My name is Scott Rank and I’m the founder of Scholarpreneur. I have a Ph.D. in Middle East history and live in Turkey. I am originally from the United States. If you have ever wondered
- How can I earn more as a scholar when it isn’t possible to teach more courses?
- What do I do with my Ph.D. or MA if I can’t get tenure?
- Are there any jobs for me besides university instructor?
- How can I learn to branch out into another career when I don’t know anything but the university life?
- How do I do all this without spending too much money?
Or if you have ever needed to dialogue with other scholars who have the same problems…
…. you’re in the right place!
Here’s How Scholarpreneur Helps You Get Ahead
Scholars don’t need to be told that the modern university is in trouble and the academic job market is anemic. Sure – the modern university has had a great 200-year run. It sprang out of Protestant Germany and was cutting edge for its time. All the components of a functioning university – professors, students, libraries, seminars, and laboratories – were located in one place under central control. Multiple areas of study were housed within easy walking distance, an important factor when long-distance travel was expensive and dangerous.
But this model no longer makes sense in the age of free information so universities have evolved into providing a four-year “experience.” Many schools boast of gourmet-level cafeterias and suite-style rooms. One school even features a free five-course meal per week and a free ice cream truck. All this luxury comes with a hefty price tag. The costs of an average four-year education is over over $260,000.
Whenever administrators do cut costs, they typically do so at the expense of faculty, who are not part of the “experience.” Universities hire adjuncts instead of tenure-track instructors, because they rarely receive benefits, have no contract, and earn as little as $18,000 a year. More than 40% of teaching staff at universities are now adjuncts.
In this scenario, both students and scholars lose. Students get worse instruction because adjuncts who would otherwise be great professors lose motivation to teach. They often lack university support in the form of seminar funding, professional-development workshops, and course buyouts. Scholars struggle to get by on their meager salary. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported about adjuncts living on food stamps, with some earning as little as $900 of take-home pay per month.
That’s where we come in. Scholarpreneur believes that academic knowledge should be taken to the open market so academics can earn what they deserve. Here scholars can profit in ways unthinkable at a traditional university.
Margaret Hiley did this. She was once lecturer in literature in England but didn’t like the teaching restrictions, and arbitrary university procedures. As a native speaker of both English and German, she enjoyed translation, but couldn’t incorporate that into her regular job.
Then she had an epiphany – why not buck the university system and go completely freelance?
Margaret contacted all her old clients and university colleagues. She put up a website and took a course on self-employment. After a year of building up clientele, she quit her job as a lecturer. Margaret now has a near-endless number of projects from academic publishers and private scholars. She is able to charge £90 per 1000 words of translation from German to English and earns far more than she ever did at a university.
Kenny Mencher is another such scholar. He has had wild success with his online course “Art History: Renaissance to 20th” century.” He put it on Udemy, a web-based platform where experts upload video courses. Mencher charges $25 and has over 2,000 students – more than 10 times the number that could pack into a large introductory course. He earns far more than the $7,000 than an average Udemy instructor earns per course.
Other scholars are moving to self publishing. Long the realm of failed authors and conspiracy theorists, it has gained new legitimacy in the last five years as Amazon has opened its publishing platform to any author (the 70% royalty rate doesn’t hurt either).
One such stand-out on Amazon is Andrew Hartley, a Shakespeare scholar at the University of North Carolina who has had tremendous success, among many other novels, adapting MacBeth into a thriller. He has adapted it for audio and is now working on Hamlet.
Scholarpreneur believes that academics can thrive if they learn how to teach in a dynamic way and market it for the masses.
But how can you learn all these skills while working full time, teaching 6 courses, and grading for hundreds of students?
Instead of reading dozens of books, searching the Internet, or asking colleagues who often aren’t willing to help anyone…
Subscribe for free to Scholarpreneur. You will get proven strategies and tactics from highly successful scholars who are finding breakout success in the 21st century world of academia.
(The Blog and The Podcast)
Scholarpreneur is an active and rapidly growing community of scholars who are looking to take their academic knowledge outside of a traditional university setting. Online tools allow them to reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of students a year instead of the hundreds that a brick-and-mortar university would allow.
There are two main features of Scholarpreneur – the blog and the podcast. If you subscribe by email, you will also get exclusive content not available anywhere else on the site.
The Scholarpreneur Blog is where we drill down into successful entrepreneurial methods for scholars – both from me and professors from top universities. I reveal cutting-edge techniques that you can begin to implement today. We also look at the state of higher education and what scholars need to know about the current job market. Two such recent posts are “9 Reasons Things Will Get Worse for Adjuncts Before They Get Better” and “How I went from being a poor Ph.D. student to earning an Assistant Professor’s Salary in 6 months With Amazon Self Publishing.”
The Scholarpreneur Podcast is where I feature interviews with academics who are building extraordinary businesses. One recent guest is Gregory Sadler, a philosophy professor who has built a YouTube channel with over 1 million views. He has parlayed this digital presence to public speaking gigs and online teaching.
What’s the best way to get all the most recent content? Sign up for the email list below:
About Scott Rank
Scholarpreneur was founded by Scott Rank, Ph.D. He is a publisher, podcaster, adjunct, online instructor, and entrepreneur. Before going down the academic road he worked as a journalist in Istanbul and reported on human rights issues.
After starting a successful online publishing business while doing his doctoral research (and while raising two daughters with his wife Melissa), he is focusing on what he loves most: helping academics find ways to connect their knowledge with people who want to learn outside of the walls of a university.
You will find that his approach to turning academic knowledge into profitable books, courses, or other products is effective. He has refined this process over the past few years, and it has helped him built a popular course on Udemy, thousands of audio books, over 100,000 ebooks, and over 1 million downloads of his podcast “History in Five Minutes.”
More specifically, he uses a blend of traditional teaching and Internet marketing to attract customers, sell products online, and build an audience that stays with him wherever he happens to be on the planet.
If you want to learn about tools he used to start earning an extra $1,000/month as an adjunct, please enter your email below. You’ll immediately get the free report “5 Free Online Tools to Make an Extra $1,000/Month As An Adjunct Instructor.”