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Seoul Unis hiring English instructors with no MA in Mar
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katith



Joined: 22 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Seoul Unis hiring English instructors with no MA in Mar Reply with quote

I understand that there's a new law coming into effect for March which will make it harder for people without an MA to get a university job.

That said, is it still a possibility to get a job without one? (however distant?)

Words of advice for finding one if so?
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all about connections, end of story. If you meet someone who works at a university, talk them up.
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withnail



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Location: Seoul, South Korea.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These days, the prospect of getting a university language teaching job in Seoul without a Master's degree seems to be receding apace. It's almost not an issue any more. The issue is more about how much university teaching experience these MA holding candidates have, how well they interview and of course, as always, who is recommending them.

However as far as job ads go, we are still, even in Seoul, seeing phrases like this:

"BA plus three years' university teaching experience or MA plus one year's university teaching experience."

Here is one right here from the current job list: http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/korea/index.cgi?read=55056

This would suggest there is still hope. Additionally, Korean Faculty have always been smitten by candidates with first degrees from elite schools despite how unimpressed the foreign faculty may be with that person's lack of TESOL credentials. There are also numerous stories on these pages of those who have profited from successful candidates dropping out when they've had a better offer from elsewhere - sufficient to suggest that BA holders still have hope.

We are still seeing phrases like the one above in job ads. A survey of the jobs on Dave's Korean Job board will confirm this although admittedly most are outside Seoul.

With the increase of the availability of distance MAs though, whether a university ever needs to look down their list of applicants that far looks increasingly unlikely, because it's clear that they gain benefits from employing Masters holders that they do not gain from hiring BAs. (ranking points / financial incentives etc.)

However, someone with a Bachelor's degree with no university teaching experience (or very little) and without a good personal connection to the target university would seem to have very little hope in Seoul.


Last edited by withnail on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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diver



Joined: 16 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://chronicle.com/article/After-Decades-of-Expansion/129896/

What this means is, if you can get a uni job without an MA, I would think about doing an MA if you want to keep that job. That is if you plan to stay here and make ELT your career. If you only want to get in for a year or two and then get out, you might be okay.

I haven't seen it printed anywhere, and this is just my own personal opinion, but I get the feeling that those working at unis without MAs may soon face the prospect of not being renewed, no matter how well they teach. I am not trying to be a fear monger, that's the way I see things going.

As for contacts, they always help but they won't get you into our school (for example) without an MA. What's more, our school has started to require MAs in related fields, so I see things getting tougher, not easier.

Good luck though, it is still possible.
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Swampfox10mm



Joined: 24 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it means anything, our school has at least 4 long-timers on staff with more than 5 years of experience just at this one school (I have 7). Some have prior experience at other universities. We are a smallish private school.

A few of us are studying other things, or making plans for the major changes taking place in the next 5 years. My office partner, for example is finishing a few more credits toward an accounting major. He is planning on changing to that field back home, if necessary.

I'm still mulling over what I plan to do. In a few years, I might have to separate from my family and attempt to find a job back home. My wife and daughter would stay here while I gain a foothold in the USA -- not sure my wife will go for this, but we'll see.

If you think this industry will be able to support many of us in the next 5 to 10 years, you're in for a big shock -- MA with experience, or not. Make no mistake about it, I fear teaching in Korea is on a growing downward trend, and will be into a full-on nosedive within 5 years (if not four).
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swamp is right about the ESL industry changing.

It may not nosedive. I think it will just change into a more focused industry. Qualified Teachers with experience will be able to find work but this may become more competitive (along the lines of the Japan market).

If you wish to make a career of English teaching in Korea, better stay ahead of the curve! Upgrade your qualifications by getting certified-liscenced or by getting a TESL-related MA (or both). Networking is a must as that keeps you up to date with new employment opportunities.

Sittting on that B.A. will eventually leave you out in the cold.
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Swampfox10mm



Joined: 24 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Focused retraction of the industry for the next 4 to 5 years is my guess. After that, I can see it dropping off quickly. I wonder if Korea will be more interested in young, cheap, and pretty teachers by then, or more experienced?
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thebektionary



Joined: 11 May 2011

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call me crazy, but I sent out a tight and very professional application package to every university, college, and seminary in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do (urban). I don't have a Masters. I have two years of experience and an in-house dual TEFL/TESOL. I am what Koreans consider attractive (not being conceited or bragging, just stating that I thought it would be to my advantage). I got a professional photo done, sent all these extra documents to make me look good, did a teaching demo video...

I sent the package out to over 100 schools. I did this because I thought that I had nothing to lose by doing it and because I know someone who did the same thing and got a job at a college. I also knew a few other university teachers who just have a B.A.

Times have changed, apparently, because out of the 100+ applications I sent out, I haven't gotten any interviews. What I have gotten has been about 4 calls and 2 emails from schools who all say the same thing:

"We looked at your application and it's really impressive. Everything looks great and it shows that you worked really hard on it. We would've really liked to call you in for an interview, but we don't hire anyone without a Masters degree. If you get a Masters and you're still in Korea when you finish, please apply to us again."

This leads me to believe that I am a viable candidate, I am just lacking one credential they need which is a higher degree.

After going through all that and getting all those calls and emails, I decided to just forget about universities, get my teaching license and a Masters, and go the route of international schools.

Good luck in whatever you do!
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Stan Rogers



Joined: 20 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swampfox10mm wrote:
Focused retraction of the industry for the next 4 to 5 years is my guess. After that, I can see it dropping off quickly. I wonder if Korea will be more interested in young, cheap, and pretty teachers by then, or more experienced?


There have been people on this site for many years saying the end of ESL is near. It never happened.
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I'm With You



Joined: 01 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swampfox10mm wrote:
If you think this industry will be able to support many of us in the next 5 to 10 years, you're in for a big shock -- MA with experience, or not.

Make no mistake about it, I fear teaching in Korea is on a growing downward trend, and will be into a full-on nosedive within 5 years (if not four).


You're smart to be looking at it like this. Taiwan and Japan have already reached this point. That, combined with a more culturally inward-looking youth, doesn't speak well for the English teaching profession in those countries. Korea isn't there yet, but it's just a matter of time.

But after nearly 10 years of university teaching experience and a master's in TESOL, what are you going to do back home? I keep hearing how the transition is not always pretty.
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I'm With You



Joined: 01 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stan Rogers wrote:
Swampfox10mm wrote:
Focused retraction of the industry for the next 4 to 5 years is my guess. After that, I can see it dropping off quickly. I wonder if Korea will be more interested in young, cheap, and pretty teachers by then, or more experienced?


There have been people on this site for many years saying the end of ESL is near. It never happened.


It will change, though. I've seen some pretty big changes just over the last 5 years. It's remarkable how much things have tightened up with the criminal record checks, notarization of documents, falling salaries, fewer positions and all the while increased competition. More Filipinos, who are qualified educators, are also coming onto the scene and working for 1/2 the salaries of native speaking teachers.

The other shoe is going to drop here, it's just a matter of when. 5 years will see even more big changes occur in Korean TEFL. I suspect that it'll be less of a free-for-all for Canadian backpackers and others hoping to come over unqualified and inexperienced to earn some quick cash.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swampfox10mm wrote:
Focused retraction of the industry for the next 4 to 5 years is my guess. After that, I can see it dropping off quickly. I wonder if Korea will be more interested in young, cheap, and pretty teachers by then, or more experienced?


I think the shift will be for more experienced teacher by then as the industry keeps maturing and changing (much like Japan's ESL industry).

As always, if you sit on your BA and do nothing, you will eventually be left out in the cold unless you wish to keep jumping onto the next BA hiring gravvy train country (China now, Vietnam perhaps).
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With You wrote:
Swampfox10mm wrote:
If you think this industry will be able to support many of us in the next 5 to 10 years, you're in for a big shock -- MA with experience, or not.

Make no mistake about it, I fear teaching in Korea is on a growing downward trend, and will be into a full-on nosedive within 5 years (if not four).


You're smart to be looking at it like this. Taiwan and Japan have already reached this point. That, combined with a more culturally inward-looking youth, doesn't speak well for the English teaching profession in those countries. Korea isn't there yet, but it's just a matter of time.

But after nearly 10 years of university teaching experience and a master's in TESOL, what are you going to do back home? I keep hearing how the transition is not always pretty.


The transition back home can be easy or a complete disaster depending on how a person planned and prepared for it. It is that simple, really, it is.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two friends, one Canadian and one American, who made the transition back to TESOL jobs in their respective countries. They are both heading up programs at university, one at a quite large university, and one at a smaller school.

They both had several years of progressive university level teaching experience, their MAs, and all the buzz-and-whistle certs (CELTA/DELTA/etc...).

I recently saw an ad on the Chronicle of Higher Education's jobs portal for just such a position. They want significant post MA overseas university teaching experience and some program development experience. That wasn't the first such position I've seen. There ARE jobs out there for ESLers who want to make a move back.

Many of my friends here, though, have locked in to pretty sweet university gigs and have no plans to move. These are the people who eveyone has to beat out when they go for top-tier jobs. In general, if they apply, they get the job. They're professional, they have invested in themselves, they have experience, and they have all their ducks in a row.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swampfox10mm wrote:
If it means anything, our school has at least 4 long-timers on staff with more than 5 years of experience just at this one school (I have 7). Some have prior experience at other universities. We are a smallish private school.

A few of us are studying other things, or making plans for the major changes taking place in the next 5 years. My office partner, for example is finishing a few more credits toward an accounting major. He is planning on changing to that field back home, if necessary.

I'm still mulling over what I plan to do. In a few years, I might have to separate from my family and attempt to find a job back home. My wife and daughter would stay here while I gain a foothold in the USA -- not sure my wife will go for this, but we'll see.

If you think this industry will be able to support many of us in the next 5 to 10 years, you're in for a big shock -- MA with experience, or not. Make no mistake about it, I fear teaching in Korea is on a growing downward trend, and will be into a full-on nosedive within 5 years (if not four).


Even if there are half as many positions in 5 years as there are now, it would still be a lot more than when I first came to Korea based on a quick comparison of the number of E2s issued in the '90s with the ones currently issued. With my credentials and experience, I have nothing to worry about.

Fact is, schools want MAs because it raises their ranking. As far as I know, that's the extent of it, it's got nothing to do with a new law. Instead of firing good teachers with BAs, your school's administration will most likely hire additional teachers with MAs since that will positively affects the teacher: student ratio, and thus their ranking. That's what mine is doing.
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