Higher Education Teacher

Higher education teaching can be a challenging and rewarding intellectual endeavor. Besides imparting knowledge and skill, and further exploring a subject you're passionate about, you can learn from the inquiries and experiences of your colleagues and students. Communication, critical thinking and instructional skills can help you succeed in higher education teaching. While teaching in higher education institutions, you would likely give lectures and publish original research papers on your subject of expertise. Teaching higher education can also demand that you modify your educational style on a regular basis to accommodate students with little or no experience, as well as those with knowledge of the subject matter, to enable both to advance in a particular area. You'd probably teach university or professional day, evening or weekend courses, as well as hold office hours and research during the academic year and summer. Besides meeting course schedules and administrative meetings, you'd likely have the flexibility of creating your daily schedule.

How to Become a Higher Education Teacher

To engage in higher education teaching at the university level, you would likely need to possess a doctoral degree related to your area of higher education teaching. Professional schools and junior colleges may consider candidates with master's degrees or those in the process of getting doctoral degrees. Teaching higher education subjects in areas such as culinary arts or cosmetology may not require you to possess graduate-level education. However, cooking or cosmetology schools may require you to present evidence of certification and experience in such areas. Teaching in higher education institutions may also require you to have previous instructional experience. You can gain such experience by working as a graduate teaching assistant. Working in a government agency, business, or nonprofit organization can also provide you with practical experience to teach in higher education institutions.

Potential Career Earnings of a Higher Education Teacher

The median annual wages of higher education teachers depend on their area of expertise. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2012, postsecondary teachers specializing in law ($99,950), engineering ($92,670), and economics ($87,950) were among those who made higher national median annual wages. Those teaching recreation and fitness ($57,920) and vocational education ($47,990) as well as graduate teaching assistants ($31,270) were among those on the lower end of the national median annual salary scale.

Between 2010 and 2020, the BLS reports that the number of higher education teaching positions is expected to grow 17 percent. As a higher education teacher, you can teach an increasing number of students at for-profit institutions as a part-time or adjunct professor. Finding a position in public colleges and universities will depend on whether state or local governments can allocate budget monies to cover salaries. Meanwhile, the BLS reports, part-time or adjunct positions are replacing tenure positions, a guarantee that professors cannot be dismissed without just cause. Specialties such as nursing and engineering can experience better job prospects than those in the humanities as well. For more information, please click on one of the schools below. Someone will contact you to answer any questions you may have.


Education, Training, and Library Occupations, Occupational Employment Statistics May 2012, June 12, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_stru.htm#25-0000

Economics Teachers, Postsecondary, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics May 2012, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251063.htm

Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics May 2012, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251032.htm

Graduate Teaching Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics May 2012, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251191.htm

Law Teachers, Postsecondary, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics May 2012, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251112.htm

Postsecondary Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-2013 Edition), April 10, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm

Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics May 2012, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251193.htm

Vocational Education Teachers, Postsecondary, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics May 2012, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251194.htm

Teaching Schools

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MS in Higher Education - College Teaching
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Ranked 21st among the Best Education Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Established in 1918 with the mission, “to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally, and globally.”
  • The first major research university to offer an online M.A.  in teaching program.
  • Offers certificate through doctoral programs in teaching, counseling, and more.
  • All programs taught with the guiding principles of leadership, learning, accountability, and diversity.
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  • Online Courses
Accelerated Leadership in Higher Education - MEd
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
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  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Master of Science: Higher Education
  •  Ranked one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  •  Offers a no-obligation, 3-week trial period where students may determine if the university is right for them before they commit to it.
  •  Strives to be a student’s partner in lifelong learning; committed to helping them achieve their goals.
  •  Serves students of all ages, from first-graders learning to read to professionals seeking postgraduate training.
  •  Provides career-oriented diploma through master’s programs in fields such as healthcare, business, legal and paralegal services, information technology, criminal justice and design.
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Master of Arts in Education with a Specialization in Higher Education

As the flagship university in the LSU System, LSU has been preparing students for rewarding careers for nearly 150 years. Today, LSU is proud to bring our passion for learning and tradition of excellence to online students, making our outstanding university education even more accessible.

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