As it has been well established, I have no idea what I am doing with my life…I’m rapidly coming to the realisation that my degree qualifies me for absolutely nothing, but all is not lost! Since earning my TEFL certificate, I’ve discovered a lot of job opportunities abroad, and combined with my degree, I can work as an English teacher virtually anywhere in the world. I’m writing a post today about how advantageous it is to have a TEFL qualification instead of, or alongside, a university degree, as I expect a lot of recent graduates are in the same position that I’m in at the moment – in a lot of debt with no discernible job prospects, and feeling just a bit lost and helpless. It also could be that you decided uni isn’t for you, but you’re still not sure exactly what is. Enter, TEFL!
Here are some great reasons to get TEFL certified, even if you’re not sure you’ll use it or you hadn’t thought about it before.
1. You’ll be able to get a job. If you’re interested in travelling, being a qualified English teacher is a great way to ensure that you’ll never be out of work and you will earn enough to fund your travels. Some English teaching jobs can be incredibly lucrative – if you’re lucky, you could end up working relatively few hours for a high rate of pay and a lot of benefits. Countries like China and the United Arab Emirates tend to pay well and provide a lot of support in terms of accommodation and transport.
2. It’s a great way to see if teaching is a career you want to pursue. This is why I initially got my TEFL certificate. I was considering studying for a PGCE after I graduated, but I wasn’t ready for another year of uni immediately, and I wasn’t even sure if teaching was something I wanted to do, as I had next to no experience. After earning my TEFL certificate, I quickly found a job in a primary school in Mexico and was able to weigh up the pros and cons of teaching as a career. It helped me to rule out studying for a PGCE in the near future and got me thinking about other options, but I still feel a little more secure knowing that I can always fall back on teaching ESL.
3. Or, it’s a way to get the experience you need to get onto a PGCE course. If you’ve already decided to pursue teaching but you’re not sure where to start, or, like me, you want a little break from studying before starting your course, teaching English is a great way to get experience and to earn some money. Having a few months (or a full year) of hands-on experience will stand out on your postgrad application, and will get you warmed up for the challenge of teacher training.
4. It’s an accessible qualification. You can get TEFL qualified in a single weekend and for less than £100 (a pretty good alternative to £50k+ and 3+ years for a degree!) Alternatively, there are online courses, like the one I studied, and combined courses that provide you with practical experience as well as material to study at home. There are even schools around the world that will get you qualified and guarantee you a job in the country in which you study. Basically, there are options for everyone, so anyone can find a course that will fit in with their lifestyle and budget.
5. There is a whole community of TEFL-ees to support you. Whatever form of TEFL course you take, there will be tutors around to support you, either in person or online. They are there to help you make the most of the course and of the qualification, from helping you find a job to starting your own business. There are also so many resources online that you will be hooked up with, including free lesson materials, job boards and forums.
6. It opens doors. You might find that you love teaching English abroad, in which case, a TEFL qualification can help you to grow and develop a career. There is so much demand for good, enthusiastic English teachers in so many countries and for all kinds of people – primary schools, high schools, universities, businesses, private students, children, adults…so you are sure to be able to find a job that you love. You can really progress as an ESL teacher and work your way up to higher positions in a relatively short amount of time, either through working alone, or by furthering your TEFL education.
So, basically, if you are at all interested in travelling for any length of time, a TEFL qualification is definitely worth getting! As much as I complain about it, I don’t regret getting my degree, but since graduating, I’ve found that studying my 120-Hour TEFL Online course has been the qualification that has brought me the most security. I never realised just how much demand for English teaching there is, both abroad and in the UK, so I’m so glad I’ve got that certificate under my belt, and I’m still exploring the routes it might take me down. I would recommend a TEFL course to anyone who is even remotely interested in teaching and travelling.
Whilst we’re on the subject, Manchester bloggers, language learners and international students, make yourself known! I’ll be moving shortly and am looking for ESL students 😊 Follow my Twitter account here for updates!
Thanks for reading!