Job Outlook for College Grads

We may still be working our way out of a recession, but the job outlook for college grads is not as dreary as it may appear.

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Online Instructors Need Degrees, Technical Know-How

Just as more there’s more opportunities for learning online, all those classes need qualified instructors to share their knowledge with undergraduate and graduate students.

If you’re already in the teaching field or pursuing an education career, working as an online instructor or online teaching assistant can put your skills and know-how to good use. Working remotely also can provide flexibility, if you are still pursuing an advanced degree, and you will be learning what it takes to connect with students virtually today.

As you get started by searching online for “online instructor” or “online teaching” jobs, you’ll also want to look at job openings at universities and community colleges in your town, your alma maters, and for-profit online universities.

Generally, you’ll find that major universities require online instructors to have the same type of advanced degrees as traditional classroom instructors: a doctorate degree in the field. If you’re pursuing your master’s degree or a doctorate, one opportunity is to work as a teaching assistant for an online instructor.

Online classes offered by community colleges or online-focused schools often seek adjunct professors to work on a part-time basis, by teaching one or two courses a semester. Those schools are typically looking for online instructor job candidates to have a master’s degree, at least, in that specific field.

Job openings and other reports about online adjunct positions note that average pay per course for an online instructor is $1,500-$1,700. Some adjuncts work for multiple schools, so that they can earn enough to be teaching full time.

Three recent job listings for part-time online adjunct professors reflect what type of skills and education is required to get the jobs:

Campbell University, a private school based in North Carolina, is hiring part-time adjunct faculty members to teach online courses in psychology, accounting, English, and business for undergraduates, and requires a doctoral degree in those disciplines.

Northeastern State University, a public institution in Oklahoma, is seeking faculty to teach hybrid and online classes in a variety of subject areas. Instructors need a master’s degree to teach undergraduate students and doctorate degrees to teach graduate-level courses.

Ross College Online, which offers an associates degree in medical assisting, is hiring individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree and previous online teaching experience for courses in areas such as psychology, nutrition, pharmacology, and medical law and ethics.

There are some rare cases where adjunct professors may only hold a bachelor’s degree, but they are working professionals brought on by colleges because of their success in a certain industry and the lessons they can share with students.

You can also find work as an online high school teacher, and a bachelor’s degree may be all that is required to be an online instructor.

In addition to meeting degree requirements, working as an online instructor requires knowing how to communicate online. You’ll need knowledge of specific technology that schools use as well as general strong written communication skills, since there is little to none face-to-face contact with students.

Colleges are seeking online instructors who can provide the same quality education experience for students that they have offered in the classroom. With the right degrees and skills, it could be a good fit for you.

Does Your Personality Fit the Job?

If you think the tests stop once you have your degree, think again.

But one test that’s becoming more common in the job application process often has nothing to do with what you’ve learned in college.

It’s the personality test, which companies are using to help determine job seekers’ behavior and work style.

The Wall Street Journal reports that: “More than 80% of midsize and large companies use personality and ability assessments for entry and midlevel positions as either pre-employment or new-employee orientation tools.” The stat is from Development Dimensions International, a global human-resources consultancy. You’ll find the tests in industries such as health care, technology, finance, operations, and retail, the WSJ reports.

These assessments have been widely used in retail positions but are quickly spreading to other industries, including finance, technology, health care and operations.

If you’re taking one as a job applicant (Msnbc.com reports that this is happening even before the initial email or phone interview, when folks apply for a job online), the results could help a company determine your chance of succeeding or failing in a certain job. While this is a company decision, when you’re searching for a major, it may be worthwhile to take a personality test (even common ones like those by Myers-Briggs) to make sure you have the personality to be in a particular industry.

But some groups are concerned that the tests could discriminate against mentally disabled job candidates. CVS, for example, agreed to remove statements that candidates were required to respond to, including “You change from happy to sad without any reason” 
and “There’s no use having close friends; they always let you down,” after the Rhode Island ACLU filed a complaint with the state Commission for Human Rights.

Yes, you need to know the subject and how to do the job, but the use of personality tests show that it’s not just the degree that makes a job candidate.

-Lori Johnston

Wimbledon’s Behind-the-Scenes Stars: The Medical Professionals

Every summer, my TV is constantly tuned into Wimbledon, where with every serve, volley, and amazing backhand, I am amazed by how important the medical staff is to the players battling to win the championship.

Some matches are paused as players seek help of trainers to diagnose problems and give them the medical help they need to make it through each game, set and match.

In defending champion Rafael Nadal’s match Monday, he called for a trainer, who taped his left foot and give him cream to help with the pain, and then he went on to beat Juan Martín del Potro to make it to the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Nadal got an MRI exam on his foot to determine the severity of the injury, a procedure that requires the expertise of a radiology technologist.

There’s not only the physical strain when playing tennis, but mental strain in often evident when playing solo or communicating with a partner. Even viewers can feel mentally and emotional exhausted after seeing favorites such as the Williams sisters and Andy Roddick lose or watching intense matches. Sports psychologists can be beneficial to players, whether they’re at the height of their career or not living up to expectations, or just needing to control their outbursts (remember Serena Williams’ profanity-filled tirade against a lineswoman at the 2009 U.S. Open?).

Other professionals, such as chiropractors, massage therapists and physiotherapists, also can make up a tennis players’ entourage or be used by players at tournaments. Of course, it’s not just for tennis but all other sports, where the medical profession is a key behind-the-scenes member of the team.

As you’re considering job choices, realize how choosing the health care industry is not only leading to jobs in hospitals and doctors offices but in active settings where immediate attention often is needed. For tennis players at Wimbledon, the medical assistance can be a factor in dominating opponents in this summertime Grand Slam event.

-Lori Johnston