Online Teaching Blog

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4 Things You Can Do To Get Experience To Become an Online Professor

4 Things You Can Do To Get Experience To Become an Online Professor

by Dani Babb
April 16, 2014

You've been thinking about becoming an online teacher. Maybe it goes something like this... "this is an interesting job. I want to teach others, I have the time, I love flexibility, and the money sounds pretty good ($1,000 to $5000 per course, varying by degree, length of the course, university and discipline). But, I don't have any online teaching job experience. How am I going to get any so I can begin my teaching career?" You are not alone. It's the most common question I am asked about breaking into the field of online education. We have helped thousands of people like you.

Think back to your very first job.. walking in with resume in hand and perhaps nothing more than babysitting jobs and your high school diploma (or may not even that yet!) in hand. Changing careers now or moonlighting as an online professor really isn't any different.

First you need to package your materials like an educator would. In another blog post I talked about what you need to bring to the virtual table before applying to jobs. Your CV, teaching philosophy, references, transcripts and cover letter. Remember do not submit a resume!

Then, think about the experience you do have. Have you trained people at work? Were you the go-to person in your department when other employees couldn't figure out Excel? List that in the educational experience section, and describe in your teaching philosophy statement how your experience doing the above has given you the passion (and patience!) to train or teach adults.

Next, consider guest lecturing at a local college. Most professors are talking for hours at a time and would gladly let you do some of that for them! Once you have guest lectured, keep doing it and list it on your CV as experience.

Another option to get experience (and be paid!) is to develop an online course. If you aren't already teaching you could use a site like Udemy to create content, publish your course, earn residual income from people who take your class and list both the course creation and the course teaching (you will be teaching, answering questions and commenting in your course) in your educational experience section.

Try to think grass roots here. What can you do to show you are an educator at heart? Once you have one job, the rest are far easier to get!