Published 16th October 2019
If you’re interested in teaching English abroad you probably know that many TEFL jobs prefer their candidates to have two things: a TEFL certificate from a recognised TEFL provider and a Bachelor’s degree. However, the key word here is prefer. While a TEFL certificate is a non-negotiable, a degree is not essential to getting a TEFL job. Yes, you heard right: you DO NOT need a degree to teach English as a Foreign Language. It is a nice-to-have but not a must-have. So, what are your TEFL options without a degree?
The most obvious option is to be a private tutor. Teaching 1-on-1 means that your students can decide if they are happy to have you as their teacher or not. Usually the fact that you don’t have a degree won’t be an issue at all. After all, having a degree does not necessarily relate to being a good teacher. What will be important to your students is that you can speak English fluently and that you have a TEFL certificate. Teaching experience would be an added bonus.
Teaching in Mexico, Cambodia or Turkey
Believe it or not there are a number of countries which don’t require you to have a degree to teach. The requirement for a degree is more often than not a government stipulation for a working visa, but there are a few countries which don’t have this requirement. Jobs in many countries in Latin and South America are available to teachers without a degree, as well as Cambodia and Turkey in Asia, and Spain in Europe.
If money is not an issue for you and you’re more interested in the experience of teaching English than the financial gain, then you could look into volunteer teaching. Volunteer teaching positions are not fussy about the qualifications of their teachers because, well, they’re volunteer positions. While you may not get paid, you will probably get food and board or a stipend to live off, not to mention the experience.
A TEFL internship
If you have just qualified as a TEFL teacher, an internship is a great idea for you. Doing an internship will give you the experience of living abroad and teaching English as a Foreign Language, without the hassle of finding a job and organizing a work visa. For this reason, TEFL internships don’t require you to have a degree.
Teaching English online
Teaching English online is a booming business at the moment. There are loads of companies you can work for or you could work for yourself. Obviously working for yourself means you don’t need to worry about a degree, and while some online companies do require a degree there are quite a few that don’t.
Though there are more jobs on offer to you if you have a TEFL certificate and a degree, there are still loads of options available if you don’t. The key to finding a job teaching English as a Foreign Language abroad if you don’t have a degree is to make sure you have a 120-hour TEFL course from a recognised TEFL provider. If you can, get some experience under your belt. Then you will need to decide which avenue you want to follow in terms of teaching.
If you are dead-set on teaching English abroad in a school or language school or university, don’t despair, your TEFL options without a degree are wider than you think. If you don’t have a degree you just need to be a bit pickier when choosing your destination and it may take a bit longer to find a job. But don’t give up hope, because your dream TEFL job is out there waiting for you!