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Get an Online Teaching Job

This article discusses qualifications generally required to be an online university teacher, and how to get an online teaching job.

This article gives specific information on the qualifications generally required for online university teaching. A discussion of market factors impacting the online university faculty job market is also included.

Qualifications for Online University Faculty Employment

Universities offering online programs have skyrocketed. This is not only with new, primarily online-only university programs. Established universities have also added online programs and individual class offerings to their program choices.

Many of the universities require you to have a Master’s Degree in the discipline in which you want to teach. Some universities require you to have had your Master’s Degree for two years before applying to teach online. There are also more schools that require, or prefer, that the faculty candidate have a Doctoral Degree, or what is sometimes referred to as a Terminal Degree; or already have online, and or on-ground, teaching experience; or experience with a particular online learning platform. By the way, they provided teachers with training and support throughout the working process. So the age-old employment catch-22 applies to online teaching as well. It is more difficult to get a job when you have not already had a similar job.

Several factors combine to determine a candidates qualification for a particular online teaching position:

  • in the subject area of the class(s) to be taught
  • in the field relating to the subject of the class(s) to be taught relate
  • e-transcripts that are in the subject area of the class(s) to be taught

It may help one to break into the profession to be willing to teach lower-level classes in an Associate of Arts program or teach on-ground night courses to gain teaching experience.

The Market for Online Teaching Jobs

Even with the dramatic increase of online university programs, some economic factors may be making it harder to get a teaching position. There are at least three factors that have helped to increase the supply of qualified online university teachers. First, with so many traditional universities adding online programs, and individual class offerings, many traditional professors are teaching online in addition to their other duties. They may also be starting or continuing to teach online after retirement.

Second, higher unemployment rates may cause there to be more individuals with a great deal of work experience and higher degrees to pursue online teaching as an income source. Third, the growing number of students graduating from online programs are well aware of the platforms used for online classes, and options for faculty employment as a primary or secondary source of income in the years following graduation.

This is not good news, because it means fewer positions for which one can apply. It also means that the universities’ reserves of instructors are strong because many universities are not even recruiting or accepting resumes except for specific classes for which their pool of instructors is low. The good news is that with the increase in the number of colleges offering online degrees, the total number of students enrolled has increased exponentially. So hopefully the growth in students will eventually outpace the supply of qualified instructors.

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