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When looking for online teaching jobs, the best results can be obtained by combining traditional academic job search methods with a more focused search targeting online educational institutions. A potential candidate should carefully consider what they are looking for in an online teaching job as this will influence where and how they should begin their search. As a general rule, jobs offered by traditional educational institutions tend to offer better pay but are more difficult to secure and place greater demands on an instructor. As when applying for any academic job, candidates should recognize that they will need to apply to many institutions in order to have a reasonable chance of obtaining employment.
The normal model for securing employment as an academic begins with a search through publications aimed at academic professionals, including those that target individual fields as well as more general publications. The Chronicle of Higher Education is one of the major clearinghouses for academic jobs of all sorts. When searching through the listings in these publications, a candidate seeking online teaching jobs should pay careful attention to each listing, as schools often combine several positions into a single listing and combine online positions, hybrid positions, and purely physical positions into a single listing.
Institutions whose primary focus is on online education, and particularly for-profit institutions, might not advertise through these channels. When seeking work with such an institution, a candidate should actively seek out potential employers. These institutions tend to have a strong Internet presence which can be useful for job seekers looking for employment. Community colleges and other small institutions sometimes lack the staffing or funding to actively solicit candidates. It can be worthwhile to visit the websites of these schools to look for postings.
Online teaching jobs vary greatly in terms of pay, stability, and demands placed on an instructor's time. Jobs for major universities tend to offer more pay but demand more time from an instructor. These jobs also tend to be the most stable and predictable and are likely to be the preferred option for a candidate seeking a traditional career. Jobs with institutions that focus mostly on delivering content via the Internet tend to pay less well but tend to be much more flexible, particularly in terms of scheduling, and may be ideal online teaching jobs for professionals who are looking to do a bit of teaching.
All academic jobs are highly contested, as the academic job market the world over is very tight. An applicant looking for online teaching jobs should, therefore, apply to a large number of schools. Many institutions, especially at the community college level, keep a pool of resumes on file, so that they can tap potential instructors as the need arises. Leaving a resume on file with this sort of institution may generate a job offer one or two years after the application is submitted.
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