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Getting Hired as a College Professor

Deciding you want to teach college has in the past been a decision you had to make while in college. This was because being a college professor in Calgary meant going right on to pursue a Master degree in your field and probably a Ph.D as well. This career path required not only teaching, but researching, writing and publishing as well.

There is not nearly as strict a road that must be followed today with all the opportunities to teach at local community colleges, smaller 4 year colleges and online institutions. A Masters degree is still usually required but you can work in a business career with an MBA for 20-30 years and then go into teaching at your local community college.

Beyond having the necessary credentials, there is the process for getting hired in itself. Some professionals have indicated that there are two basic ways to approach your search and both of them require that your resume and cover letter – sometimes known in academia as a Curriculum Vitae or CV – be of excellent quality and demonstrate your best skills and abilities in the expected academic format.

The two basic approaches could be labeled as The Shotgun Approach and The Targeted Approach. Both of these approaches will work and there are advantages and disadvantages to each of them.

The Shotgun Approach

This approach simply means you have an area of the country that you wish to work in and you research all the colleges, community colleges and universities in that area. Now you use the shotgun approach and send your curriculum vitae off to every one of them. In this approach it is important to send your credentials to the academic dean of the college or to the head of the department you are interested in.

This is like the salesman who makes 100 calls hoping for one sale. It is a game of numbers and a belief that if you throw enough mud on the wall, something will stick. The truth is it probably will. It just might take a while and it is a lot of work. The more CV packets you send out the better your odds of getting an interview are. You also might get called for part time academic positions as well that could potentially lead to full time.

The Targeted Approach

This approach means targeting your credentials and contacts only to those institutions that you know are looking to fill an opening on their academic faculty and staff. This takes some research on your part to look into all the institutions, colleges, universities and community colleges that are hiring in the geographical area that you are willing to consider living and working in.

Now you will target your Curriculum Vitae correspondence to only those institutions in your chosen area who are actively hiring. You can see that the chances of getting hired are better because there is an actual opening for which candidates are being sought. It is also true that your odds of getting hired might be less than with the Shotgun Approach because the active competition for the opening will be far greater as the opening will be published and advertised.