on spot with people leaving the industry and positions continuing to open up!

    Some of this surge in activity towards online learing could be because of higher fuel prices affecting everything we purchase. And of course, the ease of convenience in accessing courses whenever you can becasue of life's complications.
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    This is just my opinion, but traditional students tend to be a lot more subservient and unlikely to question a teacher, adjunct or otherwise, while online students tend to be mature adults who want teachers that have actually done what they're teaching them.

    Having real-world experience in a subject can be invaluable, especially when your students have some themselves.
  7. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Hummmmmm very good point! I might be teaching other fellow officers who are taking online courses for the sake of convenience!
  8. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping that upon having my MSED conferred, I can start applying to places as an adjunct. While it's true I don't have as much experience as a teacher as some others in my profession, from my experience I've noticed that experience doesn't always equal quality. I'm also hoping, however, that this doesn't hurt me in the application process.

  9. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    They will want to know your real life experience, trust me on that one! ;)
  10. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    It depends, really. Some schools want a couple of years to have passed since earning the graduate degree (maybe they age like fine wine?) while others make no mention of that.

    Apply everywhere, and don't be discouraged if you don't hear back. Just keep applying!
  11. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I look really good on paper! LOL :D

    Reality is another story: :eek:
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Don't we all? :p
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    You made good points. I started teaching online 6 years ago when a master's degree was more than enough to teach IT courses. Nowadays, most schools require a PhD for the same type of jobs. In addition, salaries seem to be decreasing instead of increasing in the online world.

    It is difficult to know what the future will be like, but I'm afraid that the online boom will basically saturate the market with "Microwave oven" degrees. It is too attractive to get a one year part time MBA (My Microsoft certification took longer than this) but what would happen when people realize that the market is not willing to pay for it? The same thing for a PhD, what would happen when the market is too saturated that employers won't be willing to pay for online PhDs? the easier you make it to get one the more value it loses.
    My take is that the boom of online degrees will make the market more difficult and at some point employers won't be willing to pay anything higher than a BS. It is already happening in the IT field where most of the employers won't care about graduate degrees.
  14. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    First, the high school diploma was enough to ensure a secure financial future and good employment prospects.

    Then, the undergraduate degree, regardless of the major or minor, became the minimum educational qualification by which someone could ensure a secure financial future and good employment prospects in many fields and careers.

    Now, the graduate degree has become the minimum educational qualification by which someone could ensure a secure financial future and good employment prospects in many fields and careers. Increasingly, the salary is that of an undergraduate degree holder though.

    In the future, the doctorate degree will likely become as common as the high school diploma. Career prospects will remain precarious for most PhD holders and their salaries will not reflect the academic investment necessary to earn the doctorate degree.

    However, the trades have always ensured a secure financial future and good employment prospects in many fields and careers.

    In the case of IT, many organizations in the private sector will only pay for education which can be directly mapped to one's current position. Advancement and employee development are marketing buzzwords used by HR during recruiting. Most graduate degrees do not map into the current position and job responsibilities within many organizations so the em[;oyer refuses to pay for such educational undertakings.
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with you. You cannot outsource plumbing or electricity work. You cannot really learn plumbing by sitting in front of your computer.

    I just hired a plumber and charged me 150 dollars for an hour and a half of his work. In addition, they are protected since you need a license to do this so I cannot hire unlicensed people to do the job otherwise I might jeopardize my house insurance.

    Trades look far better than PhD options. However, at least in Canada, it is not easy to get into a trade because of the unions. If you don't have any contacts is hard to get in.
  16. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    Apprenticeships and unions work against people getting into the trade for sure.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    There is actually a bit of research about this. Some authors agree that more access to education is not exactly a good thing in the long term. The scary part is that there is a lot of research on how to increase class sizes for online courses as a way to reduce cost. I have seen few prototypes that can teach massive amounts of students with only one instructor. Eventually, as online schools have more pressure that reduce cost, the next trend might be the outsourcing of education. I have already seen many ads in education magazines that advertise courses from India, the selling point is that a professor with a PhD from Indian Institute of Technology is a good as one from Harvard, so why over pay for Harvard professors when you can take courses with professors from IIT? It only takes one school to start doing this for the others to follow, you can hire PhDs from ITT for a fraction of a cost of a PhD from a school like NCU. The reality is that we have opened pandora's box and there is no end to this.
  18. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Economies usually have cyclical highs and lows, usually around every 50 years (or so). Our last low was in 1929, which was almost 80 years ago -- so some believe that we are long overdue for our cyclical economic low. However, after the crash of 1929, the government began building in soooooo many safeguards to prevent it from happening again -- and now we have what's akin to a very tall house of cards -- and when the fall happens (and it will), the fall will be big! Cyclical highs and lows may be delayed, but they can't be stopped.

    So anyways....

    When the next economic low comes, of what value will academic degrees be if:
    1. We have more college graduates per capita (aka educated people) than in all of recorded history
    2. There is a run on the dollar, in conjunction with the fact that many industrial jobs have now been outsourced to foreign nations
    3. The remaining "service oriented" jobs begin to decline as people have fewer dollars to spend, even though more dollars are being printed.

    If OPEC decides to jettison the dollar (due to it's continued inevitable decline) and replace it with the euro, then hard times will definitely befall the American economy very quickly -- and my prediction is that we'll see something akin to the depression of the 1930s.

    Getting back to the original question: Of what value was an academic degree in the depression of the 1930s? And of what value will an academic degree be in the next cyclical depression in the United States (whenever that might be), considering the advent and proliferation of online degrees? :eek:
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

  20. mbaonline

    mbaonline New Member


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