Are Online College Professors Respected in Academia?

are-online-college-professors-respected-in-academiaThere is a tendency among some to think that online college professors do not have the respect of their peers. They think that those who teach in traditional college settings look down on those who teach online or that online professors do not have as much experience as those who teach on campus. Many of the top online programs today now have an association with a major college or university. The same professors who teach you in a classroom are the ones teaching online. The change in the way people think about online colleges led to a change in the way they perceive teachers working for those schools.

Online School Types

There are really two different types of online colleges today. There are those that function as an online extension of a standard university. For example, schools like Ohio State University, NYU and even Harvard now offer online programs. The second type of school is one that only functions as an online school. Instead of having a standalone campus, the school only operates online. Some in academia view those working for an online only school as having an easy job that doesn’t involve any real teaching.

Online vs. Offline Teaching

Getting a job in academia today usually requires some type of terminal degree and some teaching experience too. A terminal degree is the top degree that you can get in your subject matter. Though most professions have PhD programs, some subjects end at the master’s level. To teach in a traditional college or university, you will usually need a PhD. If your field ends at the master’s level, you may need five to 10 years of experience. Online colleges often hire those who have less experience. You might get a teaching job with just a bachelor’s degree and a few years of experience or with a master’s degree right out of college.

Teaching Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage among post-secondary teachers working in colleges today is $70,790 a year. The BLS also estimates that the need for qualified professors will increase at a faster than average rate. This may occur because of the increase in the number of students taking classes online. Those colleges will need dependable professors who can teach online classes, have strong technology skills and can use the new online systems.

General Reputation

The reason that some think online college professors do not gain respect in the academic community is likely due to the number of problems with online schools reported in the past. The United States Department of Education now makes it harder for scam schools and diploma mills to operate. As the number of those schools decreases, it’s likely that the reputation of online teachers will increase. Online professors generally need the same amount of education and experience to teach classes. As the number of reputable online colleges increases, the reputation of teachers in those schools will improve too.

Online colleges once had a poor reputation because so many schools functioned solely to take money from students and give degrees to anyone who had enough cash. As the government cracks down on those schools and imposes new regulations on online colleges, you’ll see the reputation of online college professors increasing in the academic community.