Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Korean Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

State of the ESL economy: Is the party over?
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Job-related Discussion Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Voyeur



Joined: 19 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject: State of the ESL economy: Is the party over? Reply with quote

Hardly the first time it has been asked ofc.

Just curious how we see things. Currently, seems to be an employer's market. Unemployment in West has many applicants - maybe too many - flooding the market. You have a hyper competitive ESL industry that is colluding to some degree to keep salaries down and hours up. Schools are asking for more and more work. Salaries seem to be stagnant, barely up from 5 years ago.

At this point, I'm feeling that ESL in Korea is suiatble for maybe three groups:

a) classic person who just graduated and is in for 1 year to save some money and have an adventure

b) professional ESL teacher who has a passion for the job and is actively getting more and more credentials

c) someone who was fired and wasn't prepared to lose their salary for even a few months. So they are in a jam and need a quick job at any salary for a year so they can stay above water, get sorted so they can then go back home with a bit more wiggle room for job seeking.

Other than that, I'm not sure it is really a good idea to be here any more.

But really, I don't have any firm opinions. Just observations and musings.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
xingyiman



Joined: 12 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: State of the ESL economy: Is the party over? Reply with quote

Voyeur wrote:
Hardly the first time it has been asked ofc.

Just curious how we see things. Currently, seems to be an employer's market. Unemployment in West has many applicants - maybe too many - flooding the market. You have a hyper competitive ESL industry that is colluding to some degree to keep salaries down and hours up. Schools are asking for more and more work. Salaries seem to be stagnant, barely up from 5 years ago.

At this point, I'm feeling that ESL in Korea is suiatble for maybe three groups:

a) classic person who just graduated and is in for 1 year to save some money and have an adventure

b) professional ESL teacher who has a passion for the job and is actively getting more and more credentials

c) someone who was fired and wasn't prepared to lose their salary for even a few months. So they are in a jam and need a quick job at any salary for a year so they can stay above water, get sorted so they can then go back home with a bit more wiggle room for job seeking.

Other than that, I'm not sure it is really a good idea to be here any more.

But really, I don't have any firm opinions. Just observations and musings.


I wouldn't say the party is over for us as much as it is for people back in our own countries. An ESL teacher with a few years of experience will always be able to land a job. It's the newbies who will suffer the most.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
andrewchon



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Location: In my goshiwon cubicle. Seeking moksha.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

employer's market=no party for us
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youtuber



Joined: 13 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the fact that wages have not risen at all in 5 years is a major indication of where the ESL market is headed. Wages were stagnant long before the recession.
Teachers in Canada continually get raises about every 2 years due to cost of living increases and to stay competitive with other professions. They are focused on retainment and development of teachers.

I think the best thing to do is just hop from country to country. It seems obvious that the market here does not value our development or retention. So why should we be so loyal?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
some waygug-in



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose it depends on what kind of job you are talking about, university, public school, hagwan. But personally I couldn't understand this part of your post:

b) professional ESL teacher who has a passion for the job and is actively getting more and more credentials


Someone who is passionate about their job would find teaching here a most dismal disappointment in most cases. ( but not always)

ESL is not the most professional industry worldwide, but particularly in Asia it is a lot of smoke and mirrors and no substance.

One other thing of note, there has been a recent surge of ads for Korean ESL jobs, so I guess a lot of people are NOT renewing their contracts.

Laughing NO surprise there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bassexpander



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Location: Someplace you'd rather be.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wages have not moved up, on average, since I arrived in 2002. The only reason my wages have increased is because I gained more experience and got better jobs -- oh, and getting married to a Korean can have benefits for those who work PT all over the place, I suppose. Hours have increased for hagwons, from what I have seen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
xCustomx



Joined: 06 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bassexpander wrote:
Wages have not moved up, on average, since I arrived in 2002.


If people are still willing to accept salaries of 1.8-2.1 then why would an employer pay more? Anyone that has been here for more than one or two years should be making at least 2.4 in my opinion (legal or not)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Unposter



Joined: 04 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience here, this has always been the case. Starting wages fluctuate with the changes in the economy. But, employers rarely paid more than 100,000 won per month for renewing a contract. And, very few if any employers paid for experience. "Lifers" and "long termers" who changed jobs almost always started over unless changed careers or "moved up" in the ESL/EFL hierarchy.

Even in '96 and the beginning of '97, I heard stories about the ESL/EFL market in Korea being flooded. The Asian Economic Crisis of '97 cleared things out but it has been a fairly steady rise ever since.

From my perspective, this has been the way it always has been - full of ups and downs. But, like I said earlier, hakwons and public schools never considered you long term employees, never invested in your long term training, never seriously thought about raising wages to increase retention and qualifications. It has always been a year and out, maybe two year game.

IMHO, and as always, you can take it for whatever it is worth, is that the only people who really benefited from ESL/EFL in Korea, are those that were successfull at making connections and not necessarily playing by the rules. As for what that means, I will leave it to your imagination and logical reasoning.

But, once again, in my opinion, it has always been this way. There is no "official" future in ESL/EFL in Korea and there never has been one. It is great for a year or two but much more and well you are looking at diminishing returns.

I would say Korea is best for those who do not expect a lot.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
youtuber



Joined: 13 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
are those that were successfull at making connections and not necessarily playing by the rules.


Yup. This is where the most money is to be made.

However, if you break the rules, don't expect to be treated "fairly" by Koreans.

If you do break the rules, you need to accept the unfair consequences.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ardis



Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The party isn't over, considering most people my age are still working dead end jobs back home and barely have any money for excess pleasures once they are finished paying their home, car, and gas bills. I have a lot of friends with good qualifications in their fields that have been fired just because their companies can't afford them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bassexpander



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Location: Someplace you'd rather be.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working ESL in Korea only seems like a lot of money to newbees because they get a tiny paid apartment with no rent, have no car payment, etc. If I lived like that back in the USA, I could have saved a lot of money, too.

Once you're here for a while, start a family, want your own home, car, etc., you begin to realize that the typical ESL job is hardly a "party."

And I will ignore the "Oh, you don't need a car" lecture. Most Koreans seem to consider it a requirement. Our wages are being compared to theirs, because we live here. It's also difficult to believe any figures on "average income" in this country, because as we all know, income is widely under-reported so that taxes can be avoided.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
xingyiman



Joined: 12 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bassexpander wrote:
Working ESL in Korea only seems like a lot of money to newbees because they get a tiny paid apartment with no rent, have no car payment, etc. If I lived like that back in the USA, I could have saved a lot of money, too.

Once you're here for a while, start a family, want your own home, car, etc., you begin to realize that the typical ESL job is hardly a "party."

And I will ignore the "Oh, you don't need a car" lecture. Most Koreans seem to consider it a requirement. Our wages are being compared to theirs, because we live here. It's also difficult to believe any figures on "average income" in this country, because as we all know, income is widely under-reported so that taxes can be avoided.


All I know bassexpander is that back home over the course of 4 years in one of those
great jobs" I only broke even. That was when I didn't have to borrow money off my relatives to cover unforseen medical charges, new tires, etc..... Here I save nearly 1G a month.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Clockout



Joined: 23 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you think about people with 1+ years experience?

Is there any security in renewing or finding a new job?

Or should we always be prepared to move on?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shifter2009



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Location: wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*looks around* No Asmith post? I thought a thread like this was like saying Beatlejuice 3 times for him....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dharma_Blue



Joined: 11 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ardis wrote:
The party isn't over, considering most people my age are still working dead end jobs back home and barely have any money for excess pleasures once they are finished paying their home, car, and gas bills. I have a lot of friends with good qualifications in their fields that have been fired just because their companies can't afford them.


Depending on how you define "dead end job" you could also argue that many, if not most, EFL jobs in Korea are dead end in the long-term..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Job-related Discussion Forum All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 1 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2013 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International