A career as a teacher in a public school doesn’t seem to have the security it once had due to so many cuts in education spending at the state level. It makes the community college look more and more like the haven it’s long been for students and teachers alike. That’s because with so much demand on community colleges for those wanting quicker educations at more reasonable cost, it might be worth your while to look into applying as a teacher in one. Regardless, you might want to think about what subject you want to teach, because some subjects have much more demand than others.
The Career Outlook for Community Colleges
According to the Modern Language Association, the percentage has been fairly high on teachers experiencing extreme job satisfaction in a community college. The MLA placed the figure at 73% as of the end of the last decade. And the probable reason for that is in the students who are adamant on learning rather than being there out of convenience. Teachers in community colleges also have connections with the major universities because some students transfer from those universities to community college to complete a degree. That’s especially true if there was a lull in-between their degree and they need two more years to graduate.
These relationships with students who truly care helps make working in a community college a near paradise for many teachers. Any thought they should be working in a prestigious university may be eased when you realize how community colleges almost match the same salary. The MLA above says community college teachers make roughly the same amount as a professor would if working at a four-year university. The variations are only off by a few thousand dollars, which doesn’t make it painful is a professor expects university level pay.
The interview process, however, is quite different from what you might expect when applying at a university.
Community College Interviews
With community colleges being controlled by college boards, unions, and state guidelines, the guidelines for interviews is going to be different in each college. Generally, they aren’t going to be as personalized as you’d find in a major university. You won’t be wined and dined as prospective professors are at the big university names. This more impersonal process might be new, though it doesn’t mean you’ll experience a lack of communication with the faculty.
Most likely, you’ll have to answer a series of questions about your background during the interview process. Before that, you’ll be expected to submit a cover letter and proof of your teaching credentials. Due to the competitive nature of teaching in community colleges, the more credentials you have, the better.
Then you have to consider what you’re going to teach and just how in-demand it is. Currently, one particular subject is soaring in community colleges.
The American Psychological Association says that psychology is the second most popular subject in community colleges today. That might surprise you, though many are going through community college to complete medical degrees as a way to cut down on costs. Psychology courses are usually required in these instances, even if they may be going for nursing or other medical degrees.
In these instances, psychology teachers are making a little bit less than those at major universities. There’s also the concern about being able to do medical research at community colleges, despite some accommodating this for teachers. Regardless, community colleges are flipping the table and allowing psychology students in graduate school a chance to teach. With community colleges hiring them, it opens a chance for you to earn extra money as a teacher while you’re still learning yourself.