In the traditional model of academia, adjunct instructors are hired by colleges and universities to teach undergraduate and graduate level courses. These positions are usually filled by people who already have full-time jobs in their field, and they supplement their income by teaching a few classes per semester. However, this model is changing. Increasingly, adjuncts are ditching the traditional academic institutions and going “indie” – that is, they’re signing up with online education platforms to teach classes on their own terms.
Indie adjuncting has a number of advantages over traditional adjuncting.
First, online education platforms typically provide a larger share of the revenue to instructors than colleges and universities do. This means that indie adjuncts can earn more money per class than their traditional counterparts.
Second, online education platforms generally have lower overhead costs than colleges and universities, which means that they can pass those savings on to instructors in the form of higher payouts.
Third, online education platforms are much more flexible than traditional institutions when it comes to scheduling and class size, which means that instructors can tailor their classes to fit their needs and the needs of their students.
Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, online education platforms allow instructors to build their own personal brand. When you teach on your own terms, you have the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field – something that is nearly impossible to do when you’re teaching as an adjunct for a traditional institution.
If you’re looking for a way to supplement your income and build your personal brand at the same time, indie adjuncting is a great option to consider.
The Pros of Indie Adjuncting
As an indie adjunct instructor, you’ll enjoy a number of advantages over your traditional counterparts. First and foremost amongst these is the potential to earn more money. Online education platforms typically take a smaller cut of revenues than colleges and universities do, which means that you’ll keep more of the money you generate from your classes. In addition, online education platforms often have lower overhead costs than traditional institutions, which means that they can pass those savings on to instructors in the form of higher payouts. Combined, these two factors mean that you have the potential to earn significantly more money per class as an indie adjunct than you would as a traditional adjunct.
In addition to earning more money, indie adjuncting also gives you the opportunity to be more flexible with your scheduling and class size. Online education platforms are generally much more flexible than traditional institutions when it comes to these things, which means that you can tailor your classes to fit your needs and the needs of your students. This increased flexibility also affords you the opportunity to build a schedule that works around your other commitments – something that is often difficult or impossible for traditional adjuncts who also have full-time jobs outside of academia.
Finally, perhaps the most significant advantage of indie adjuncting is that it allows you to build your own personal brand. When you teach on your own terms, using your own methods and materials, you have the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field – something that is nearly impossible to do when you’re teaching as an adjunct for a traditional institution. If building your personal brand is important to you, adjucting independently is definitely something worth considering.
Earn Income by Becoming an Online Adjunct Professor
Step 1: Determine What You’re Qualified to Teach
The first step in becoming an online adjunct professor is determining what you’re qualified to teach. Do you have experience in a particular field? Are you passionate about a certain subject? Do you have a advanced degree? All of these factors will play a role in determining which courses you’re eligible to teach.
For example, if you have a PhD in history, you may be able to teach college-level history courses. Or, if you’re experienced in marketing, you may be able to teach business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. Once you’ve determined what you’re qualified to teach, you can start researching online adjunct teaching opportunities.
Step 2: Research Online Adjunct Teaching Opportunities
There are dozens of websites that list online adjunct teaching opportunities. Some of the most popular include:
- The Chronicle of Higher Education
To find openings, simply conduct a search using keywords like “online adjunct” or “virtual adjunct.” Once you’ve found some potential openings, take some time to research the schools and make sure they’re accredited and reputable.
Step 3: Prepare Your Application Materials
Once you’ve identified some openings at accredited schools, it’s time to start preparing your application materials. This typically includes a CV or resume, cover letter, and teaching samples (e.g., syllabi, lesson plans). Make sure your materials are well-organized and error-free before submitting them to potential employers.
Step 4: Apply for Openings
After your application materials are prepared, it’s time to start applying for openings! When applying, be sure to follow all instructions carefully and submit all required materials. If you’re selected for an interview, make sure to prepare ahead of time so you can make a great impression on potential employers.
Adjunct professorships are a great way to earn money while still having time for other commitments. And with the proliferation of online education, becoming an online adjunct professor is easier than ever. By following these four simple steps—determining what you’re qualified to teach, researching online adjunct teaching opportunities, preparing your application materials, and applying for openings—you can become an online adjunct professor in no time!
If you’re looking for an option to create a side income with even more flexibility, try creating your own online courses.