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How much does a MA TESOL improve your odds of getting a job?

 
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DosEquisX



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 341

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: How much does a MA TESOL improve your odds of getting a job? Reply with quote

Due to not getting my Irish passport on time (it's in processing at the moment), I am teaching in China one more year before pursuing employment in Europe.

What I am wondering is if I should get a MA in TESOL before trying to get a job. I mean, getting the CELTA is obvious as it is basically mandatory for a job in the EU. However, I'd imagine that getting beyond mere entry-level teaching jobs requires more than a CELTA and a few years of teaching experience.

I guess what I'm saying that I don't want to put the cart before the horse. If getting into a MA TESOL program will increase my job prospects, then it would make sense to get one before teaching, right?

What do you recommend?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9668
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had the MA since 2007 and have been in Europe (mostly) since 1998. It's entirely feasible to start here at the newbie level (which is essentially where you'll be with prior experience in Asia only - European students are quite different from Asian ones and European employers are generally aware that the experience gained in Asia doesn't always translate here).

However, CELTA -qualified teachers don't earn enough money here, speaking generally, to fund an MA - that could be the main reason to remain in Asia until you've got one. You are correct to assume that to get the better jobs around one needs higher quals - a DELTA would also be a consideration.

Even with the quals, don't expect to earn an Asian-style salary; things are simply more frugal here all around.

If you go for the MA, be sure it's from an Anglophone university. I know that University of Birmingham, England, has a reputable distance program and many of its students are located in Asia.

With a fresh MA and experience only in Asia, you'll still not be near the top of the hiring pile for the few better jobs around, but if you're willing to commit to a region, learn the local language, gain contacts and build a local rep, you can likely work your way into something quite feasible. Of course, you might get extremely lucky and find something good right away, but it's more realistic to expect to pay dues first here, I'm afraid. Confused
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DosEquisX



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 341

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not really too worried about money. I saved up plenty from teaching in China and South Korea. I just want to be paid what I am worth and given that I have no experience outside of Asia, I know that won't be a whole lot.

Would a TESOL MA from an online program have the same value as one done in person? It's not like some University of Phoenix "degree" right?

What about student loans? I am a citizen of an EU country. So, that would make me eligible for government student loans, right?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9668
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bottom line is that you need an MA from an Anglophone country, and hopefully one with a good rep in the field. Birmingham, Surrey, Leicester all meet the criteria, and there are a couple of good distance US and Australia programmes as well. No, this isn't U of Phoenix Shocked Very Happy
Google the schools - add in New School (US) and Macquarie (check spelling, Australia). They're highly reputable in the EFL/ESL field.

Distance does not necessarily mean 'online.' A research-based degree is considered quite reputable - this is a degree done while teaching (in our field) allowing one to apply theory to practice thoughout the study.

There are advantages either way, distance or on-site. On site students obviously have more info-sharing with other students and face time with professors, but they miss out on the hands-on application until their study is over.

Birmingham does a combination program with most of the modules done by distance, and with an on-site component required, which can be expanded if one wishes. (I'm not particularly trying to sell the Bham thing, by the way, it's just the program I know the most about).

If you choose to locate yourself in Europe, say in Spain, you'll still need to study by distance or at a Spanish university, which would mean you'd have an MA from a non-Anglophone country, a definite disadvantage on the job market.

As for student loans, I don't know of any program that will allow a student who is not a citizen of the country to take out student loans. This would basically limit you to Ireland for your study. I've never heard of an 'EU' loan for MA study in our field; pretty sure it doesn't exist.
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DosEquisX



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 341

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which holds more employment value and is more useful: MA TESOL or PGDE and why?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9668
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally depends on what kind of teaching you want to do.

PGCE (I assume this http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/teacher-training-options/university-based-training/pgce is what you're referring to) is most useful if you want to teach grades 1-12/13.
It's focused on taking people with subject-matter knowledge and turning them into teachers of the core subject - so very useful if you want to try for international school positions. The downside is that there are few international school job openings every year across Europe; it's not an automatic 'in' to anything, though it does make you competitive for what's available at the under-uni level, particularly in core subjects.

MA is more useful if you want to teach at university level and or adult learners.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12512
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Student loans are for first degrees. I do not think you will get one for a postgrad MA.
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