Published 12th October 2015

Though many people think that you need a degree to teach English as foreign language; this fact is actually a big misconception. Though admittedly it’s common for English teachers to have a degree, many indeed don’t. If you are one of those individuals who don’t have a degree but want to be an English teacher then getting a TEFL qualification is the perfect place to start. And once, you have a little experience, not having a degree isn’t likely to hold you back at all!

A TEFL qualification will show potential employees that you are serious about being a teacher, and also that you posses some of the required knowledge and skills that it takes to be a successful teacher. If you want to teach English without a degree, doing a TEFL course will also enable you to feel comfortable and confident in your new position.

If you don’t have a degree, it might be useful to do some volunteering work to improve your chances of getting a job. Simply volunteering at a local community centre working with children for a few months before you head off would be a valuable facet to potential employers. Though it’s not really necessary, this will improve your chances of getting a good position with a salary that reflects the fact that you have experience!

In terms of what type of institution you can teach in without a degree will vary wildly depending on the country you want to teach in. In some countries, like Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern localities, teaching without a degree and several years experience is not possible. It’s worth checking the visa regulations of a country, as some countries require a degree in order to obtain a legal working permit. However, in most places this isn’t the case. While you may not be able to land a job in a top university if you want to teach English without a degree; public schools, private tuition, summer schools and language schools are all viable options.

If you don’t have a degree, be sure to tell potential employers what you can bring to the table instead. Maybe you don’t have that official qualification, but while many people were studying, maybe you were working with children or working in finance? Both of these can be great additions to a CV, especially if you want to work in a school or get into teaching business English respectively. 

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