Why do you have to have a degree?

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Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby pizzicato » 25 Jul 2010, 16:18

I would like to know why it is preferred you have a degree above all else to teach English abroad?
I am a level 3 qualified teaching assistant with 6 years experience of working with primary and secondary age children. I also have completed the weekend TEFL course. Yet, none of this seems to make any difference.
Someone may have a degree but they might have never worked a day in their life or have only ever worked in a none related area, not completed any of the TEFL courses, not particularly like children or traveling but as long as they have a degree, it doesn't really matter!
I don't want to have to do a degree just for the sake of it when I think I am more than qualified and I have more than enough experience.
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby Jo » 25 Jul 2010, 17:47

Generally speaking, the requirement for a degree comes from the government of the country in question as a prerequisite to issuing a working permit. It is very often not a requirement of the employer.

As you know, governments are not known for their selective thought processes and tend to issue blanket edicts that are not necessarily appropriate in all cases.
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby pizzicato » 25 Jul 2010, 18:47

So what are you saying then? That I can still apply for jobs that say they require degree holders?
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby Jo » 26 Jul 2010, 02:15

pizzicato wrote:So what are you saying then? That I can still apply for jobs that say they require degree holders?

No. Just trying to answer your question "Why do you have to have a degree?"

What countries have you tried? Not all countries have this rule.
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby kenzillion » 27 Jul 2010, 06:36

Some larger schools do not require a degree for you to be issued a working visa. In China for instance 'Web English International' which is one of the biggest one here can issue working visas even if you have no degree.They have enough pull I think so they can do this. Also in smaller,more remote areas a degree is not required.In rural Thailand a degree is not required but in the main cities a degree is. I am currently working at a school without a degree(but with a T.E.F.L) though it is illegal as I am operating on a tourist visa. If you want you can also purchase degrees online if you wish to go down that path.
Last edited by Jo on 27 Jul 2010, 10:50, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: removed commercial link
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby systematic » 16 Aug 2010, 11:25

Fake degrees do not pass the scrutiny of serious employers - even in Thailand.
You may be able to get a job in remote parts of rural Thailand without a degree, because they are desperate for teachers, but bear in mind however, that there are many good (and bad) reasons why most teachers with degrees are not interested in living and working in remote areas.
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby markc » 18 Aug 2010, 12:34

I used to hire English teachers, and it was fairly easy to spot the fake degrees; and even if you don't spot them, you can check later with the universities.
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby systematic » 19 Aug 2010, 06:38

There are two main kinds of spurious degrees:

1. Obvious forgeries made by people who think they are computer graphics experts, and who often work from a back alleys in the Kao San Rd area of Banglaphu (the backpacker district of Bangkok). Some of the certificates look quite good, they even have the embossed red star seal. However, the paper is not watermarked, and there are often obvious spelling mistakes, or the university crest has been scanned back to front. A classic example was the one from a university in Liverpool. I had four job applicants with it in one year (2006).

2. Degree mill certificates. These are the ones from those websites that promise you a degree based on your previous working experience, and from universities whose registered address is on some tax haven island such as some of the BOT. There are USA and UK government blacklists of degree mills, as there are USA and UK lists of genuine accredited universities. Some of these mills will promise verifiable certificates from renowned universities, but I won't go into detail here how this scam works.

Serious employers will almost always ask for a transcript and some will insist on a transcript in a sealed envelope. All genuine universities will confirm the degrees of their alumni, but probably not by email, as even emails can be easily faked. The employers who discover one are unlikely to take any legal action, they just won't hire. However if they do hire a teacher and the fake is discovered by one of the many government agencies for visa, work permit, and teacher licence applications, the consequences, particularly in Thailand, can involve a few nights in jail, and expulsion from the country. Such cases used to get a mention in the press, but they are so common now that they are not considered newsworthy. The 'Bangkok HIlton' and the immigration nick are a places to stay out of, even if the teachers are able to stay out the Bangkok Post.
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby NatGagnon » 03 Mar 2011, 16:01

I agree with you pizzicato. I come from an English speaking family and live in a French speaking community. My mother has been a teacher he whole life, however, her experience is not recognized here in Quebec. I find this quite ridiculous given the fact that she has much more experience than many elder teachers still teaching in our schools with what they called a “degree” at the time. She was told that she could not teach since she is not aware of all the pedagogical aspects given by the MELS for the “Réforme”. In other words, they would much rather prefer having a teacher with some long documents that they probably never go through, rather than an experienced teacher who does not need a pile of papers to tell her how a student can learn. Nevertheless, I am studying to become an English teacher as well, and I can assure you that most of the so called “necessary” classes are not quite relevant to my development as a future conveyer of the English culture and language.
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Re: Why do you have to have a degree?

Unread postby eigosekai » 25 Apr 2011, 21:52

Situations where you don't have a degree but you have experience as a teacher are very frustrating. Curriculums ask teachers to teach in a specific way. Some methods are to be avoided and some others are to be used. Each curriculum is different and that is one of the reasons why schools ask for a degree. They want to be sure that the teachers they hire were trained in the way the valid curriculum ask them to teach.
I agree with the fact that experience should be recognized but that does not make you better than someone who has a degree. The difference between you and them is the ''certified valid training''.
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