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Qualifications!
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maggietulliver



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:53 am    Post subject: Qualifications! Reply with quote

I posted some time ago re: qualifications and was met with the following info:

Japan universities will only (mainly) accept Master degree holders who have written/published a research paper.

I am a little (lot) concerned, as I did a coursework MA (in TESOL) and would like to work at a university in Japan.

Anyone have any further insight/advice or info about this??

Many thanks!
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1906
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether you have a coursework or research oriented degree makes no difference whatsoever (unless, of course, you want to do a PhD, but that's totally unrelated to your post).

When they say they want publications, they mean exactly that. Published essays / articles in peer-reviewed TESOL qualifications (for example, the JALT Journal). And they usually say they want at least THREE of these publications.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Specifically, what do you want to know? The FAQ stickies have a lot of links to information about getting hired at universities here. I strongly suggest that you read those first, if you haven't already.

Do unis want people with master's degrees? Yes, as a minimum. (I have no idea what GambateBBB meant by his remark.)
Do they want people with publications? Absolutely. Just look at the JRECIN web site to see qualifications all over Japan.

Beyond that, I don't know what you want to know, or what your plans are in terms of timing and types of jobs, etc.
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aynnej



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 53
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure it's true that uni's want teachers who have masters degrees and publications, but I've known many teachers at the university level who fall short of those qualifications, especially the one regarding publications. However, they often weren't able to get great contracts initially. Usually, it was part time for one term only (maybe three months), and they often got the job through a referral. From what I understand, the hourly rate can be pretty good, but these short-term contracts often don't provide enough hours to equal an adequate salary.

I did have one friend who started out on a part time contract, got very positive reviews from his students and supervisors, and over time was able to get enough work to create a pretty good job for himself. Eikaiwa teachers and ALTs always ribbed him about his cush schedule and relatively high salary, but in truth, it took him two to three to develop that.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 762
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Qualifications! Reply with quote

maggietulliver wrote:
I posted some time ago re: qualifications and was met with the following info:

Japan universities will only (mainly) accept Master degree holders who have written/published a research paper.

I am a little (lot) concerned, as I did a coursework MA (in TESOL) and would like to work at a university in Japan.

Anyone have any further insight/advice or info about this??

Many thanks!

All you can do is apply. Most university positions in Japan receive 100s of applications/resumes for every opening, so you'll be competing directly with people who actually do have all the qualifications that they ask for.

That being said, there are the occassional university/college that really wants someone at the beginning of their career. Usually for lower pay, more teaching hours, almost non-existant research budget to attend conferences, etc. Not common at all, but they do exist.

So, it's not completely 100% impossible, but....main point. Try and apply, but don't get too disappointed with the rejections in the process.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aynnej wrote:
I'm sure it's true that uni's want teachers who have masters degrees and publications, but I've known many teachers at the university level who fall short of those qualifications, especially the one regarding publications. However, they often weren't able to get great contracts initially.
I am talking about full-time positions, and the vast majority require publications. Most uni teaching positions these days are probably part-time, and even those often (usually?) require pubs. Even if you are talking about FT jobs, those minority ones with lesser requirements are not what one would call the best schools or positions around, if you get my meaning.

Problem for the OP is, you can't get visa sponsorship with a PT job.

Quote:
Usually, it was part time for one term only (maybe three months), and they often got the job through a referral.
This sounds like a Westgate Corp. position, not a direct hire uni job.

Tiger Beer wrote:
All you can do is apply. Most university positions in Japan receive 100s of applications/resumes for every opening, so you'll be competing directly with people who actually do have all the qualifications that they ask for.
And who are already here, whether with a visa or PR in hand.
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Inflames



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IME for part-time positions publications usually aren't required.

One additional thing to note is that having reasonable (JLPT level 2) or (preferably) advanced (JLPT level 1) Japanese is something universities seem to be looking for. They want people who can understand all the messages and attend meetings in Japanese. They would prefer to avoid people like my colleague, who didn't understand the e-mail telling him that the name on the bank account didn't match the name he gave (so I had to call them and talk to them for him!).
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 905

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inflames wrote:
IME for part-time positions publications usually aren't required.

One additional thing to note is that having reasonable (JLPT level 2) or (preferably) advanced (JLPT level 1) Japanese is something universities seem to be looking for. They want people who can understand all the messages and attend meetings in Japanese. They would prefer to avoid people like my colleague, who didn't understand the e-mail telling him that the name on the bank account didn't match the name he gave (so I had to call them and talk to them for him!).


It must depend on the University. I wasn't even asked about my (non-existent) Japanese abilities, but I was required to have publications, and had to send reprints of them. All our communication is, and was, in English,
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Nagoyaguy



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 412
Location: Aichi, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, the most important things to get a uni job are;

a/ a Masters in anything, preferably Education related
b/ connections

Both are crucial. You want to avoid the "cattle call" job advertisements at all costs, or you will be spending large amounts of money/time sending your materials around. It's far better to choose your work location, go there, and get a job. Any job is OK, even an eikaiwa or ALT position. Start to get to know people in professional organizations like JALT or JACET. Attend local conferences and meetings. Attend annual conferences. Get noticed.

Once you get into the system, things get a lot easier. Most universities really don't want to advertise for jobs, it's a pain for them. They would rather have current staff members recommend candidates.

The salary is pretty good. For part-timers around here, the pay starts at 25,000 per koma and goes up to about 40,000. If you don't know what a "koma" is, it means one 90 minute class, taught once a week. The salary is most often paid 12 months a year, even though there are only 30 weeks of classes. One koma would be, for example, teaching Monday 1st period (9:10-10:40). Many part timers work 12 or more koma, plus other gigs on the side. It's a decent living with long holidays and time to travel.
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aynnej



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 53
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what Nagoyaguy said --

Quote:

IMHO, the most important things to get a uni job are;

a/ a Masters in anything, preferably Education related
b/ connections



and

Quote:

Once you get into the system, things get a lot easier. Most universities really don't want to advertise for jobs, it's a pain for them. They would rather have current staff members recommend candidates.


are absolutely true. My friends who have uni jobs got them through who they knew. I haven't met anyone who came to Japan to teach English on a work visa sponsored by a uni. I did meet a scholar who came here for a year on his sabbatical, but he had a PhD, was here to study Japanese theater (not teach English), had very good Japanese, and was on a different level altogether.

Disclaimer here, though. I don't have direct experience in this matter. This is all just what I've heard from my friends. I did teach a conversation class at a uni for a year but it was only contract work through an eikaiwa.

As far as the OP is concerned, think it would be best for he/she to be aware that getting visa sponsorship and full time work at a uni right away might be difficult. Might have to start with eikaiwa/ALT work in order to get over here. The only other avenue might be if his/her current uni has an established relationship with a Japanese university. If he/she has a job there (as a T.A., research assistant, etc.) and can get good recommendations, perhaps there are internal job postings for work in Japan. I think the odds of getting a good uni job in that situation (if it exists for him/her) are much, much higher than just "playing the field," so to speak.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Once you get into the system, things get a lot easier.

What does it mean? I've been teaching uni FT for about 7 years, now, and nothing is easier in terms of job hunting. Please clarify.

As mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of applicants for each job sometimes. The trend is to hire part-time people, because the uni doesn't have to shell out for pension and insurance and unemployment, let alone make office space and provide a research budget. Three-year contracts, renewed maybe once, are the norm for FTers.

So, when you say "Most universities really don't want to advertise for jobs, it's a pain for them," bear in mind that they are obligated by school policy or something to advertise, even if they hire from within. That is, they must go through the motions of advertising, taking in applications, interviewing, etc. Yeah, it's a pain, and you'd think they would actually keep the good teachers instead of passing them along after a 3-year contract is up, but that's not how things work here.

Yes, contacts are important, but the OP probably doesn't have any. Physically being in Japan is also helpful, but is that an option for the OP? This is the early stage of hiring for next spring; from now to November you will see more and more ads cropping up. Read those FAQ links to see what people recommend for job hunting.
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maggietulliver



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your advice.

I would ideally like a (part-time, if needs be) position at a univerity, but I am content to start at the bottom and work my way up...

I do not have connections in Japan - and this is what worries me. I do, however, have 4 degrees ( two of which are in Education at post-grad level) and have had experience teaching at colleges in Australia.

I suppose with an MA in Ed that teaching at collges in Japan is probably the best way to go...
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Mr_Monkey



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 661
Location: Kyuuuuuushuuuuuuu

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nagoyaguy wrote:
The salary is pretty good. For part-timers around here, the pay starts at 25,000 per koma and goes up to about 40,000. If you don't know what a "koma" is, it means one 90 minute class, taught once a week... Many part timers work 12 or more koma, plus other gigs on the side.
Can I just clarify this - are you saying that where you live, part-time university teachers doing 12 koma/week are earning between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000/month over 7 months?
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie,
You are still in Australia, right? That means you currently do not have a work visa or any other type for Japan. That further means you will not get a PT university job or any other PT job. They are not allowed to sponsor work visas.
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maggietulliver



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh.


Excellent.


**crushed** Sad
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