Getting a Job Teaching at Online Colleges and Universities
Online university jobs are interactive teaching positions that generally require you to use audio, video, message boards and other online tools and software applications to train undergraduate and/or graduate students. Just as it’s important for students to validate that colleges and universities they enroll in are accredited, it’s also important that you confirm a school’s accreditations (overall and by major) before you apply for employment with the school. Doing so can ensure that you get jobs at online universities that are respected by leaders in academic, government, social and business industries.
Depending on the school you’re applying for online university instructor jobs with you might be required to have graduate level degrees (e.g. Master’s) before you get hired. You also might be required to have several years of working experience in the fields you’re applying to teach university students in. Skills that can help you to excel as an online university instructor include:
- Proficiency using computers and online tools like email and instant messaging (IM)
- Ability to upload and download documents and files
- Skills researching data on the Internet
- Strong written and oral communication skills (you might communicate with your students more via email and message boards as you teach online university courses)
- Knowledge of how to use systems like virtual university blackboards, file share applications, web seminars, video discussion sessions and online telephone systems like Skype
A reliable desktop computer or laptop, cell phone or other handheld electronic device with voice applications and different types of software applications (e.g. Word, Excel) are also needed to succeed as an online professor. If the online university also has a physical campus, you might be required to attend on campus meetings with students and administrators once or twice a week. Fortunately, you can teach part-time or full-time at online colleges and universities.
Support and Benefits for Online University and College Teachers
In addition to joining professional associations like the World Association for Online Education, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, the National Education Association and regional and local teacher associations and attending networking events like conferences and seminars, you can also learn about online university job openings by searching online job boards. Education America Network, Education Jobs, state department of education job boards, Monster, Career Builder, Indeed and Higher Ed Jobs are a few online job boards you can use to search for current teaching job openings at distance learning schools. Keep in mind, that you can also visit websites of accredited online colleges and universities you’re interested in working at and searching their job boards to see if they have openings in subjects you have adequate academic training and work experience in.
Benefits associated with online university jobs extend beyond earning a salary, medical insurance coverage and regular employment. When you work online university teaching jobs you gain flexibility, save money on commuting costs and have opportunities to improve your work/life balance. As with educators working at other types of secondary and postsecondary schools, you also gain the personal satisfaction of knowing that you provided valuable educational and academic support to students, steps that prepare the students to get and excel at quality jobs.