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Experiences of online MA TESOL
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eihpos



Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:50 am    Post subject: Experiences of online MA TESOL Reply with quote

I am seriously thinking of starting an online MA with a UK university (have an offer and trying to decide whether to accept) and am curious about other people's experiences throughout and after. I would like to have the qualification but have become apprehensive about the costs, commitment and workload on top of a full time job.

Was it doable while working full time or very stressful, and did it help in any way after in either securing better employment or otherwise? (I know online degrees are not accepted in the Middle East, but elsewhere)

Any stories or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10899
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Successful completion of a degree program online while working full time requires solid organization, research, and time management skills in addition to focus and commitment. Personally, it has never been a challenge for me; my previous work mimicked the skills and work ethic needed for online learning. (My legal background entailed writing, research, analyzing court documents, and revising contract language as well as communications via time-sensitive emails and instant messaging.)

If you're self-disciplined and well organized, you should be able manage your studies just fine, especially if you take one course at a time. But if you're unsure, I suggest completing a couple of MOOCs as hands-on practice to see if you can hack an online learning platform. (See MOOCs for professional development & more.)

That said, what are your career goals in terms of TESOL -- what do you expect to do professionally in the next 5+ years and where? That's your starting point. You may find that an MA TESOL isn't what you need.

Check out What do you look for in a BA or MA degree program.
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RedLightning



Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 99
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just recently completed an online MA (spring 17)

I took only one class during each of the first two semesters and did not find my stress levels added to at all- the same held true (more or less) when I began taking two classes/semester. However, I found it extraordinarily difficult to keep up with everything when I became a full time student (while working full time as well).

I returned stateside a couple of months back and landed a job at a nearby university.

If of interest, I've found online classes comparable to the traditional sort.
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eihpos



Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I reason I am considering it is because I want to continue teaching at university level (mainly) abroad, though the Middle East doesn't interest me really, hence doing the online option. I would like to avoid doing it at all if I could, to be honest, but I don't see how this will be possible, given the competition out there from those with MA degrees and PhD's in linguistics or TESOL.

I see many posts for jobs asking for MA TESOL on 'related' I actually have an MA in English lit, but I don't think that this is what they consider related! Or is it? Does any one have any idea how closely related they mean? Or does it depend on how many applicants they have?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10899
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eihpos wrote:
I see many posts for jobs asking for MA TESOL on 'related' I actually have an MA in English lit, but I don't think that this is what they consider related! Or is it? Does any one have any idea how closely related they mean? Or does it depend on how many applicants they have?

I'm not sure which job ads and countries you're referring to, but English lit usually isn't considered TESOL related. (Lit degrees also tend to be quite common among nationals.) However, it wouldn't hurt to apply with your E. lit degree and a CELTA, although a Delta would likely be a plus. It really depends on where you expect to teach.

and wrote:
I am considering [an MA TESOL] because I want to continue teaching at university level (mainly) abroad, though the Middle East doesn't interest me really, hence doing the online option. I would like to avoid doing it at all if I could, to be honest, but I don't see how this will be possible, given the competition out there from those with MA degrees and PhD's in linguistics or TESOL.

If you do decide to pursue another MA, consider something like Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in eLearning. It will help you stand out and give you more employment options when you eventually return home. You need to be thinking about job prospects outside of teaching English if the market in your home country is experiencing more TESOL-degree holders than there are jobs.
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eihpos



Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I will try with my MA in lit and see what happens. At the moment I am thinking of better jobs in China, but in the future, perhaps Turkey, Kazakhstan or Korea. I am not sure yet, but my home country is unlikely to be an option whatever extra qualifications I do. I would really like to know if an MA TESOL will make any difference to having just an MA in English before actually doing it!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10899
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eihpos wrote:
I would really like to know if an MA TESOL will make any difference to having just an MA in English before actually doing it!

It's hard to determine what your career expectations are. Are you looking for more money? Flexible hours? A certain lifestyle? A special role/position?

I suggest you check out university job ads in your target countries to see what's available for (online) MA TESOL holders. In addition to Googling TEFL university jobs [country name], sites like TESOL.org and HigherEdJobs are a good start.
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Kowloon



Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did an MEd Applied Linguistics a few years back.

Glad I did it, helped me get the job I have now, and I learned a lot (mainly about myself and what I'm capable of). However, for me personally I wouldn't do online again. Currently working on a PGDE at HKU oncampus and I love the real life interaction, feel like I am getting a higher standard of education, and am more motivated which is reflected in my grades.
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sammysez



Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most employers including universities will no longer accept online degrees. Please take note of that.
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eihpos



Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure? I know they the don't accept them in the UAE. However, I thought that now other countries accept online degrees, especially from well known universities. Many claim to be exact same an on campus in terms of teaching and content, and don't indicate that they are online on the degree certificate. However, If I am wrong, then it will be definitely a waste of time!
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RedLightning



Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 99
Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sammysez wrote:
Most employers including universities will no longer accept online degrees. Please take note of that.

I have never heard of this occurring in the US/UK (or really anywhere outside of the Middle East). With that said, I don't doubt that there is a growing bias against entirely online institutes-that is to say, those without a brick and mortar basis.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10899
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sammysez wrote:
Most employers including universities will no longer accept online degrees.

"Most" employers throughout the world? That's a major generalization; you've provided no evidence to support that statement.
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sammysez



Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know online degrees are not accepted in the Middle East. That job market would then not be available for an online degree holder.

Teachers in other continents please offer your advice here.

Also: The first article states growing acceptance in the USA for online degrees:
https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-02-05/4-questions-employers-ask-about-job-applicants-with-online-degrees

but it does state this:
"Only a few years ago, in 2009, a literature review by Cleveland State University found that human resource managers, executives and other gatekeepers had negative perceptions of online degrees. Some recruiters blame the stigma on the last decade’s "diploma mills" – online, unaccredited programs known for offering a degree to anyone with a full wallet.."
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10899
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sammysez wrote:
I know online degrees are not accepted in the Middle East. That job market would then not be available for an online degree holder.
....
Also: The first article states growing acceptance in the USA for online degrees...

Thanks for clarifying. However, that article doesn't relate to the OP -- she's not a US citizen. Plus, you're parroting what's already been stated in this thread about the Mid East, including by the OP herself. She also clearly stated that she's not interested in the ME.

eihpos wrote:
At the moment I am thinking of better jobs in China, but in the future, perhaps Turkey, Kazakhstan or Korea. I am not sure yet, but my home country is unlikely to be an option whatever extra qualifications I do.

I suggest checking out those specific countries to see if an online degree meets the visa/employment requirements. However, regs can and do change; there's no guarantee that what's accepted today will still be the case a year or two from now.
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 733

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RedLightning wrote:
sammysez wrote:
Most employers including universities will no longer accept online degrees. Please take note of that.

I have never heard of this occurring in the US/UK (or really anywhere outside of the Middle East). With that said, I don't doubt that there is a growing bias against entirely online institutes-that is to say, those without a brick and mortar basis.


While I would not say that "most employers" in the US do not accept online degrees, there is a definite bias against them in university hiring. It may be unspoken, and not the official policy, but it still exists.

As RedLightning suggested, there is a perceived difference between an online degree from a bricks and mortar school, and one from an entirely online institution.

.
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