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Salaries stagnant for the last 20 years
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:44 am    Post subject: Re: Yes, stagnant Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
life in 80s Korea must have been pretty grim

That's your guess...but I know many who pine for those days.

Attractive local women were a lot more interested then.

But now, English teaching as a Westerner is not considered prestigious.

Not a path to wealth relative to the populace for those coming in now.
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goat



Joined: 23 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:32 am    Post subject: Re: Yes, stagnant Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
edwardcatflap wrote:
life in 80s Korea must have been pretty grim

That's your guess...but I know many who pine for those days.

Attractive local women were a lot more interested then.

But now, English teaching as a Westerner is not considered prestigious.

Not a path to wealth relative to the populace for those coming in now.


I wish I could, or would, have experienced life here in the 80s.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was here in the late 80s, but I was in the Army and didn't see much of 'real' Korean life, especially in the big cities.

It was still pretty funky in the early 90s when I moved here permanently. Hagwon jobs didn't pay too much, but there weren't too many foreigners even in Seoul, and people were chucking all different kinds of work at you so it was easy to earn at least your salary again on the outside teaching, writing, editing, etc. Housing was provided and pretty nice, at least in my experience.

Even in the mid to late 90s, people were getting university positions with just a BA, and those paid 2.0-2.5 plus housing for a 12-15 hour sched, 3-4 days a week, with fully paid summers/winters off. Most I knew at the time were in the 2.5-3.0 ballpark if they had their MA. Yonsei and SNU were the best places to work (but that didn't last). And, again, if you networked and were remotely competent, you could at least double your salary on the outside, even tripple it during breaks.

Then I got married and started working at university after I finished my Master's. Two incomes and a free apartment? Life was pretty good. Sure, there was a lot of running around and a lot of work, but we were a heck of a lot younger and having a good time doing it.

Those who stayed put during the financial melt down in the late 90s had more flexibility. The exchange rate was crap, but if you didn't have to send money back, it didn't matter. It was, in retrospect, a good time to invest here.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:25 am    Post subject: Re: Yes, stagnant Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
edwardcatflap wrote:
life in 80s Korea must have been pretty grim

That's your guess...but I know many who pine for those days.

Attractive local women were a lot more interested then.

But now, English teaching as a Westerner is not considered prestigious.

Not a path to wealth relative to the populace for those coming in now.


That sounds a bit sad. Guys pining for an age where attractive local women were attracted to them because they didn't know any better. I guess you can still find that's the case in developing countries nowadays. Was English teaching ever considered prestigious or was it just a bit more in demand in the past? Why would a student look up to an English teacher at a university with just an unrelated BA. Even back in the 80s. I know I wouldn't have done. They might have found them more interesting or exotic but academically respected? I doubt it.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Even in the early 90s, being an English teacher was not high up on the status totem pole, especially if you worked for an institute or, gasp, worked gigs on a tourist visa.

People seldom go into ESL for status, though, and most of the people I know who have made a very good living teaching have been more concerned with the bottom line than with the way Koreans viewed them.
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The Great Toad



Joined: 12 Jun 2004

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha ha you are all addicts to my fav fermented food... you wont leave Korea. Or alot of you (i luv to use alot the reason why i do not tech merikans anymor got tired of correcting alot) u can not get jobs outside cuz you aint even got a teacher kreditiantials like me.

That was kinda my freudian rage in korea 23 year old envy of the guys big fat salary lime mine when my big package of background creds and experence shoulda trumped his and had me making mor.

So it was that i left korea and went to work 4 tons of cash in arab places... now though i am in south east asia making mor than i ever did in korea... tbough not as much as mid-east.

Meanwhile you scrubs are mad cuz you do not get raises. Anint nobody gonna give you a raise when the bar is set at university degree and some 99dolla online tesol course! Ha ha try being cool like me and work in Arab countries... although i admit i missed bbq korean pork bekchu wraps that are illeagal in them blasted arab lands.

Anyway i am still furious at korea for not hiring me back into epik again but it was 4 my monetary gain and coreas loss of brain blessin. I guess i might go back if i can get a slacker u iversity job but rite now i am fine making mor money with slower internet. I just wish all u slacker 4 year hiztory of gender maxists studies could get a job in ur home coutries with ur worthless degrees then i could get back into korea and eat tons kf refried kimchi with fresh duuboo... but nooooooo you slacker guys have to take my job! Please go home and collect unemlloyment so the demand outpaces supply - then next contract i will leave se asia and do Corea again.

Get out of Korea- starbucks will hire ur hipstsr selves.
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S3raph1m



Joined: 06 Mar 2017

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Great Toad wrote:
Ha ha you are all addicts to my fav fermented food... you wont leave Korea. Or alot of you (i luv to use alot the reason why i do not tech merikans anymor got tired of correcting alot) u can not get jobs outside cuz you aint even got a teacher kreditiantials like me.

That was kinda my freudian rage in korea 23 year old envy of the guys big fat salary lime mine when my big package of background creds and experence shoulda trumped his and had me making mor.

So it was that i left korea and went to work 4 tons of cash in arab places... now though i am in south east asia making mor than i ever did in korea... tbough not as much as mid-east.

Meanwhile you scrubs are mad cuz you do not get raises. Anint nobody gonna give you a raise when the bar is set at university degree and some 99dolla online tesol course! Ha ha try being cool like me and work in Arab countries... although i admit i missed bbq korean pork bekchu wraps that are illeagal in them blasted arab lands.

Anyway i am still furious at korea for not hiring me back into epik again but it was 4 my monetary gain and coreas loss of brain blessin. I guess i might go back if i can get a slacker u iversity job but rite now i am fine making mor money with slower internet. I just wish all u slacker 4 year hiztory of gender maxists studies could get a job in ur home coutries with ur worthless degrees then i could get back into korea and eat tons kf refried kimchi with fresh duuboo... but nooooooo you slacker guys have to take my job! Please go home and collect unemlloyment so the demand outpaces supply - then next contract i will leave se asia and do Corea again.

Get out of Korea- starbucks will hire ur hipstsr selves.


LOL! That was a funny read, but it has me wondering: how many ESL teachers actually go into this for the long haul and decide to make it a full time career? I like teaching, but I'm only here for the next few years to pay off my student loans and go to grad school for digital media and educational technology. Looking into getting into tech for language learning mobile apps and other educational technology, so being here in Korea is relevant to my interest in second language acquisition with mobile apps/web based apps. I definitely don't want to stay forever (Not that there's anything wrong with the people that do. I'm just wondering).
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

S3raph1m wrote:
The Great Toad wrote:
Ha ha you are all addicts to my fav fermented food... you wont leave Korea. Or alot of you (i luv to use alot the reason why i do not tech merikans anymor got tired of correcting alot) u can not get jobs outside cuz you aint even got a teacher kreditiantials like me.

That was kinda my freudian rage in korea 23 year old envy of the guys big fat salary lime mine when my big package of background creds and experence shoulda trumped his and had me making mor.

So it was that i left korea and went to work 4 tons of cash in arab places... now though i am in south east asia making mor than i ever did in korea... tbough not as much as mid-east.

Meanwhile you scrubs are mad cuz you do not get raises. Anint nobody gonna give you a raise when the bar is set at university degree and some 99dolla online tesol course! Ha ha try being cool like me and work in Arab countries... although i admit i missed bbq korean pork bekchu wraps that are illeagal in them blasted arab lands.

Anyway i am still furious at korea for not hiring me back into epik again but it was 4 my monetary gain and coreas loss of brain blessin. I guess i might go back if i can get a slacker u iversity job but rite now i am fine making mor money with slower internet. I just wish all u slacker 4 year hiztory of gender maxists studies could get a job in ur home coutries with ur worthless degrees then i could get back into korea and eat tons kf refried kimchi with fresh duuboo... but nooooooo you slacker guys have to take my job! Please go home and collect unemlloyment so the demand outpaces supply - then next contract i will leave se asia and do Corea again.

Get out of Korea- starbucks will hire ur hipstsr selves.


LOL! That was a funny read, but it has me wondering: how many ESL teachers actually go into this for the long haul and decide to make it a full time career? I like teaching, but I'm only here for the next few years to pay off my student loans and go to grad school for digital media and educational technology. Looking into getting into tech for language learning mobile apps and other educational technology, so being here in Korea is relevant to my interest in second language acquisition with mobile apps/web based apps. I definitely don't want to stay forever (Not that there's anything wrong with the people that do. I'm just wondering).


You seem to be equating making TEFL a full time career and staying in Korea for ever. One of the advantages of a career in TEFL is the opportunity to live in many different parts of the world. Personally Korea is my 8th country and won't be my last, if I can get the wife to agree.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A number of people I've known have transitioned into other lines of work here, too.

Some have gotten really into writing and voice recording and make a very good buck doing that. Others have gone into financial editing. Their pay and bennies are quite good.

Others have gone the independent business route and have succeeded in the restaurant/pub business. One dude has flipped a couple of successful places here and has just purchased a place in Guam.

Myself and some others I've met just did their Master's and Ph.D.s in non-ESL related fields and transitioned into regular academic life here at universities on the tenure track.

The ESL professionals I know who make their living in that field all have related MAs, CELTA, and DELTA. Many work at places without term limits and have seen their salaries increase quite a bit over the years. Several have taught in at least two or three other countries, but have come back to Korea for the university gigs.

There's more than one way to skin the success cat.
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S3raph1m



Joined: 06 Mar 2017

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PRagic wrote:
A number of people I've known have transitioned into other lines of work here, too.

Some have gotten really into writing and voice recording and make a very good buck doing that. Others have gone into financial editing. Their pay and bennies are quite good.

Others have gone the independent business route and have succeeded in the restaurant/pub business. One dude has flipped a couple of successful places here and has just purchased a place in Guam.

Myself and some others I've met just did their Master's and Ph.D.s in non-ESL related fields and transitioned into regular academic life here at universities on the tenure track.

The ESL professionals I know who make their living in that field all have related MAs, CELTA, and DELTA. Many work at places without term limits and have seen their salaries increase quite a bit over the years. Several have taught in at least two or three other countries, but have come back to Korea for the university gigs.

There's more than one way to skin the success cat.


Ah, that's very interesting! So, would you say academia is much easier to get into in Korea than in the US or Canada? I'll be pursuing MA or PhD options in about two years, but I worry about the state of academia in the states (my hope is that my more tech oriented humanities interest makes me more marketable than your standard liberal arts doctorate). Haven't thought about teaching in universities outside the US.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There have been some write ups in the Chronicle of Higher Education about academics moving abroad for work. A lot of people from W. Europe and N. America are taking positions in Asia, E. Europe, and S. America, for example. The Middle East is constantly hiring as well if that's your cup of tea. Part of the motivation is, as you mentioned, crap markets 'at home'. The other motivation is wanting to work somewhere interesting and, optimistically, nice.

Is it 'easier' to get hired here in Korea? Depends on what you do and where you want to work. Forget most jobs in academe teaching and researchinig content with just the MA. If you want to work at a top-5 in Seoul, then no, it's not easier, even with the Ph.D. You have to be at least as qualified as you would be to get in the door at a major US State university, maybe even more (can't get hired here as ABD, for example, plus they want publications and an established research agenda). Plus, you have to factor in competition from Koreans returning from the US and Europe with big name degrees who really, REALLY want these jobs here.

A buddy of mine just got turned down by Sogang, and he's a tenured full prof and chair of a department at a major US State flagship university! Go figure. He's globally recognized. Unreal.

But the odds are not good even in established systems. I believe only about 50% of those who begin Ph.D.s actually finish. Then IF finished, only about 30% actually get tenure track jobs. From there, even more are weeded out either before tenure, or they make Associate and tenure, but never get the promotion to Full Professor. Tough market going in. Heaven forbid you stuck in the adjunct rut for a few years, a rut out of which few emerge.

You might choose instead to NOT work for an R1 school. You could angle for small, private, teaching intensive universities where the research requirements are slim to none. Same goes for Korea. There are a lot of nice private 4 years schools. Never know.

Buyer beware: it can be tough to re-transition back to N. America or W. Europe after having been out of their systems for a while. Publishing a bunch can help to overcome that, but there are other reasons. Also, it helps if you have some familiarity with the culture into which you'll be transitioning. Going to S. America? Helps a LOT if you speak Spanish. Japan? Get ready to bone up on your Japanese, because they'll expect a level of fluency in around 5 years. Want to teach in Israel? Better speak the lingo.

Best advice? Shoot for the biggest name school you can get into without breaking the bank (mostly for the MA level as good Ph.D. programs are largely funded). Big name schools or top 10 grad programs (not always the same) can go a long way toward getting you in. Also, if you're going to go for the Ph.D., knock it out and don't sputter through it. I knew a guy who started one late, but then bagged it after 5 or 6 years in the program. What a complete waste of time.

Do it or don't, but if you do, get it done. Screw vacations, screw free time. Graduate. And publish. Strike while the iron is hot. Most new hires are those who graduated within 2-3 years. They have teaching experience gained while doing their dissertations, and they have publications; some have a lot of publications. I applied to a big name school when I had just graduated. Made their call back, but didn't get the interview. I asked why. The reason they gave me was that I 'only' had an average of 2.2 publications a year. I thought that was ok as I had only graduated a couple of years prior. Nope. They had over a hundred applicants, and some had 4-5 publications a year on average. That's NUTS.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
One of the advantages of a career in TEFL is the opportunity to live in many different parts of the world. Personally Korea is my 8th country and won't be my last, if I can get the wife to agree.

If.

Korea could very well be the country where you draw your last breath.

Imagine Kpop and/or a gag concert playing in the background as you slip away.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
edwardcatflap wrote:
One of the advantages of a career in TEFL is the opportunity to live in many different parts of the world. Personally Korea is my 8th country and won't be my last, if I can get the wife to agree.

If.

Korea could very well be the country where you draw your last breath.

Imagine Kpop and/or a gag concert playing in the background as you slip away.


Shudder, shudder. Actually I reckon she'll be up for a move when the kid gets to school age. She doesn't want to put him through all that
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SuperfuzzBigmuff



Joined: 12 Mar 2017

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
edwardcatflap wrote:
One of the advantages of a career in TEFL is the opportunity to live in many different parts of the world. Personally Korea is my 8th country and won't be my last, if I can get the wife to agree.

If.

Korea could very well be the country where you draw your last breath.

Imagine Kpop and/or a gag concert playing in the background as you slip away.


Mate, are you about to drop off or what? Depressing comments you write.

I'm pretty much over country hopping. The natural progression would be the ME, but stuff that for an idea. Despite the negatives of this joint, it's a pretty easy place to be in. Starting up again in another country is expensive and I'm pretty well done with reinventing myself in a new scene; people are pretty much the same wherever you go when it comes to expats and I keep a low enough profile that I can be the grey man. When the time comes, I'll be in some low-cost country enjoying the benefits of a low cost of living. It most certainly won't be here.
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tophatcat



Joined: 09 Aug 2006
Location: under the hat

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The salaries may have stagnated but Korea has blossomed into a global mecca for the renaissance minded and international festivals. Korea is an international hub for the cool cats.
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