A quick perusal of the financial news will provide academics with sufficient information about the negative impact the ongoing economic crisis is having on public education. The painful reality of mass teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms resulting from administrators trying to leverage as much intellectual work out of academic as possible without actually compensating them for the effort and the disappearance of any viable number of tenure-track positions at four-year state colleges and universities should make an educators with a master degree or doctorate look to distance education as a way to either supplement their faculty salaries or completely replace salaries lost to layoffs. However, any effort to transition out of the physical classroom and into a sustainable online teaching schedule must begin with a clear-minded analysis of the current circumstances impacting academics attempting to continue earning a decent living from the delivery of instructional information at the post-secondary level.
A smart example of critical thinking about teaching as a career path is the growth of adjunct instructors every year. There can no longer be any question that the administrators of community colleges, state universities, four year state colleges and technical schools are now following the lead set by for-profit colleges in terms of adopting distance education as a primary vehicle for post-secondary degree programs. The cost of providing instruction to the rising number of new and returning college students in the physical classroom on the traditional campuses is almost too much to be met now, and it will absolutely be too much to be met in the very qq online near future. The only alternative for these administrators is to move as many academic disciplines as possible to the Internet in the form of online college degree programs. While there are still many pedagogical issues to be resolved as more online college courses are developed and offered to post-secondary students, there is no longer any question that the future of teaching in general is now locating itself on the Internet.
A traditional adjunct faculty member teaching on a physical college or university campus is very limited today in terms of how much income can be made and how many actual college classes can be taught at any one time. This is primarily the result of the necessity of having to travel physically to the campus in order to reach the college students. If an adjunct college professor lives in the sparsely populated part of the country, there are only two or possibly three post-secondary academic institutions that actually have college classes that need teachers. Further, the adjunct instructor who must drive a personal vehicle between available teaching positions on physical campuses is forced to spend a good portion of the small amount being paid for the college teaching on the maintenance and repair of the motor vehicle. Now imagine not having to stand one solitary dime on a personal vehicle in order to arrive in the front of the college classroom. The online adjunct instructor is in such an enviable position because the online college classes can be taught on the Internet by using an inexpensive laptop computer.
The amount of money an adjunct instructor can earn teaching online full time in this fashion, using a computer as a method of arriving at the academic workplace instead of a motor vehicle that must be driven many miles each day, is considerable, and at the very least could be viewed as an extra paycheck from online college teaching. Since most individuals with earned graduate degrees, a Ph.D. or master degree, readily choose to teach college classes for a living, and there are many that consider the academic life a viable and desirable career path, they are severely limited due to budgetary constraints now being experienced by physical colleges and universities. It is a good idea to take a hard look at the online adjunct income that can be earned by teaching for accredited online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs. In fact, the reality of academic life today indicates that online adjunct jobs help remove academic and economic limitations for college teachers.
The online adjunct instructor who masters the computer skills required to digitally navigate in and out of a variety of accredited online college degree programs every day can easily acquire an online teaching schedule with as many as ten to twelve online college courses in it. This number of online classes will generate online adjunct income stream that will be the envy of the vast majority of traditional college adjunct faculty members. An online teaching schedule containing ten online college courses in it can easily produce an online adjunct income equal to or in excess of fifty thousand dollars a year provided the online college professor constantly improves the computer skills required by online degree programs.