Recently, many retired people have turned to adjunct professorships as an encore career. For individuals looking to help their community, experience professional growth, and deepen their understanding of certain issues, adjunct teaching may be a good fit. Adjunct teaching is an ideal encore career because it provides great teaching opportunities, encourages professional development, and gives back to the community for a low time commitment.
Community colleges offer great teaching opportunities for encore careerists because they provide the opportunity to teach a specialty with a flexible schedule. Many adjunct professors teach only one to two classes at a time in subjects they are knowledgeable and passionate about, and the fact that adjunct teaching is only a commitment of a semester makes it an attractive option to individuals who may be retired or want to scale back their work hours.
In addition to the flexible schedule adjunct teaching can provide, teaching an occasional course as an adjunct can allow one to build one’s skills and gain useful experience. Because adjuncts often choose to teach courses about which they care deeply, these individuals get to sharpen their understanding of specific topic areas while also learning how to communicate clearly and deepening their appreciation for the content they teach.
Teaching as an adjunct can also be a rewarding encore career because it enables professionals to give back to society through a non-intense commitment. After gaining valuable life experience in other fields such as law or business, many people find themselves wanting to contribute to society in other ways, and teaching often comes up as a popular option. Adjunct teaching is an ideal encore career because for a very low commitment, one can make a meaningful impact on young adults and give back to the community.
Although individuals may face difficulties in becoming accredited or certified to teach as an adjunct, on the whole, the benefits that it can provide are enormous — both to society and to individual adjuncts. Adjunct professors who teach after other careers enjoy the benefits of professional development and a flexible schedule while still getting to give back to society, making adjunct teaching an ideal encore career.