This is a common question people have. They ask:
I don’t have a degree, can I still teach English abroad?
Well . . . the answer is YES.
But, know that if you don’t have a degree, your options are going to be limited. You will need to do everything you can to enhance your prospects. Getting a TEFL certification becomes much more important and not so much an option as a requirement to get your foot in the door. You’ll need to seek employment in the “right” countries.
The main countries where you can obtain legal working papers without a degree are Indonesia, where a TEFL certification is required; Cambodia, where no certification required, but it is becoming a competitive market and a TEFL certification is often preferred; and China, where – technically – a degree is required, but often away from the megacities, you can land a decent job with just a TEFL certification (required).
There are a few countries in Latin America where you can land a job without a degree, but that job will likely come without legal working papers. So – if you want to work legally (recommended!), Asia is the place to go.
We have many posts on this blog about doing an active “go get ’em” job search and this is one situation where you will need to do that. Employers won’t likely come to you. Nor will recruiters usually work with you. Though schools will hire you, they are not willing to pay a recruiter to find you. They pay recruiters to find people with degrees and TEFL certs.
That means you need to go and find the school. To be on the scene, “boots on the ground” and go get that job.
Check our menu to the right and our archives for previous posts on active job searching. In a nutshell, you usually need to be on the scene and interview in person to land these jobs. You make yourself more attractive by being on the scene and ready to go to work tomorrow, versus the guy/gal still overseas who might show up. Its the old “bird in the hand” thing working in your favor.
TED’s Tips™ #1: If you don’t have a degree, do everything you can to enhance your attractiveness to employers. That includes being on the scene to interview in person AND having a TEFL certification to demonstrate that you are ready, willing and able to do a first class job.