This question seems to indicate the answer is no but I don't know enough to see whether being accepted into a PhD program equals getting a teaching job. I attended a private four-year school at which the professors did minimal (if any) research and spent a lot of time personally assisting students outside of class. Because I've never attended a large, state school, I don't know if this is what it's like but I've heard it isn't.

I am much more interested in what I described (teaching and helping students) than in having large, impersonal classes and conducting research.

Would an online masters degree increase my chances of getting a job teaching computer science (the subject of my four-year degree) in the manner described above?

3 Answers 3



In the US, permanent university-level teaching positions in computer science, even at small four-year colleges, require a Ph.D. As I explained in my earlier answer, an online master's degree will not help you get into a PhD program.

For some non-tenure-track positions, a master's degree with a thesis may be enough, but a terminal/professional/course-based master's degree won't be; whether that terminal master's program is online or on-campus is essentially irrelevant.

In short, if you want a permanent teaching position, you need formal research experience.

  • 1
    Your last sentence is awful (because it's true). May 15, 2015 at 21:32
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    "...even at small four-year colleges..." I agree. But at a two-year college / community college, a master's degree will in some cases be sufficient. May 16, 2015 at 3:25

Probably not. Most teaching jobs require a PhD, and those that don't tend to be reserved for PhD students (my freshman and sophomore English classed were taught by PhD students, quite well, I might add). After many years of established practice as a computing professional, you might find yourself able to apply to teach at a community college in your area (if you're in the US) since your professional experience might substitute for the PhD. You might also qualify to teach a single special course as a adjunct professor in your narrow area of practice at a 4-year school, but it is doubtful that you would be hired as part of the regular faculty.

As noted in the other question, online master's degrees tend not to be focused on research, and so don't help much towards getting a PhD. We can argue about whether it is truly necessary to have a PhD to teach at the college level or not, but that is the norm in the vast majority of university education in the US and most of the world.


A master's degree would probably put you in a position where you could teach as an adjunct at a university. Adjuncts typically teach on a class-by-class basis, they are generally not full-time employees, and don't get paid very well. You might be able to teach at a community college as well (likely in a similar position).

Your master's degree program will probably influence your ability to get a job. While some online programs are good, many are not, and some come with "baggage" that might get in your way (for-profit degree programs for example).

If you still live in the same area as your undergraduate institution, you shoiuld mention to a faculty member you are close to there that you are interested in teaching as an adjunct. They would be able to give you better advice for what to do.

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