Online education has exploded over the past 15 years when it comes to online jobs. In the 2016-17 school year, according to the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics, 66 percent of all postsecondary schools offered distance learning, with 12.2 million students enrolled in distance education courses taught by online faculty. The demand for online professors is high, and working at online faculty jobs gives teachers the flexibility and innovation many desire in a teaching career. Learn how to find full-time and adjunct faculty employment to get the position that helps boost an online career or adds income.
Online Faculty Jobs with Current Colleges and Universities
The best place to start any search for distance learning teaching is with past or current employers. To teach at the college level professors must have a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in their field, or at a bare minimum of 18 graduate hours in the field of study.
For job seekers who have teaching experience, contacting former and current colleges and universities is critical. A current “bricks and mortar” class schedule could morph into an online teaching job, while former colleges that may not have had online faculty employment in the past could have added such opportunities more recently. It can’t hurt to ask, and at best job seekers could walk away with a few online classes.
Online Teaching Jobs and Convincing a Boss
Another option with current employers: make a real-time class as web-friendly as possible. A few methods for doing so include putting the following on a course’s web-based section on WebCT, ANGEL, Blackboard, or whatever online program in use:
- Video or audio lectures
- Tests and quizzes
- Class discussion modules
- Interactive learning exercises
The more the class “lives” on the web, the easier it becomes to make the argument to a department head, dean, or other administration officials that the course can be converted to a full web-based offering. In addition, instead of canceling class for weather issues, or professor illness, having as much material online allows for no interruption in content delivery and continuity of education – a big plus for selling the idea of converting a course to an online teaching job.
Online Faculty Employment
The next step is Higher Ed Jobs, the clearinghouse for all jobs in higher education in the United States. The search function on Higher Ed Jobs can be tricky. Some suggested terms to use when looking for online faculty employment include:
- distance education
- distance learning
- online faculty
- online teaching
- distributed learning
- distance faculty
As of this writing, Higher Ed Jobs does not have a separate section for online faculty jobs, so while it’s the largest site for jobs in postsecondary education, it isn’t always the easiest to navigate.
If you can’t find an educational job online via Job Career Critic, another large site you can try for online faculty positions is The Chronicle of Higher Education. The definitive publication for all things related to colleges and universities, the Chronicle offers a help wanted section that does feature online teaching jobs.
Online Professor Jobs
Many online professor jobs will be from the following companies:
- University of Phoenix
- Axia College
- Capella University
- Walden University
- Concordia University
and other proprietary colleges. Proprietary is a synonym for for-profit; these are companies that run colleges and universities for a profit, and as such these online faculty positions become a hybrid of teaching and the corporate bottom line.
For qualified graduates in certain fields searching for education jobs in distance learning, these are often the only options (especially for people with a Master’s degree) but don’t overlook these institutions just because they’re for-profit. Teaching for a proprietary school can be a foot in the door to use as leverage for getting adjunct online faculty jobs elsewhere.
These examples are by no means an exhaustive list for those seeking online faculty jobs. Search engines, specific blogs, professional associations, and even local Help Wanted ads can be sources of job openings for online teaching positions. Be on the lookout for education career fairs, advertisements for job openings, and any information about online faculty employment. For flexibility, convenience, and often a higher per-hour rate, online faculty jobs are a great option for those with the passion to teach and the interest in doing so with 21st-century style.