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Question Teaching without a Degree

Sakurax1

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Hi,
I am wondering a few things, I know that this question has been asked a thousand times but I still need some valid input to it.

I have a i-to-i TEFL which was the type that you could fail on, not like many others where it is guaranteed you will pass. I am thinking of studying for an actual English Literature Degree this October, but it will take 3 years to complete.

All I'd like to know is, who of you has actually gone to Japan on only a advanced TEFL and been successful in finding a English teaching job? I know it must be very hard to find a job with only this qualification but I do really much want to try it this way. I guess I have time to take the degree, but I believe it may not go as well as I think.... So, just in-case, how hard has it been for you? Have you gone only on a tourist VISA? (I am from England and know I need no work VISA nor holiday VISA to enter, but I do need a work VISA if I find a job there, is it straight forward if I were to find a job there?
 
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I know that this question has been asked a thousand times
And there have been several times that many suggestions and comments in response to those queries.

Let's not reinvent the wheel for you--what did you find when you googled those?
 

Sakurax1

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Well, I'll do the Degree then I think. However it's typical, the answers, help given on the same questions by others, I wanted input from others that have done this and not been held back by the lack of a Degree :) I own my own business here in England that I can possibly sell as a distant friend owns a private School there that he may sell (just a possibility) other than this I guess I have no other options.
 
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Didn't your research on this show that a degree is needed for a work visa? I presume that's how you planned to land a job...
 

Sakurax1

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Didn't your research on this show that a degree is needed for a work visa? I presume that's how you planned to land a job...
Why is it then that I see a few others in Japan working as a Teacher and they have not got a degree? A School in Fukuoka I found a couple of years ago were offering TEFL's as you worked, maybe a very poor School to be doing that but... As I said, If needed I'll just have to complete my Degree, if I do it, it'll start this October and will last for 3 years. Someone I used to know owns London Bridge English in Machida and I can pay him to teach there so at least I can get some experience at it before I apply for a full time job. I'm only hoping that I may have enough to possibly start my own School if I sell my business here. Then again I read that to do that I'll need anything from 50k or more to do this as the government require you to.
 

mdchachi

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Why is it then that I see a few others in Japan working as a Teacher and they have not got a degree? A School in Fukuoka I found a couple of years ago were offering TEFL's as you worked, maybe a very poor School to be doing that but... As I said, If needed I'll just have to complete my Degree, if I do it, it'll start this October and will last for 3 years. Someone I used to know owns London Bridge English in Machida and I can pay him to teach there so at least I can get some experience at it before I apply for a full time job. I'm only hoping that I may have enough to possibly start my own School if I sell my business here. Then again I read that to do that I'll need anything from 50k or more to do this as the government require you to.
I suggest reaching out to those people and finding out how they did it. Not sure about teaching but typically the degree requirement can be waived only if you have equivalent work experience/expertise in your field.
 
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Why is it then that I see a few others in Japan working as a Teacher and they have not got a degree?
Show me the ads, and I can guess better. For now, I'd think people with PR, spousal visa, Part-time on student visa, or even a working holiday visa. If none of those, then a work visa would not be allowed, and the worker would be an illegal.

Someone I used to know owns London Bridge English in Machida and I can pay him to teach there so at least I can get some experience at it
I thought it was YOU who wanted the job...? Or did you actually mean you'd pay him so that YOU would teach there? That doesn't make sense.
 
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Why not do a teaching degree? You would then be a qualified teacher with your advanced TEFL making you a good candidate remunerated accordingly.
 

Mike Cash

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Why not do a teaching degree? You would then be a qualified teacher with your advanced TEFL making you a good candidate remunerated accordingly.
Are you under the impression a teaching degree from a foreign university makes one eligible to work as a regular teacher in Japan?
 
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If the op is going to do a degree so they can TEACH english then why not get a TEACHING degree, not a literature degree. Remuneration and employment prospects are related to qualifications relevant to the position.
 

Mike Cash

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If the op is going to do a degree so they can TEACH english then why not get a TEACHING degree, not a literature degree. Remuneration and employment prospects are related to qualifications relevant to the position.
In that case it would only make sense to teach at an international school. No ALT or Eikaiwa position is likely to pay more for somebody with a teaching degree.
 
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In that case it would only make sense to teach at an international school. No ALT or Eikaiwa position is likely to pay more for somebody with a teaching degree.
I am glad you understand now Mike. The teaching degree gives the OP options and increases their value.
 
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My post was pretty easy to understand in the context of the OP's question.
To be honest, it wasn't 100% clear to me. As Mike has suggested, one could imagine getting that teaching degree (and license) either at a Japanese university or one outside Japan. It's obviously harder to do it at the former, but it opens other doors.

So, to the OP, if you are sincerely considering teaching as a long-term profession, it would be to your benefit to do more than just snag a TEFL certificate. What are your thoughts on that?
 
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OP

Without degree:
You can probably get a job, but you will likely not be able to get a visa. As stated above people without a degree are probably on a spouse visa (married to J national) working holiday visa (work up to aprrrox 25 hrs/week) student visa (working part time w studying at a school - uni or recognized J lang school) , cultural studies - eg karate/flower arrangement etc (working part time) or visa for people of J descent/ancestry. It is possible to get a working visa with equivalent experience but I have never come across or heard about someone in recent years who got one for teaching English. There are just too many people with degrees available. So I would not expect you will have much luck with that.

Downside
If you do land a job, and get a visa that allows you to work part time, a year or two down the road, you will be short on options to stay in Japan. If you end up on a visa that allows you to do so (eg. spouse visa), you will have very limited career options.

In short
Like everyone else, I recommend you get the degree before you come. A teaching degree PLUS a teaching license/accreditation (usually involves classroom placement) in your country and teaching experience in a school board/district opens many doors for teaching. But at least, do a degree before you come.

Hope that helps
 
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No offense, but if you have any sense whatsoever you'll look ahead and see what degree will make you employable not only in Japan but also in other parts of the world, especially your home country.

The vast majority of people I've met in various countries have ended up going back to their home country. The few who didn't either spent some time thinking about what they actually wanted to do and got degrees (or whatever certifications were appropriate) that allowed them to do what they wanted wherever they were, or didn't and ended up the stereotypical jaded, aged, minimally qualified and unhappy English teacher.

The ones who used forethought as a weapon against later misery were consistently happier than the ones who just got any random/fun degree so they could teach English in a foreign country. Sure, there are some people with ancillary degrees who ended up in good positions, but the vast majority I met were at the same level as they started but with familial responsibilities far outweighing their positions.

Do you actually like teaching? If so, get a teaching degree and the relevant certs. In fact, get a special ed degree or some other certs that are highly in demand so you can be immediately employable upon your return home. If not, get a degree in something you could see yourself returning to your country and doing for the rest of your life while making enough money so you don't later resent your life choices.

University is, for most of us, a one shot deal. I worked my *** off because I had no money and I was on scholarships the whole time. I'd love to have a doctorate because there are things in my field I'd love to do that require that level of education (and also because I'm getting pretty burnt out on working with severely disabled children... Quite frankly, it's a heartbreaking job. Luckily I'm picking up hours doing supervision of new clinicians next year), but when I left university I left with the entry level degree for my field (a masters). I will likely never go back because I will likely never be able to fund that.

Be wise about your education. Sometimes I wish I had majored in something else more suitable to my strengths, but I am always thankful that I had the sense to focus on a field that would allow me to work anywhere and make an income that, though not rich by any means, was comfortably middle class.
 
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