The number of people working remotely has increased significantly in the last few years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 12.3 million Americans worked remotely in 2016. That’s double the number from just five years earlier!
Many of these workers, known as “adjunct professors,” hold down a full-time job and teach at a few different institutions as well. They typically spend part of their day working and the rest of their day teaching several classes or completing research. And, since online courses have increased in popularity, many adjunct professors work remotely.
If you’re looking for an adjunct job, where will you look? How will you find the best possible position for you? What skills will you need to be successful in your role?
Traditional Adjunct Professorships Are Still Best
While universities have changed a lot in the last few decades, some aspects of academia have remained the same. Specifically, adjunct professorships and the roles that they play. Even today, many universities prefer to hire adjuncts rather than full-time professors. It’s a cost-effective solution for universities since they can’t afford to have many full-time faculty members.
Even with the advent of online learning, many universities still prefer to have their classes take place in person because they feel that face-to-face contact with their students is important. They also feel that it’s crucial for their students to be able to see how the knowledge that they’re learning relates to real-life situations. This is where many traditional adjunct professorships come in.
In terms of compensation, most universities offer adjunct professors an average of $2,500 per course per semester. (While some prefer to be paid more, most are looking for something closer to the average. The more experienced and skilled the instructor, the higher the rate tends to be.)
The Growth of Online Learning Means More Opportunities
One of the biggest changes that academia has seen in the 21st century is the advent of online learning. The number of students attending universities in person has decreased, as more have opted to study online. This has led to more opportunities for those who may have previously been excluded from the field.
However, just because there are more opportunities doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find one’s place in academia. In fact, a lot of preparation is required. You need to make sure that you have the skills needed to be successful in your role. You also want to find a reputable institution that values your skills and has the ability to provide you with frequent opportunities for promotion. If you can do this, you’ll be able to secure a good position, earn a decent compensation, and continue to grow in your field.
What Are the Skills Needed to be Successful as an Adjunct Professor?
Whether you end up accepting an adjunct position at a university or a corporate training program, you’ll need to have certain skills. This is especially important if you’re looking for a specific role, rather than just submitting an application and seeing what happens. Even if you’re happy where you are now, it’s always a good idea to have additional skills in case you decide that this is not the field for you and you’d like to pursue something else.
The ability to teach is, by far, one of the most important skills needed to be a successful adjunct professor. You’ll be responsible for leading a class, preparing and delivering lectures, and grading assignments. The more experience that you have, the better. Even if you’re content with your current position, it never hurts to have additional skills. This can make the difference between passing or failing an exam, getting a good or bad grade, and ultimately whether you continue to receive funding for your research or not.
Along with teaching, you’ll need to be able to design and teach non-credit courses. Most universities offer either certificate or degree programs with no credit hours required. These can either be online courses or part-time courses that you teach at a university or college. It’s important to note that not every university offers these kinds of courses, so you’ll need to do some research beforehand to see if this is something that interests you.
Other skills that are needed to be a successful adjunct professor include:
- data analysis
- written and verbal communication
- attendance at conferences and professional meetings
- social media
- and more…
If you’re interested in being an adjunct professor, make sure that you have the skills needed to be successful in your role. You can find a reputable institution that values your skills and has the ability to provide you with frequent opportunities for promotion via their website.