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University Professors: what did you do after leaving Korea?
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Threequalseven



Joined: 08 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I was a pharmacist in rural China practicing traditional Chinese medicine, does that qualify me to work in the United States? No. However, does that mean I've been living a lie my whole life and I wasn't actually a pharmacist? No. Any sensible employer would take your country of employment into account. If you just have a BA on your resume and you state that you were a teacher or professor or whatever, I think they'd put two and two together.

Anyway, I think this has little to do with what the OP was actually asking. I think we was mainly concerned about what jobs people back home ended up with, so he doesn't go home and end up delivering pizzas or something.
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watergirl



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Location: Ansan, south korea

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:30 am    Post subject: .. Reply with quote

Well I had a job working in a college here and my official title was professor as well. True though, I felt uncomfortable using that title when describing my job, but I think I put it on my resume because that is the official title and if employers are checking your resume, then they need that.
Definitely, it's a bit of a joke, but I do think work experience in a college does require some professionalism and level or standard of work that is higher than a hakwon. I had to make exams and scale them and really was in charge of the curriculum for my classes.

By the way, I'm surprised at the public school teachers here that seem to always feel that their job is 'real' teaching compared to hakwons. From what I've seen, and I'm not saying this applies to everyone, more often than not, you really are more of an assistant in public schools, whereas in hakwons, you run the class on your own from start to finish, make all the tests, and do report cards. This isn't required by public school teachers.
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creeper1



Joined: 30 Jan 2007

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject: there Reply with quote

Yeah. Go home. Employers are falling over themselves to employ professors of ESL. With such a lofty title a job as a CEO of a major multinational is quite possible. The world is your oyster and tons of oportunity await you.



REALITY CHECK



go back. Start from scratch. Figure out what you want to do. Study to get required qualifications. This can even go back to high school level.

6 years later you are qualified for your new proper job and profession.

You fail to get a job because the West is economically finished with every good job having around 200 applicants for it.

Hope you understand my analysis. Wink
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I'm With You



Joined: 01 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: .. Reply with quote

watergirl wrote:
Well I had a job working in a college here and my official title was professor as well.

Korea is an Alice in Wonderland kind of place. But, if anyone here truly believes that they "officially" hold the rank of full professor at a Korean university, they've completely lost touch with reality. It demonstrates total ignorance of their real status here and how they are truly regarded by the schools and Koreans that hire them.


Last edited by I'm With You on Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Malislamusrex



Joined: 01 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got 6 years of experience teaching my subject (which isn't English), and credentials The only reason I might call myself an Assistant Professor is because it is my job title, in the end I'll probably just write lecturer. In some countries a Professor is an official title like Doctor.

To answer the OP's question, I'd say everyone here has a get out strategy. Do a professional qualification in your specific field, start from scratch, only you know what field you are employable in and what level you are at.
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Hootsmon



Joined: 22 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malislamusrex wrote:
I've got 6 years of experience teaching my subject (which isn't English), and credentials The only reason I might call myself an Assistant Professor is because it is my job title, in the end I'll probably just write lecturer. In some countries a Professor is an official title like Doctor.


Yeah, this is what I always wonder about. Some people say things like "Even if your job title is Professor in Korea, it wouldn't be that in America, so you're not a professor". However, people who are called Professor in America wouldn't be called Professor in the UK, where as the above poster said, it's a title granted like "Dr." and only given to the top academics. In the entire School of English at my university, I think only one or two of the lecturers were known as "Prof. Whoever" rather than "Dr. Whoever".

It's all relative. My job title in my contract, and on the business cards the university gave me, and on my E-1 Visa, is Professor (교수). I don't describe myself as that when I'm home in the UK, and I wouldn't write that on my CV if I was applying for a job in the UK. I would just say lecturer or teacher probably. However, I do call myself that when Koreans ask what my job is, and I do have that on my CV when applying for jobs here. Mind you, when speaking to Koreans here, I do make the point that I'm not a tenured or "real" Professor, so I do make some kind of distinction.

I don't know why people are so keen to jump on anyone who dares to say their position is "Professor" when that's what their contract says, just because in their home country things are done differently. As someone else said, could you call yourself a teacher in your home country without a teaching qualification?

Also, people shouldn't be so quick to tar everyone with the same brush. I know public school teachers who are little more than classroom assistants, and I know public school teachers who are dedicated educators and well-respected in their field, to the extent they are invited to present at conferences and meet education officials from other countries. I know uni teachers who do little more than turn up and teach out of whatever book they're told to do, and I know uni teachers, like myself, who prepare the full syllabus for content courses that are every part as valuable as any taught by a Korean teacher. There are bigger things to worry about, and a lot more to a job, than job titles.

As for the OP's question...I think everyone has made the very valid point that it's all about qualifications. Think about what you want to do when you return home and start taking steps. One guy I know has, since getting a job at a uni, finished one post-grad qualification and is almost finished on another. Some guys I know are studying part-time in Korea, some are studying by long-distance, others have left Korea to do full-time studies and then returned here to get a better job. I myself am working on a long-distance post-grad qualification with a view to applying for a PhD outside of Korea later. Think about what you might want to do, think about what you would need to do it, and start working towards it - that's my advice!
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Guajiro



Joined: 04 Dec 2008

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malislamusrex wrote:
I've got 6 years of experience teaching my subject (which isn't English), and credentials The only reason I might call myself an Assistant Professor is because it is my job title, in the end I'll probably just write lecturer. In some countries a Professor is an official title like Doctor.

To answer the OP's question, I'd say everyone here has a get out strategy. Do a professional qualification in your specific field, start from scratch, only you know what field you are employable in and what level you are at.


Here's a radical suggestion - teach ESL.

I know a few former Korean university instructors who got jobs teaching ESL at private language academies in their home countries. Different schools require different qualifications. Research what is required for the type of school you may want to teach in and get that.

Food for thought...
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Malislamusrex



Joined: 01 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are quoting me here, I do teach one ESL class and have 2-3 years ESL teaching experience. The specialist subject I teach I have 6 years experience and 1 years experience teaching. I'm much more valuable to the university teaching my specialist subject and when I do my PhD in this skill becomes highly valuable. ESL just adds versatility.

Guajiro wrote:
Malislamusrex wrote:
I've got 6 years of experience teaching my subject (which isn't English), and credentials The only reason I might call myself an Assistant Professor is because it is my job title, in the end I'll probably just write lecturer. In some countries a Professor is an official title like Doctor.

To answer the OP's question, I'd say everyone here has a get out strategy. Do a professional qualification in your specific field, start from scratch, only you know what field you are employable in and what level you are at.


Here's a radical suggestion - teach ESL.

I know a few former Korean university instructors who got jobs teaching ESL at private language academies in their home countries. Different schools require different qualifications. Research what is required for the type of school you may want to teach in and get that.

Food for thought...
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cheolsu



Joined: 16 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he meant continuing to teach ESL back home, not just here. That's one option I've considered, though it would be more along the lines of working in administration at language schools or career colleges that offer those programs, as well as in admissions counseling. I saw one job ad that would be a good transition for anyone who has worked in test prep or maybe a foreign language/private high school, with a preference for English-Chinese bilinguals with experience in the field. Along with admissions counseling, ESL administration, anything that capitalizes on the large market of foreign students (particularly Chinese) going to North American schools is an option, I feel.

I'd like to throw out my plan again for anyone who'd like to tell me how plausible it is. I'm going to finish an MA in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on ESL. I chose the ESL focus because it would be marketable here, though I realize that an adult education focus would be very marketable back home. With this MA, would there be added value in an adult education certificate? Many jobs say that they would like to see a certificate in adult education. Would my MA not be sufficient, or would it actually be worth it to be able to say I have a specific qualification for adult education? I just answered my own question, I suppose. What about a professional designation in training or development(http://www.cstd.site-ym.com)? Would it be interchangeable with the certificate or would there actually be any added value with a credential equal to the certificate?

I see a lot of job ads for corporate training or education that frequently require technical knowledge, be it business, finance or some technical skill, though often what they're looking for is experience in instruction and development. How competitive would it be to have the MA, the certificate and, say, 7-8 years of experience (3-4 at the university level)? Am I grasping or would I actually have a shot?
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Threequalseven



Joined: 08 May 2012

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or, if the economy is really bad when you get home, start collecting aluminum cans and build an earthship.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@mailisiamusrix

Experience is great and would count toward getting your foot in the door if it came down to you and someone else with their doctorate and very limited experience. For the most part, though, the only experience counted professionally is that gained after the Ph.D. Is in hand. For initial jobs at the Assistant or adjunct level, teaching you do while in the doctoral program counts. If you're planning on working at a community college, they'll look more favorably at the experience you have teaching in a discipline with just the MA.

Jobs in academe, especially tenure track slots, are increasingly tougher to come by, so the competition is pretty tough. Just something to keep in mind. I've known a bunch of people over the years who count on the completed Ph.D. Being their ticket to the big leagues. Truth be told, it's only the first step.

You'll need to get SCI/SSCI publications out there quickly, and get professionally involved ASAP to even have a shot at an interview. Even then,
WHAT you research can have an impact on your chances at a tenure track slot. Departments don't want redundancy, so if they already have a professor on staff engaging a similar research stream, or if they don't think your research would not enable you to cover sufficient breadth to recruit and successfully bring grad and doctoral students through the program, forget it.

Sometimes things can roll your way, though. I was fortunate enough to roll right into a tenure track slot as soon as I wrapped up so I didn't have to bother with a post doc. I had great guidance, though, which counts for a LOT, so I hit the ground running with consistent publications on 'big research topics' and my degree is considered 'difficult' in that the work is predominantly quantitative. I also graduated from a top 5 program in my discipline, and that never hurts. My cousin, on the other hand, did his Ed.D. At a smaller, local college in education and even after 4 years has yet to break out of adjunctville.

Choose your discipline and your program wisely and attack the process
professionally and you can make it. One buddy of mine is doing his doctorate in TESOL at UBC, and he's pretty confident that he'll have opportunities. Roll the dice? There have been multiple articles in the Chronical of Higher Education about job prospects for Doctorate holders, even one about all the grads with humanities Ph.D.s on food stamps!
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Malislamusrex



Joined: 01 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everything you said. The dean is getting me into one of the top PhD courses for next year. Like you said, it's just the first step. But considering there is a prof twice my age in my department, they still aren't demanding published research yet. But it has been mentioned it IS a part of my job.

One thing about tenure... it depends on a few things. The head of my department tried to get me a tenured position, but admin had a review and said no. The bottom line is student power, if they love you and you teach something valuable, the head knows and he will try and keep you. You will just have to get qualified (PhD and a few journals) so admin can't refuse the head of your department.

PRagic wrote:
@mailisiamusrix

Experience is great and would count toward getting your foot in the door if it came down to you and someone else with their doctorate and very limited experience. For the most part, though, the only experience counted professionally is that gained after the Ph.D. Is in hand. For initial jobs at the Assistant or adjunct level, teaching you do while in the doctoral program counts. If you're planning on working at a community college, they'll look more favorably at the experience you have teaching in a discipline with just the MA.

Jobs in academe, especially tenure track slots, are increasingly tougher to come by, so the competition is pretty tough. Just something to keep in mind. I've known a bunch of people over the years who count on the completed Ph.D. Being their ticket to the big leagues. Truth be told, it's only the first step.

You'll need to get SCI/SSCI publications out there quickly, and get professionally involved ASAP to even have a shot at an interview. Even then,
WHAT you research can have an impact on your chances at a tenure track slot. Departments don't want redundancy, so if they already have a professor on staff engaging a similar research stream, or if they don't think your research would not enable you to cover sufficient breadth to recruit and successfully bring grad and doctoral students through the program, forget it.

Sometimes things can roll your way, though. I was fortunate enough to roll right into a tenure track slot as soon as I wrapped up so I didn't have to bother with a post doc. I had great guidance, though, which counts for a LOT, so I hit the ground running with consistent publications on 'big research topics' and my degree is considered 'difficult' in that the work is predominantly quantitative. I also graduated from a top 5 program in my discipline, and that never hurts. My cousin, on the other hand, did his Ed.D. At a smaller, local college in education and even after 4 years has yet to break out of adjunctville.

Choose your discipline and your program wisely and attack the process
professionally and you can make it. One buddy of mine is doing his doctorate in TESOL at UBC, and he's pretty confident that he'll have opportunities. Roll the dice? There have been multiple articles in the Chronical of Higher Education about job prospects for Doctorate holders, even one about all the grads with humanities Ph.D.s on food stamps!
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must be a two year or very small college. At most major institutions your application for full tenure is also reviewed by outside peers. Without a good number of publications, and the requisite professional service, any application is automatically sunk.
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Malislamusrex



Joined: 01 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a big university, but there is a whole lot of politics going on here. What happened is that it was put forward by my university and automatically sunk. My department has some of the top Korean profs in the field. 'something' is going on between admin and my department. I don't ask and I don't care. I wasn't informed about anything until it was rejected.

PRagic wrote:
Must be a two year or very small college. At most major institutions your application for full tenure is also reviewed by outside peers. Without a good number of publications, and the requisite professional service, any application is automatically sunk.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, hard to believe they even put you up for tenure without the degree, publications, or service, unless they were just looking for a pissing contest with admin lol. That was doomed from the get-go, and they should have known that. Sounds more like they were putting you up to slide over into a tenure track position, and not actually for full tenure. You wouldn't have the requisite seniority to even go for that even if you did have your Ph.D. in hand.

When you do finish your Ph.D., they should at least be able to bring you on tenure track, then, and in the proper dicipline. They might be able to bring you on as a proper visiting assistant prof or visiting full time lecturer when you're ABD. You really can't be a visiting assistant prof unless you have your Ph.D., but administratively there are reasons they play fast and loose with that in English programs. That doesn't happen in other departments as far as I know. Can't. Don't know about your status, but sounds like they have you listed as an English instructor, which doesn't do much for the department in which you teach content. Would be nice to have that pay check when you're doing your dissertation. Once finished, you would improve the university's rankings, and if you're at a large school, that is considered pretty darn important.

At any rate, this whole discussion reminds me of an experience I had when I had first started my doctorate. I was in an office talking to someone whom I had assumed was a professor. He had an office, all the books, taught classes, did research...the whole 9 yards. So then I was telling one of the newly tenured professors that I had recently spoken to Professor such-n-such about something. Whoa! He's NOT a professor, I was informed. He was finishing up his Ph.D. dissertation. They told me that peope assumed that he was a professor because he was older, but that he was an instructor. 'Don't be overheard calling him 'professor',' I was told. People get pissed.

Why? Going from instructor to assistant professor is a major step. Then going to associate professor is an accomplishment, and each step of the way comes with new responsibilities. FULL professor, including tenure, is an achievement, that generally takes years to build up to. At least 20-30 SSCI publications and book chapters, countless conference and invited talks, and often even a book figure into the research end. Service to the university and dicipline are also weighed heavily, including teaching record, curricula development, committee work, and involvement with students (undergrad AND grad). Then there are the professional service activities.

So OP, hopefully you can at least now understand why you should avoid using the term 'professor' at all costs. If you do, you'll just come across as someone who is totally clueless about the academic system from which you just came. At worse, if you defend your use of the title, you'll look disrespectful to the profession (and clueless). I think most people on this thread are just trying to save you the face. No, it really shouldn't be that much of a big deal. But when people spend years and years getting qualifications and achievements to earn use of the title, it should be obvious why some can be a little sensative when it is simply batted around. It took me a few years before I was comfortable with any of my students, including my grad and Ph.D. students, calling me 'professor'. That's the way it should be IMHO. I never took it for granted or as a given. It was earned.
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