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I have the choice to become an instructor to teach beginners how to program and develop web sites for the first time. This job will last 3 months. I'm a Software Consultant (whose never had a client) and this would be a pay cut from what I expect to receive from my first client. But, I would like to know the pros and cons of taking this job.

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    ...you mean you're unemployed?
    – jmorc
    Nov 7, 2014 at 1:07
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    Yes, I am unemployed Nov 7, 2014 at 1:29

3 Answers 3

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It's not a pay cut, it's a consulting job. And it could be an opportunity to meet useful people and enhance your reputation. Since you are unemployed and have never had a client your opinion of what your pay should be is irrelevant and unsupported.

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  • +1 for "it's not a pay cut" - I don't see how it could be a cut unless you were being paid first.. so since it's from an imaginary salary, it's an imaginary cut. Nov 7, 2014 at 3:38
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First, if you have the horsepower, you should be able to teach this class, look for clients and possibly do some consulting simultaneously. Typically college professors do all sorts of consulting and publishing while still teaching a full load.

Pros:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of your subject matter as a result of having to teach it.
  • Use the experience as part of your resume.
  • You may have students who could turn into an extra programmer for larger projects.

Cons

  • If it prevents you from pursuing potential clients, you're going to find yourself out of work in three months or longer to find your first client.
  • If you're not a good teacher and especially if you don't know what your're doing, students will know it and make your job very difficult and stressful.
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  • Forgive my ignorance, but is being a college professor a full time job? I'd be required to physically be on site from 9-5:30 every weekday. Nov 7, 2014 at 2:28
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    @JohnnyDohe - most professors don't spend a lot of time 9-5 teaching - that may occupy 12-16 hours per week, and while some will spend a large amount of time grading assignments, not all. They are also typically required to hold some office hours for students to talk with them about individual questions or issues, so add in another few hours there. Most professors spend the bulk of their time doing research and guiding/mentoring more advanced students (and yes, this means going well beyond 40 hours per week). Some may also participate in a club or other organization. Nov 7, 2014 at 3:36
  • Pro: Current unemployment will stop, giving you 3months time to check out other jobs
    – Martijn
    Nov 7, 2014 at 11:17
  • @JohnnyDohe - It can be more than a full-time job. There's publishing, research, supervising student work like dissertations, being on committees. At major universities, if you don't publish, you can lose your job.
    – user8365
    Nov 14, 2014 at 10:50
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If you like teaching, pay cut or not does not matter because you will be doing something you like to do.

If you don't like teaching, the cons may be more than you think. You need to prepare for the class materials before hand if it's not there yet. You need to teach, of course. You need to grade the programming assignments. You need to teach those who never program in their life before. You'll be surprised what knid of questions they'll ask. If you never teach before, it's quite a bit work than you would imagine. You probably won't have time to look for a new job. In other words, you pretty much waste those three months.

There are pros, of course. you'll get paid. Better than nothing. You get to say something very meaningful in your resume. You can say you teach programming. It's a big plus. I used to teach a programming language. Many hiring managers mentioned this in the job interviews. They said "You must know that language very well." I always replied "Yes, very very well". Then I got the job offer.

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