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Career advice

 
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SunShan



Joined: 28 Mar 2013
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:06 am    Post subject: Career advice Reply with quote

I'm looking for advice on my situation:

33-year-old British male
BA English and Linguistics degree
CELTA
Less than a year's teaching experience

It's taken me over four years to achieve the above qualifications as I know Asia is where I want to spend the majority/all of my life. The thought of staying in England any longer is really depressing! My natural thoughts are to just work in many countries and not come back.

However, I have an opportunity to get my teacher's licence/PGCE/QTS in England, which means staying, I'm guessing, maybe three more years - one to get qualified, another two for experience. I'm thinking that career-wise this could be good as I can work in international schools/better paid places etc. Whereas staying on the TEFL path, although very enjoyable, could cause me problems if I get married & start a family, not save money for retirement etc.

Is the three-year sacrifice worth it given that I really just want to stay abroad? Maybe I could come back in a few years to do the PGCE.

If I get my teacher's licence, would I be more employable abroad doing primary (5-11 year-olds) teaching a wide subject curriculum, or secondary (12-16) teaching my BA subjects?

I've thought about doing a Master's and DELTA instead, but with my lack of experience and current finances, they're some way off. At the moment in England, I can get £9,000 wages for my PGCE year, which is more than the usual £6,000 (payment difference between graduating with a 1st Class and a 2.1 or below degree). This money would make the year more financially bearable, and may even change for the worse in the future.

In a nutshell, it's taken me over four years to get to the point where I can finally go. I was in my '20s when I started this journey, now in my '30s it's kind of hit me that I should be a bit more responsible for the rest of my life (though I hate to think so conservatively).

The countries I see myself in are: Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I don't want to come back to the UK.

Any advice much appreciated. Especially from those who have been in a similar situation, wished they could go back and get a certain qualification... Or just went out there and TEFLed without a care in the world.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 280

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Career advice Reply with quote

SunShan wrote:

Is the three-year sacrifice worth it given that I really just want to stay abroad? Maybe I could come back in a few years to do the PGCE.


From my personal experience, YES, it IS worth the extra 3 years.
In very real terms, using Thailand as an example:

40k thb/month on a 10-11 month contract (400k thb per year) with no benefits as an entry level EFL teacher
vs
100k thb/month (1.2 million baht/year) + housing, airfare, medical and generous holidays with full salary at a tier 1 or tier 2 international school (on a 1 or 2 year contract).

Using Taiwan as an example:
50k twd and no benefits in a buxiban (language school)
vs
80-90k twd + benefits as a public school teacher

Using Korea as an example:
1.9-2.2 million krw + airfare and housing as an EFL teacher
vs
4-5 million krw + full benefits including up to 12 weeks of annual vacation at an international school.

SunShan wrote:
If I get my teacher's licence, would I be more employable abroad doing primary (5-11 year-olds) teaching a wide subject curriculum, or secondary (12-16) teaching my BA subjects?


Teach what you like to teach. You'll be better at it and more employable as a result. Teaching subjects and ages that you don't like is just painful after a while.

SunShan wrote:

In a nutshell, it's taken me over four years to get to the point where I can finally go. I was in my '20s when I started this journey, now in my '30s it's kind of hit me that I should be a bit more responsible for the rest of my life (though I hate to think so conservatively).


You think any of us have put in fewer years? Most teachers abroad have an education to at least a first degree and many are above that (even in Asia).

Do your 3 years and then start looking at all the great options open to you.
Asia isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

The countries I see myself in are: Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I don't want to come back to the UK.

Any advice much appreciated. Especially from those who have been in a similar situation, wished they could go back and get a certain qualification... Or just went out there and TEFLed without a care in the world.[/quote]

Even AFTER you get abroad there is always additional professional development to do. Those who stand still get left behind (and there are lots of them still working at entry level wages after 10 years as a teacher.

.
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SunShan



Joined: 28 Mar 2013
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Career advice Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:
You think any of us have put in fewer years? Most teachers abroad have an education to at least a first degree and many are above that (even in Asia).

Do your 3 years and then start looking at all the great options open to you.
Asia isn't going anywhere anytime soon. .


I think you've taken this the wrong the way. I'm not implying I'm above anyone and deserve some kind of special treatment. I'm also aware my qualifications are entry-level standard. I'm just eager to stay abroad because Asia is amazing and the UK is monotonous to say the least.
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SunShan



Joined: 28 Mar 2013
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: Career advice Reply with quote

[quote="suphanburi]
SunShan wrote:
If I get my teacher's licence, would I be more employable abroad doing primary (5-11 year-olds) teaching a wide subject curriculum, or secondary (12-16) teaching my BA subjects?


Teach what you like to teach. You'll be better at it and more employable as a result. Teaching subjects and ages that you don't like is just painful after a while.

.[/quote]

To be honest I'm not so sure which I would prefer at the moment. My thinking was along the lines that there will be more primary positions available than English secondary positions, but I see your point, and thanks for your advice!
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SunShan



Joined: 28 Mar 2013
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, I posted this on multiple boards, which was a mistake. Please post onto Newbie forum from now on.

Thanks for your advice.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 421

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Career Advice....??" Look before you leap"!!...especially on this board... Shocked
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LifterMan



Joined: 26 Nov 2013
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you love TEFL then just do it. I have held high paid suit jobs in the US and I was miserable, do what you love and the rest will fall in place.

If you want money (for some, $ = happiness)then a teaching credential is your golden ticket. Not only that, but you will no longer be limited, instead you can go to any low paid asian countries like Thailand or Cambodia and make real money at international schools. Some offer retirement plans too. For this reason alone, I believe its worth it. Another thing is status, you will be looked upon as a real teacher. This is debatable, but much of the developed world view TEFLers and licensed teachers in a different light.

The thing is, 3 years is a lot of time and anything can happen, the news shows people dying everyday. "You only live once so live life for the moment" (thats the best advice I have ever been given). oh and by the way, age is really just a number, dont put yourself into a box like society tells us to do. Travel, teach, hook up with many girls, drugs, whatever makes you happy....life will be much more enjoyable
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 421

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Career Advice =.. TEFL + SUCCESS! Sometimes when we have no choice in a career we look for Happiness as a choice. Good luck! Very Happy
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