Workplace Jobs in Higher Ed

Mar 15, 2011
2,493
504
So here is some background:

I am what they call an adjunct instructor. I teach at colleges and universities on a part-time basis. All of the schools make sure you do not go into 'full-time' status because then they would have to give you benefits and insurance. So, to make ends meet, an adjunct teaches many classes at several schools. I love teaching in colleges/universities (I am seriously happy to go to work), but being an adjunct is very difficult. Aside from not getting benefits, the school can take away classes they have offered you just days before school starts. Full-time professors can also take your classes because they decide it would fit better with their schedule or if one of their classes doesn't have enough people. There are many adjunct (more than you may realize) and so most schools take us for granted. You could be the best teacher they have, but there are ten people looking for your spot, so if you quit, oh well. There are just a lot of negatives to the job.

At any rate, I want to give myself a leg up for finding a full-time position. Now, full-time teaching jobs for someone who 'only' has a Masters are rare and there are MANY people also applying for the same jobs. While this would be ideal, I'm willing to branch out in higher ed. Since I only have experience with the teaching aspects I thought about going back and getting another MA, but in Higher Ed. Do you think this would help or will it just look like I keep getting degrees? I don't want to waste more of my time in school if it won't pay off, but I am struggling in my current position too. Any advice would be appreciated.

TIA
 

No Cute

cupcake butt
Aug 17, 2008
19,389
7
I've been PT most of the last 20 years. I left a great FT position after a year, to marry x. A most suckish professional decision. I loved my current school until we got a change in Chair and the environment for us (and new tenure hires, which you know I was never an option as already "lesser") are incredibly disrespectful, for the most part. I've been teaching twice as long as most of them, and I still am disrespected because of contingent status. The old Chair NEVER allowed that and valued us, giving us the schedules we needed, protecting our classes, inviting us to professional conferences, protecting us from whining students. The top down culture has hit now, and I'm expendable again, like with my first jobs when I was a freeway flyer between three or four schools. It's a harsh wake up call after nearly a decade of being treated really well and only working for one school.

Additional degrees can help in some fields, but the ones with the most power in your field are where I would focus. For me, my area of interest would result in an EdD, which is NOT respected in my field, so I've not done it. (I currently have a terminal degree in a subfield of my discipline.)
 
Dec 10, 2008
5,494
2,882
So here is some background:

I am what they call an adjunct instructor. I teach at colleges and universities on a part-time basis. All of the schools make sure you do not go into 'full-time' status because then they would have to give you benefits and insurance. So, to make ends meet, an adjunct teaches many classes at several schools. I love teaching in colleges/universities (I am seriously happy to go to work), but being an adjunct is very difficult. Aside from not getting benefits, the school can take away classes they have offered you just days before school starts. Full-time professors can also take your classes because they decide it would fit better with their schedule or if one of their classes doesn't have enough people. There are many adjunct (more than you may realize) and so most schools take us for granted. You could be the best teacher they have, but there are ten people looking for your spot, so if you quit, oh well. There are just a lot of negatives to the job.

At any rate, I want to give myself a leg up for finding a full-time position. Now, full-time teaching jobs for someone who 'only' has a Masters are rare and there are MANY people also applying for the same jobs. While this would be ideal, I'm willing to branch out in higher ed. Since I only have experience with the teaching aspects I thought about going back and getting another MA, but in Higher Ed. Do you think this would help or will it just look like I keep getting degrees? I don't want to waste more of my time in school if it won't pay off, but I am struggling in my current position too. Any advice would be appreciated.

TIA

I have an MA in Higher Ed and currently working towards my EdD. I also work full time in the field. Feel free to PM me.
 
Mar 15, 2011
2,493
504
I have an MA in Higher Ed and currently working towards my EdD. I also work full time in the field. Feel free to PM me.

Thanks Jenna! I will take you up on that soon!

I have an Masters in Higher Ed and it's applicable to administrative and non-teaching positions. If you want to stay in teaching, I wouldn't pursue that degree.

Why do you say that? What type of job do you have now? Did you find the MA to be useful in getting your current job?
 
Dec 10, 2008
5,494
2,882
Thanks Jenna! I will take you up on that soon!



Why do you say that? What type of job do you have now? Did you find the MA to be useful in getting your current job?

It is absolutely geared towards clinical practice versus teaching. Though, there are some administrative positions that have a first year seminar type of class as part of the job description.
 

redney

Lovin' Life!
O.G.
Apr 21, 2006
14,472
10,004
Why do you say that? What type of job do you have now? Did you find the MA to be useful in getting your current job?

My masters classwork was focused on the practical aspects of administration, governance and leadership of a university, so it had no applicability toward obtaining an academic role (teaching).

Nearly all of my classmates were working full-time in non-academic positions at my university or those nearby, in areas such as student affairs, admissions, financial aid, registrar, development, institutional research, etc. They were pursuing the masters degree in order to progress in these fields, or as a stepping-stone to an Ed D to progress futher up the administration ladder and not explicitly to teach, say, history. However, there were a few alumni of my masters program who did go on to teach, but only after receiving their Ed D or Ph D in Higher Education - and guess what they teach? Higher Education coursework in a masters of Higher Ed program. :smile:

I enrolled in the program in order to pursue opportunities in non-academic areas of a university as well, and obtained my first job out of the program, in the admissions/registrar department of a small private college.

I left that job, and higher education altogether, after a year and have spent the rest of my career in various corporate companies, doing work unrelated to higher ed.

That's just my experience.

If you want to remain in the teaching fields, pursuing a degree in the field you want to teach seems more appropriate in my opinion.
 
Mar 15, 2011
2,493
504
I already have an MA and getting a PhD in my field isn't really an option right now because I would need to move.

I have looked at some higher ed programs in my area, and at least on paper, many seem to be like the ones you both have described (there was a Curriculum and Instruction on that is more geared towards teaching) If I went back for the degree it would be so I could get a part or full time job in higher ed and then teach a couple of classes as well. This would still keep me in higher ed and I would learn another aspect of it, which I think would maybe make me more marketable in some situations.

Redney, can I ask why you left higher ed all together?
 

redney

Lovin' Life!
O.G.
Apr 21, 2006
14,472
10,004
I have looked at some higher ed programs in my area, and at least on paper, many seem to be like the ones you both have described (there was a Curriculum and Instruction on that is more geared towards teaching) If I went back for the degree it would be so I could get a part or full time job in higher ed and then teach a couple of classes as well. This would still keep me in higher ed and I would learn another aspect of it, which I think would maybe make me more marketable in some situations.

ITA with the bolded and think it's a wise move. Having the ability to make yourself more marketable is a good thing in this economy and especially with tight university budgets these days.

Redney, can I ask why you left higher ed all together?

I decided to leave after becoming disillusioned and frustrated with the bureaucracy, politics and the overall lack of interest in innovation and determing ways to better serve the college's customers. Just getting things done took soooo long and it seemed like many of the employees had been there for years and years and were resistant to change ("but we've always done it *this* way"). :tdown: Overall it wasn't a good fit with my personality and drive.
 
Dec 10, 2008
5,494
2,882
I already have an MA and getting a PhD in my field isn't really an option right now because I would need to move.

I have looked at some higher ed programs in my area, and at least on paper, many seem to be like the ones you both have described (there was a Curriculum and Instruction on that is more geared towards teaching) If I went back for the degree it would be so I could get a part or full time job in higher ed and then teach a couple of classes as well. This would still keep me in higher ed and I would learn another aspect of it, which I think would maybe make me more marketable in some situations.

Redney, can I ask why you left higher ed all together?

To some extent you are at risk for becoming over educated with a second masters, so I would encourage you to get meaningful internships or volunteer experiences in higher ed outside of teaching. One of my closest friends is an adjunct, has her MA in higher ed (first masters was in math) and working on her EdD and has been job searching for over nearly two years.
 
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