Teaching Career without a Graduate Degree

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I have a BS in Management, and 30 years of experience in management. Eighteen of those years were spent as a senior executive with full P&L responsibility with Rockwell and Boeing. I do not have a master's degree. Can I qualify for online teaching jobs? Thanks, William S.

Hi, William, thanks for your question. Yes, as a matter of fact, significant professional experience such as yours is in high demand among colleges and universities, as well as other educational organizations. For your particular experience, William, a position in an online MBA program might be possible, as practical experience is heavily valued in these courses.

But it's possible to transition an associate or bachelor's degree, or professional experience, to become an online teacher in a number of ways:

1. Become an online tutor.

As online courses have grown in number, so have online tutoring services, both private and public. Tutors are needed at the K-12 and college level, and these positions can be found with private tutoring services, school districts, community colleges, or public and private colleges. Unlike many formal online teaching jobs, which often require graduate degrees, online tutoring mainly requires a college degree (associate or bachelor's is often sufficient) and professional experience. Some teaching experience may be preferred, depending on your background.

2. Teach for corporate America.

You don't have to become an online teacher to teach what you know. In your line of work, with your level of experience in highly respected companies, it's possible to work as a training specialist. There's no specific route for finding such positions, and they're generally found by word of mouth. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management and finance (your areas of expertise) are two subjects that employers increasingly prefer applicants be familiar with. This is also a position that is expected to grow quite rapidly in the coming years. It's possible to conduct training sessions online.

3. Teach for the greater good.

If gaining experience and the personal satisfaction of giving back are enough compensation for you, consider teaching in the nonprofit realm. University of the People and Khan Academy are just two such organizations, which need volunteer professionals to fill numerous online teaching jobs.

4. Offer workshops in your community.

Surely, after all those years in management at major corporations, you have a few valuable insights to share. Why wait for schools to hire you? Make your own opportunities. You could start your own company offering online training or seminars. Or you could offer your services in workshop form at local community colleges, cooperative extensions, small business development organizations, city or county parks and recreation departments, community centers, senior centers, or libraries. Pitch some specific ideas, or offer your services for workshops they may already offer and need teachers for. Generally, these involve small stipends, but you never know where such opportunities could lead.

5. Teach abroad.

ESL positions are among the most in-demand online teaching jobs these days. If you speak English, have a college degree, and have access to the necessary technology, you can become an online teacher of English as a Second Language.

6. Go ahead and apply to become an online teacher.

A graduate degree is one of the requirements for online teaching jobs, but it's not the only way to get there. Go to individual online college and university websites to see what their specific requirements are. A certain level of professional experience along with a bachelor's degree may be enough to qualify you to become an online teacher.

I hope this helps, William. Good luck in your search!

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