View Full Version : Career choices talk to me about Community College teaching

02-19-2008, 08:17 PM
While a PhD in Econ was an idea I had, I have admitted that I'm more likely to suceed with a PhD in Education or D Ed or however it comes etc. It was great to talk that out here.

I also had wanted to get back into the classroom teaching ASAP rather than 11 yrs from now if I embarked on a PhD in Econ. I taught high school under a provisional license in a field I'm not qualified to teach! LOL A good teacher can teach anything they can teach themselves -- I did have some knowledge of the subject, I'm just not college level proficient.

So... For those aspiring to teach college and feel like going the Community College route -- what would be the best field to teach to ensure employablilty and future full time staff position?

I have a few options w my bachelors in Bus Adm. I could do 18 hours in Accounting (which might not be a good idea at 18 hours needed plus more later), marketing (which I hated), basic Bus Adm, Econ, Math Edu, Finacne if I could find graduate hours in it and maybe English as a Second language.

The easy way is Bus Adm, an MBA or close to it in a College Teaching MS plus 18 hours in "knowledge area". But I don't want to be like I am now, educated by not employable. Sadly, I do not have real life skills in the area of business, just theory and practical knowledge.

I'd like to teach a smattering of classes or shall I say as an adjunct be rather employable - Intro bus, Intro micro and macro econ, consumer math. Current needs and repetative needs I see listed for our local CC are for IT and Econ. However, it looks like a Bus Adm type knowledge area would leave me with just Intro to Bus, how mundane. Math Ed would give me consumer math, but on paper look like I could teach more and I simply do not want to teach college level algebra, calc, etc. And the Econ route has me back tracking some undergrad hours before moving forward. OIY -- I don't know if I have any other choice but to go Bus Adm.

I used to know more IT stuff than what was taught, therefore I took the bare mins required in undergrad b/c it was just so stupid to sit through. I'm not sure I've kept up with IT, my dh is IT and what he does I could not do and frankly students know a lot about IT and I would not want to teach stuff they know more about than I do. :whistle: I have undergrad hours in Telecommunications when Bulletin Board Systems were it for linking to locals, pre- internet! Boy I'm old. These BBS's were all in basic curser blinking at you while you wanted for the person to type a repsonse in a 'chat' and the modems singing away as you logged on. And e-mail from the local BBS went global 1X per day...

A perk, I found another location to do an MS in college teaching, this one allows all 18 hours in knowledge area to be transfered into the degree, the core courses within education are at a distance facility nearby. And I could take those other 18 hours anywhere accredited including on-line. Might be a better winner than my other option.

02-19-2008, 08:38 PM
Are you asking a question? Looking for suggestions? Comments? Please, clarify.

02-19-2008, 09:11 PM
More info --
One degree allows me to transfer in all of my knowledge area course work 18 hours worth

I can do 15hrs locally in Econ, these courses are all designed for the MBA program, but they are still Econ. The only question I would have is these 15 hours are all 500 levels, don't I need some 600s in there too? 50/50???

It would be too easy and too perfect if it were to work out. I can take 1 other Econ course somewhere else on-line or at another Univ. I can also then work as time permits to meet the prerequisites to take other Econ courses to move up in the field teaching. Master's plus 15 for assistant professor and associate professor is either a PhD w 36 hours in field or Masters plus 39 over all hours and 36 in teaching field. Professor is doctorate plus 36 in field.

I have to think long term here too. Econ course work is available at a commute after the initial 15 hours. Any subject other than TOESL is a commute, our local university offers too many to count TOESL grad classes.

Stuff to think about.

02-19-2008, 09:45 PM
I am finishing my MBA. My undergraduate degree is in Busines Admin and Economics. I am simultaneously taking the full Calculus sequence (done!) as well as Linear Algebra, Probability Theory, and Real Analysis.

I hope to puruse my phd starting in the fall of 2009. That being said, I have also toyed with the idea of pursuing a masters, preferably a dual major in Economics and Applied Math or Statistics. This opens a lot of doors to me in terms of government, industry, and academia. While I couldn't teach at a four year university, I would think my masters in Economics, Business, and Math would make me a likely candidate for any community college.

The only downside I see is that a) there appears to be a trend towards these colleges hiring doctorates and b) the pay appears to be substantially lower, depending on the institution. I know one institution locally that pays substantially more than the nearby state universities, but when I look at job postings it appears that most CC professors begin around the low 40's to mid 50's.

I like the freedom my "smattering" of degrees would give me though; obviously the private sector would be very lucrative. I can't stand the thought of doing it the rest of my life, so I also like the idea of eventually being able to teach full time eventually.

02-19-2008, 10:21 PM
I would not get a PhD if all you wanted to do was teach. All you need is a Master's degree and yes, you can be a full-time lecturer at a university teaching undergrads with only a master's degree. Most of the jobs are in community colleges, since a lot of schools have PhD students teach undergrad courses, but that's not always the case.

The term "major" is reserved for undergrad degrees, AFAIK. MA programs typically require theses, so if you want to do stats and econ, you're looking at doing two master's degrees.

The tradeoff with the private sector is quite simple: what do you want, more money or more leisure? We recently had a post about someone turning down a $150k a year consulting job to do a PhD in econ that after 4 or 5 years of schooling, will give him an $80k a year salary.

02-19-2008, 11:40 PM
I guess my question is Do I take Econ courses at a small university I know I will pass with flying colors and then work later on getting the prerequisites to take grad econ courses at a larger university?

The long term commitment to my continuing in a teaching field PhD or not would require me to know more than what these first 18 hours in ECON at the grad level will give me from this smaller university.

They are limited in scope due to the nature of them being from an MBA program of study. They limited to the scope of knowledge I happen to enjoy in the Econ field which helps.

Also, do I need 600 level courses? These 15 hours are 500 level.

I'm looking for advise with my goal of teaching community college and possible later smaller 4 year colleges. I'm not looking to teach VT, MIT, Univ of FL. I'm from a small school, I like small schools.

02-20-2008, 09:37 PM
Well, I would have suggested that you'd never go hungry with a degree in math, but I see that you don't want to teach that. Community colleges always have plenty of writing classes to teach, but I suspect that there's a large pool of folks competing for those. So econ/business and IT do seem like good choices.

Regarding IT, I wouldn't necessarily worry that the typical student in an entry-level course would be far ahead of you. If you can program in any language, you can probably get up to speed quickly. You'd probably wind up teaching a lot of classes using Java and/or Windows, and personally I'd find that depressing, but YMMV. So a professional IT degree (as opposed to a computer science degree) might work for you--maybe even giving you flexibility to teach business classes. Just speculating here...

For teaching business-oriented classes, including economics, I'd guess that an MBA or a degree like a master's in management would be your best choice. I see folks with those degrees teaching intro econ at community colleges, but I'm guessing that the reverse isn't as common.

IMHO your next step is to get out and do some market research: call up your local community colleges and talk to the person that hires professors to teach the courses you want to teach.

02-21-2008, 05:10 AM
Yep, I've gone online and looked up the education of professors at my alma mata and other schools for subjects I'd like to teach -- All are PhD Econ, which is why I started to look there. However, these were 4 yr Univ prof teaching upper division finance classes.

As I was looking online at our local CC, I recognized one of the instructors in a photo. I need to track him down and talk to him, he's a math instructor whom I worked with in a church mission out reach program. Small town... It just dawned on me, I bet if I asked the right person at my church, I probably could meet a handful of adjunct or contract instructors at our local CC or other nearby small colleges. Hmmm...

I have a lot of hmwk to do... LOL I have come to the conclusion that I can safely take 2 courses at the graduate level and be relatively sure they will transfer into just about any program I'm currently looking at.

I plan to go ahead and take a class either this summer or fall and wait on applying to a program until next spring. This gives me time to get back into academic thinking and study for the GRE or GMAT, if required (yes, really, I've looked at 2 programs now that it is recommended, but not required).

Right now I'm looking at 3 options all with pros and cons. Those I need to go over with a few different someones in the know.

I learned another thing tonight while reading syllubi online -- a B- is not an acceptable grade in the grad program I am looking at, in VA is not a 10 pt scale, it's some weird scale where a 92 is a B. :crazy: The document was taking about what was an A paper and what was a failing paper. I called my mom tonight to see if she was up to graduate school! You see she is the creme de la creme of high school English teachers, old school grammar -- they don't make them like her anymore.

Secret :whistle:- She and I wrote a paper for a class I had to take without reading the book. It was a horrible book and I did not want to clutter my mind with the religious filth that laid within it's cover; my mother agreed after reading about the author! I wrote, she editted, I researched and wrote more, she researched and gave the information to me to add more to my paper. I had the book, she did not. She lived in a time zone 11 hours ahead, so while I slept she worked and while she slept I worked. We got an A-!!! LOL If I had seen that professor on graduation day, I was going to tell him I never read that horrid book, I'd certainly already shared my mind on a thing or two with him (the brass that comes with age sitting in a freshman level class) -- but alas, there were no professors on campus who didn't need to be there.

We won't have to do that ever again, there should be no religious garbage to sit through in CC education. But I do need my mom on my side to edit my papers. They are always polished and refined with her editting and grammar skills. She jokingly said she's going to be editting her novel and won't have time. She was editting technical writing for someone she knew in graduate school 2 years ago.

If I could get my parents help, they could watch my kids during the summers and I could go to the main campus while at their house -- it's close by! If I choose that program which is a distance learning via satillite classrooms.

So many things to think about...