Do you absolutely need a degree to Teach TEFL/TESOL abroad?
This is a common question among the TEFL/TESOL community. A lot of TEFL/TESOL job positions list a University or College degree as a requirement. So the questions always comes up…..Do I need to have a University or College degree to teach English abroad? The easiest answer is NO! You don’t have to have a degree to teach English abroad. However, it limits your options a little bit as to where you can teach and what kind of jobs you can get. That being said, there are PLENTY of great job opportunities out there for non-degree holding TEFL/TESOL teachers!
The requirements for TEFL/TESOL jobs are usually reliant on the country or school. For example, some countries have Visa requirements that require a degree to apply for a visa like South Korea. While for other countries, it is more of an industry standard or a requirement for the school or position. That means, that in these countries it is more of a bonus than an absolute. So these countries do NOT actually require a bachelor’s degree to apply for a position.
The importance of getting a TEFL/TESOL Certification
Before I launch into the countries that don’t require a degree. I think it is important to point out that for professionalism sake, it is necessary to get TEFL/TESOL certified. You want to make yourself as employable as possible. So, in lieu of a University degree getting a TEFL/TESOL degree is definitely the way to go!
For more information about getting TEFL/TESOL certified check out the blog post: Get TEFL/TESOL Certified. It breaks down the different TEFL, TESL TESOL jargon, and courses and offers suggestions for accredited courses. You can also look at the different course options here: TEFL Courses (affiliate links!!)
If you find this blog post is helpful and you’re interested in finding out more about teaching abroad sign up for the Decide to Teach abroad series HERE
The 6 most popular teaching locales that don’t require a degree
Cambodia – although a lot of teaching jobs in Cambodia ask for a degree, it is NOT a requirement for getting a work Visa. That means, that with the right resume, TEFL?TESOL certification, native level of English and a good interview you can easily get a job teaching there!
China – Although most jobs specify a degree there are other ways to teach in China without a degree (Also their visa laws are changing all the time). One such option is to do an internship program through a TEFL training recruitment company My TEFL or Premier TEFL or even TEFL.EU. (These are affiliate links! For more information please go to my Disclosure Policy). Applying for an internship program is a great way to try out living and working in China while building your teaching experience for other job opportunities. Doing an internship is a great start for your TEFL career and side-steps the need for a degree.
Spain – does not require a University or College degree, however, having an EU passport is necessary as most positions won’t sponsor teachers. There is also the option of a Tourist visa and working for private companies, however, I wouldn’t recommend this as a legitimate option.
Russia – The pay is not as high as Spain or other European countries, however, the cost of living is lower and there is less job competition.
Nicaragua – Lower competitive market (more choice of jobs). Jobs are usually concentrated in major cities, like Managua and Leon, you can earn a TEFL certificate in Nicaragua
TEFL/TESOL jobs in South America don’t require a degree! You can work in most countries depending on the visa requirements. Countries such as Brazil are difficult to get a work Visa for teachers, and many teachers freelance on a tourist visa. However other countries offer full-on teaching positions like Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. The most common places to teach are Costa Rica who are upping their TEFL game, offering jobs in Primary schools. As well as Ecuador where the jobs are more stable and accessible. And Argentina with hiring mostly done in the spring or end of summer and only require a TEFL/TESOL degree for higher paying positions.
Other options in South America for newer TEFL teachers are more underdeveloped locales like Peru, Ecuador, and Chile. Whereas more experienced teachers can look at more developed countries like Mexico and Costa Rica.
Other countries that don’t require degrees include India, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia, Jordan, and Madagascar.
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If you need any help getting a job abroad please reach out to me I would be happy to help you with the process! I want you to have as great a time as I did teaching abroad for the first time!
Any experience or interest in teaching in these countries? Comment below!