Posted by: Dr. Carolyn Edwards | January 11, 2012

Teaching Online – When No One Calls You Back

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Dr. E, I have been non-stop applying to colleges trying to get either an online or campus teaching position.  I taught for a  for profit colleges for one session and now work for another online part-time since Feb 2011.  I am actively trying to get on with another college or two since I lost my FT job  last year.

I am just not hearing back from schools.  I don’t know if it’s my resume, or they don’t like my work experience or where I went to college, or what.  I am starting to wonder.  I know in some fields, it’s more of a who you know type of thing.
I have two BBA’s, one in Management and one in Accounting, and I have a Master’s in Accounting.  I have even thought about going back to school for a completely different major that has a stronger demand.  Or would getting my doctorate help more?
First let me say don’t give up. I didn’t get hired at one school until two years of trying.  While you are waiting here are some suggestions to get you going in the right direction:

  1. Review your resume to make sure you are focusing on what the school seeks ie highlight your experience with LMS ie Angel, Blackboard, eCollege, etc as well as any terms that are specifically outlined in the job announcement.
  2. Make sure your resume does not make you look too busy. That is ensure you let hiring officials know their students will be a priority. So ensure you list that the part-time online teaching jobs are on an as needed basis.
  3. Detail the classes you taught or teach at each school. I would then make sure you include all the information they need to hire you ie resume, cover letter, transcripts, etc.
  4. Set up a profile on each school’s hr system and update it at least every 6 months.
  5. Network with others and join LinkedIn adjunct groups. They post a lot of jobs in there and you will have access to specific hiring officials within each group.
As for furthering your education, I did very well teaching online with just the Master’s but now the accreditation rules dictate that so many especially graduate courses be taught by those with a PhD.  If one of the schools where you work has tuition reimbursement for either a PhD or an additional 18 hours, I say go for it, it doesn’t hurt.
In terms of which one is best just depends on what you want to do with the degrees. With the PhD you will earn more money and can be viewed as expert, consultant, etc but it will take extremely longer to finish than the additional 18 hours. You can also get a certificate in specialized areas that can help you get the job.
Good luck and hang in there!


Dr. Carolyn Edwards is an author, life/career management coach and graduate management professor.

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