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An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 11 Sep 2012, 17:02
by fchris
Hi everyone,

My questions relates to the commonly asked "No bachelor's degree" question however bare with me, I only ask this as it seems as if things have become far stricter recently.

After reading what seem like hundreds of threads it definitely seems as if the days of people heading off with only basic TEFL certification and finding work are seriously numbered. Even now this seems very risky and can only be done in a handful of countries.

So where does that leave people like me who are potentially looking to pursue this as a career, undertake the more reputable CELTA qualification however also head off without a degree.

Everywhere seems to be cracking down on enforcing the bachelor's degree requirement despite other teaching qualifications the applicant may hold so are we just fighting a losing battle? How much longer before everywhere is as strict as places like Japan and Korea and which countries will be the safest for longest?

I would also like to know if its worth just saving my time and money, doing a basic TEFL course instead of CELTA and try to find work until a potentially inevitable end to degreeless teaching?

Sorry if all that sounded very doom and gloomy :)

Re: An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 11 Sep 2012, 18:30
by Joe
Chris, what do you mean by a "basic TEFL course"? CELTA IS a TEFL course, and not necessarily more expensive than other TEFL courses. If by "basic" you mean a weekend or online course, then that's another matter.

Re: An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 11 Sep 2012, 21:20
by fchris
Hi matter,

Yes when I say "Basic TEFL course" I am referring to the range of weekend and online courses.

I fully understand that these are looked upon in the industry as insufficient but to go back to my first question, in the long term does it really matter what I have if the lack of a degree is going to prevent me teaching anyway?

Re: An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 13 Sep 2012, 03:56
by Joe
Chris, I wouldn't say the degree battle is already lost as you seem to imply. I assume you realize that the reason for needing a degree in some countries is often to obtain a work permit rather than the job itself. In other words, it may be imposed by the government and not necessarily the teaching institute. Yes, there is a growing list of governments demanding a degree, but there are still many that don't, to the best of my knowledge: Russia, many European countries, many South American countries, Indonesia, possibly China, and more. Of course, even in countries where no degree is required by government it may be required by institutions like universities or international schools, but it very often is not required by private language schools, who will be more interested in a recognized TEFL certificate and your personal presentation (and experience, but everyone has to start somewhere). It's anybody's guess how long before all governments demand a degree but I personally don't see it happening any time soon. My personal advice would be to get a CELTA or genuine equivalent and give it a shot. You'll be in a far stronger position than with what you call a "basic" TEFL. You would then still have the option to study for a degree while teaching if you really wanted.

Re: An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 16 Sep 2012, 11:54
by fchris
Thanks for the info matter, great advice :)

Re: An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 16 Oct 2012, 14:57
by prague
Hi Chris. I'm based in Prague and have been here for 13 years now. First I highly recommend that you do a course that is at least 100 hours with a minimum of 6 hours of observed teaching practice. Anything other than this is not always recognized and certainly doesn't prepare you enough to deliver an effective English lesson.

In Prague you can work without a degree if you get a business license which is now easier to do compared to getting a work permit. You are required to have a degree if you are applying for a work permit but you are NOT required to have a degree if you apply for your business license so this is an option for non-degree holders! Plenty of people are teaching here with the business license. It allows you more flexibility,(you can work at different schools on a freelance basis.)

Prague is an attractive location to live and teach. The demand for teachers has risen in the past year. We have TEFL graduates monthly and most of them end up staying here to teach and they love it. I recommend looking into it.

Good Luck!

Re: An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 20 Oct 2012, 10:47
by fchris
Thanks a lot Cheryl, I'll keep all that in mind. That's another place which I can add to my list :)

Re: An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 22 Oct 2012, 12:55
by andyparkin
Fchris - I sympathise totally with you. This is one of my big bugbears; my wife and I have been teaching TEFL for the last 11 years. We are in our 50s and don't have university degrees (they weren't given away when we were young) and we are becoming increasingly disenfranchised from teaching around the world. We're currently in Vietnam, a country that DOES restrict entry to graduates only but we came as tourists. Many schools will turn a blind eye if you turn up on their doorstep. South America is a good place to do this but wages are poor there. 'Matter' is right about Russia - no degrees required as a condition of entry and wages are very good - lots of 'privates' to be had.
It's very annoying to be written off, knowing that you are an enthusiastic, skilled and experienced teacher, with CELTA and impeccable references, and rejected for some oik who can barely put a sentence together. I'm not bitter or anything... :)

Re: An inevitable end to teaching without a degree?

Posted: 15 Oct 2013, 12:53
by MartinHejhal
Degree helps, but still ok to teach without in the Czech Republic, as Cheryl has mentioned. I also wouldn't hire a teacher with an online TEFL without a degree. Would give it a go if they have solid TEFL certificate. And of course demonstrated good teaching skills and provided references.
Good luck,