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Teaching English without a degree

Oct 6, 2015
Sorry, I'm THAT guy.

Good evening,

I would really appreciate advise from absolutely anyone who thinks they know a thing or two on this subject.

I don’t have a degree, I went straight to work and for personal reasons couldn't make it to university.

I went travelling last year and spent 6 months in Japan. I’ve been back a few times since for 2 weeks each time and I now find myself in love with the country and I’ve made so many friends there.

I decided to get a working holiday VISA (I’m British) and it was approved and given to me last week.

I’m going to live with friends in Japan for one year as my job at home has agreed to keep my position open for me.

My original plan was to turn up and look hard for a teaching job but the more and more I read the more I get nervous that I won’t find anything due to the fact I don’t have a degree, it’s very annoying.

So many people on youtube and all over the internet say its more difficult without one, but possible, as the degree is mainly to cover the VISA issues, so if I have a legal VISA like my WHV then its okay, but that doesn't change the fact that EVERY job ad I have found so far says they require a degree???

Am I looking in the wrong place?

I have 6 months experience from volunteering teaching English in Japan during the summer, as well as a TEFL, and I’m comfortable financially due to my job at home, and the best part is Im living with a friend so i only have to pay half the rent in Japan. I just feel so annoyed at myself for not having a degree.

Is it hopeless? I don't leave until the end of the year but I'm considering not going due to this irritating fear.

If it’s relevant, I will be living in Osaka and my Japanese language ability is intermediate.

thank you very much any advice would be appreciated.

John (male, age 25)


Staff member
Mar 6, 2003
1 237
If you can legally work you should be able to find a teaching job. It depends on the job market of course but I'm sure there are schools out there are more concerned with filling their positions than educational credentials. Especially if you have the TEFL and previous experience in Japan. They may be less than ideal but I feel confident you could find something.
Aug 20, 2003
You have more to offer than a lot of people (experience, cert). It is not hopeless, but you will have to realize a few things.

1. Once your year is up, you are done teaching unless you can get a proper visa (not VISA, that's a credit card). That means work visa, spousal visa, student visa, or dependent visa. The first two let you work full-time.

2. This is a poor time of year to start looking for work. There is a tiny surge of hiring in Oct, but after that it really peters out until Feb/Mar. Hustle to get work.

3. The good news is that you don't need an employer to sponsor a work visa, and you can start work immediately. And, you can work full-time or part-time. And, you are from a native English speaking country (although there will be some employers and students who prefer an American accent). The bad news is that you will get taxed 20% and have to leave when the visa is up.