Online Degree Programs Among Extra Income Ideas

There are many, many extra income ideas, such as online education, floating around today, and, yes they do generate extra online income. However, it remains for us to ask just who is really benefiting from the extra income from online teaching. Let’s face it: the economy is in very hot water, and the reason online degree programs, along with the necessary online adjunct faculty positions are growing like mushrooms on a wet lawn, and it does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out, is that the main part of tuition and fees students have to pony up comes from borrowed money.

Even though I am separated from my students earning online college degrees by physical distance, I am still able to identify their position on the food chain. It has occurred to me that most of my students are from economic backgrounds that do not traditionally provide the cash required to attend online degree program. They have to borrow the money, lots of it, by the way, to attend their chosen online degree program This borrowed money makes a first rate extra online income for the schools.

Online Degree Programs Control Extra Online Income

Given that online degree programs are relatively new, and that most online degree programs are able to hire an almost unlimited number of teachers seeking to supplement their meager incomes, it crosses my mind that online degree programs could be a way to keep both under employed college instructors and unemployed young citizens off the streets.

If you are a college instructor managing, say, a dozen online adjunct faculty positions, you hardly have time to go to the bathroom, much less consider in any serious way that you are being grossly underpaid, or that you are inside, literally, an electronic sweatshop that requires you to continuously seek more and more extra income from online teaching. This is not to say that the education experience offered by online degree programs in general is worth less than an on ground degree program, or that the education offered by those in online adjunct faculty positions is less than high quality, but the economic reality is unavoidable once some perspective is gained by both parties.

The Sweatshop Economic Model

The vast majority of educators have little or no idea how the educational economy actually works against them. Because of this ignorance, teachers may be uncomfortable initially because they do not know how to sell and manage their skills effectively on the open market, and, therefore, they are unable to view students as customers and to gauge their reactions to feedback. Perhaps the best approach in the beginning is to understand that undergraduate education today is a retail operation. The instructor is simply a clerk hired to serve the public. A strong grasp of this reality will help them tailor their lectures or tweak their online classroom performance. Intellectual practice does helps, as does practical experience, and techniques such as envisioning the student audience as customers in a shoe store, replete with smelly feet and unreasonable demands may help with initial discomfort. It goes without saying that teachers could condition themselves for these eventualities in a regular classroom, but the online format encourages students to respond much more vigor and in greater depth than a time-constrained classroom discussion. The simple fact of the matter is that it pays in the long run for a teacher in an online degree program to be resigned to getting the hands a little dirty learning as they adjust to the grim realities of how difficult extra income from online teaching really is once the computer is glowing.

Online instructors set the emotional and intellectual tone for their classes. It does not pay to begin teaching by expecting too much in the form of financial reward. They must make plans to consistently integrate the sweatshop model into their learning activities. Teachers in distance learning settings need to design deliberate methods to find out how well students are learning to be passive receivers of electronic information whizzing by at an ever increasing rate. Online instructors actually demonstrate how to behave in a learning environment designed to enrich the online degree programs themselves, and they have a responsibility to do this without tipping their mitts, so to speak, and letting on that there is something fundamentally wrong with an educational system that pays an a person with a graduate degree in an online faculty position so little money.

Online Faculty Position

Extra income from online teaching can be earned on a regular basis, but in order to secure a classroom it is first necessary to qualify for an online faculty position. The only way to even be considered for one of these positions is to first earn at least eighteen graduate hours in a specific academic discipline. To be completely honest, it is best to have a Master’s degree in the discipline in which you apply to teach. Earning a graduate degree is costly in terms of both time and money. However, if you want to earn income from online teaching, it is imperative to earn the necessary academic badges before applying for any online faculty position.

Add to this the prospect that a driven academic can teach as many as a dozen classes online at a time, and it is easy to understand that an online faculty position is certainly a prize catch. Further, since there is no guarantee at all that another online class will be offered after one ends, despite successful completion of the class by the instructor, and the same driven academic is constantly trying to develop extra income ideas to shore up what could very well be a constantly disappearing extra online income.

The Online Faculty Position Is Actually Scarce

The reality is that there are a lot of qualified college teachers with loads of classroom experience trying to snag the elusive online faculty position. To put it country simple, given the great number of people with graduate degrees today, all but a few college teachers need extra income, and extra online income is quite attractive because if nothing else it does not require the purchase of gasoline.

The vast majority of college faculty teaching, say, English, composition or remedial writing and reading in 2008 are academic drifters, so to speak, picking up as many classes as possible at as many campuses as possible. The shear cost of maintaining and fueling a car or truck to take them to their various classrooms is enough to destroy the meager pay they receive for their efforts to teach difficult subjects. Therefore, the prospect of an online faculty position and the lure of extra income from online teaching are very attractive.

However financially attractive online adjunct faculty positions may seem at first, the brutal reality is that they do not provide access to health care or retirement.

The Online Faculty Position Does Not Provide Benefits

When teachers try to generate extra income ideas, and today most do so because they are forced by economic circumstances to at least try to generate extra online income, they often do not know that they will be perceived as throw away workers by the very schools that hire them for online adjunct faculty positions.

The run of the mill online faculty position does not provide access to group health insurance rates. While one can earn extra income for online teaching, one will not be offered any sort of retirement package. Indeed, it is a good idea for anyone seeking an online faculty position to read again The Grapes of Wrath.

These often painful truths are hard to endure, but they are the core realities of trying to earn extra income from online teaching.

Online Degree Programs

Online Degree Programs

Online degree programs can, if you have the academic credentials, pad your income in the form of thousands of dollars of cash each month, and could very well ease the financial pain of having to choose between food and fuel in these parlous economic times; I would be overjoyed to tell you it would be as easy as turning on your computer and logging in to an online classroom to start the money train.

Sadly, I simply don’t have an easy answer to the question of how to obtain extra income from online teaching. My experience is that there are no quick paths to being an online professor. It will often take a year or more to even receive a response to your application to a school that offers online courses. Further, you will be required in almost every case to spend four to six weeks of your time without pay training to teach for each school.

Even after you successfully complete the training, for which you will not be paid a dime, you will have no guarantee that you will be offered a class.

Teaching for Online Degree Programs is Difficult

It is not a matter of just asking for the work and hauling in the cash. It is hard work that requires you to put in many extra hours after you have already put in a full day at the office. In many cases, schools that offer online classes require you to answer student emails and telephone calls every day. Of course, there is also the matter of mind-numbing administrative tasks, such as filling out spreadsheets containing information about student attendance.

Overall, online teaching is hard work that will consume your free time and tie you to a chair in front of a computer.

Don’t make the mistake that many have made and assume that online adjunct faculty positions are easy to find, or that the life of an online adjunct instructor is about dancing and drinking. By and large, the schools that offer online courses view online adjunct instructors as disposable labor, and that attitude leads to indifference on the part of academic management, which leads to a rough road for those seeking extra income from online teaching

Online Degree Programs Produce Razor-Thin Incomes

I have taught online for over three years. During that time, I have discovered that online teaching is professionally fulfilling and personally enjoyable, and I have discovered that extra income from online teaching is actually pretty thin in terms of purchasing power. I look at money from the view point of purchasing power. I am always wary of inflation. My experience is that online schools do not award raises to their online adjunct instructors, while ever increasing the number of students in the classroom.

I do not want to discourage you from seeking ways to earn extra online income, but I also do not want to give you the impression that you will soon be drinking fancy cocktails poolside while the money flows into your bank account as a result of having an online faculty position.

Not to put too fine a point on my thesis, but being an online adjunct instructor in online degree programs is about working very hard to learn time management skills in order to bring in extra income from online teaching.