If you are teaching college classes on an adjunct basis, there is no reason to suspend those efforts while adding online faculty positions to your academic portfolio. There is, however, every reason to search for online adjunct jobs as a way to increase your income. Colleges and universities are under tremendous pressure to reduce expenditures these days. Of course, the first area that takes a budget hit is faculty salaries, and the very first faculty members to feel the pain are the adjuncts. If the on-ground classes are paying you a decent rate for the work involved in instructing larger and larger student populations, then certainly hold onto the income. But if the idea of doubling or even tripling your income from college teaching gives you big eyes, you should start now to develop a search strategy to find adjunct faculty positions for online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
Many new and returning college students are enrolling in online college classes because it is much easier to earn a communications degree, a RN to BSN degree or an elementary teaching degree from their personal computers at home than to drive to a remote campus and sit for hours in a damp lecture hall. The same applies to the adjunct college lecturer who would rather be sitting in a jazz café in New Orleans communicating with his or her students from an inexpensive laptop than having to drive to campus everyday. And that is if the adjunct is lucky enough to live in a densely populated urban area capable of supporting multiple colleges and universities.
No, the better way to go about teaching college students is as an academic entrepreneur–offering the thousands of post-secondary academic institutions a chance to make use of your valuable skill set. In this way the teaching workload is scalable in the sense that if you want to make more income you simply apply for and accept additional online classes for schools that offer university degrees online. And if you want more free time in your schedule, you can simply take on fewer classes. This way you can be in control of your workload and can don’t have to worry about stretching yourself too thin.
The important thing is to give yourself a little flexibility in terms of how much teaching you do and how much you earn from that teaching. Distance education isn’t going away anytime soon, and as the technology that makes it possible matures further there will be more and more online faculty positions for you to choose from. If you want to really earn a professional level salary with your graduate degree by teaching college students online, there has never been a better time to get started.