Have Master’s, Can Teach (Maybe)
If you have a master’s degree, then you may meet the minimum requirement to teach at some schools including technical colleges. At certain colleges and universities, your master’s degree may allow you to teach as an adjunct instructor, but a degree alone is no guarantee that you will land a job. Previous teaching experience is a plus, particularly one where you previously instructed adults.
1. Find local schools. Look around your area for local technical or community colleges. Nearly every county in the country has one, with some offering regional access. These are public institutions funded by your tax dollars. Visit the websites of nearly colleges and determine if classes in your expertise are offered. For instance, if you have a master’s degree in engineering, you will want to verify that an associate degree in engineering is offered at the school.
2. Get classroom experience. If you lack classroom experience, then that can work against you. You can’t get classroom experience without teaching, leaving you in a Catch-22 situation. Fortunately, a number of for-profit, online colleges may allow you to teach even without previous experience. Your knowledge of the particular subject matter can make a difference at some online schools.
3. Prepare your resume. Craft a resume with the two-year college in mind. Place an emphasis on your teaching background, especially its relevance to your field. If your background is primarily research, de-emphasize that attribute advises the Graduate College at the University of Illinois. Colleges are interested in your teaching experience; your research background doesn’t show student involvement. Show enthusiasm for the job in your cover letter.
4. Know the requirements. Sending your resume out with a cover letter to the college’s Human Resources department is a good start. However, you may be wasting your time if you have not read up on the accreditation guidelines. For instance, the Chronicle of Higher Education notes degree holders should have at least 18 graduate credits specific to their desired teaching field. You may have a master’s degree, but fall short in core credits. Thus, you may need to take additional credits to qualify as an instructor.
Not all college professors consider community or technical colleges as a viable career option for their students. However, if you are seeking to establish yourself in academia, two-year colleges can be a springboard to even better opportunities. These schools are also very good for people simply desiring to sate their teaching appetites, typically as a part-time job.