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Ask the Piss Poor Prof–MBA and teaching online

June 17, 2009
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One of my readers asked the following:

Can I ask your advice?  I am a full-time working mom, but all I really want to do is stay at home with my baby (and future children).  I am working on my MBA now and have 7 years corporate experience in Business, Finance and Accounting, but no real teaching experience.

I am thinking of taking a year off to go to school full-time (online) and finish my MBA.  After that, do you think: (1)anyone will hire me with just an MBA and no teaching experience and (2) that I’ll be able to make $1000-$1500 (net) a month?

Obviously I don’t expect to replace my corporate salary by teaching online, but I just need to make enough to cover some of our household expenses and have a little extra spending money.

In my head, this sounds like the perfect plan for me, but after reading some of your posts I’m beginning to think teaching online is not all that wonderful as I think it is.

I will state up front that my experience with Business Colleges has stayed mainly in Business and Technical Writing courses.  I have not taught/taken business courses myself, so my advice will stay more generic than you may like.

First, what specific (make a list of 5) courses will you want to teach?  Are those courses actually taught online?

I would love to teach American Literature.  I have not, though, been able to nearly enough in my career.  Why?  Because English Departments get the bulk of their traffic not in Am Lit, but in Composition (which is usually a Core Requirement).  So, I have taught a lot of Composition courses over the years.

Find out your version of a Comp. course.    You may also begin researching colleges that teach these courses.  I would, without knowing a lot about your desires/goals, recommend the University of Phoenix or a similar school that focuses on the evening/weekend full-time worker who is taking courses part-time.  The U of P especially  prides itself on employing “working practitioners” who bring in business experience.  Your history, with them, may serve you well.

In any case, emphasize your experience, willing to be flexible with time (logging in requirements, etc.), and eagerness.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

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