Updated December 21, 2021
Getting a TEFL certification is preceded by a host of research, information and decisions. Most notably, the original decision to teach abroad. While that choice does usually come with a blend of excitement and nervousness, it's important to remember that you have so many options. So, do your research and find the opportunity that's going to be right for you!
So you’ve decided you want to teach English abroad - congratulations! Now you have about 10,000 other decisions to make. Here are just a few to look forward to:
- Should you do a TEFL, TESL or TESOL course? (Hint: A TEFL certification’s what you actually need. 😉)
- How about an online or in-person TEFL course - which one gives you the best return on your investment?
- Where are you going to teach?
- What’s the best teach abroad program to apply to?
Why the combo “TEFL” + “guaranteed job” = alarm bells. 🔔Take a minute to look on some of the bigger ESL job boards. What do you see? Literally hundreds and thousands of English teaching jobs abroad! Right now, China alone is short about 100,000 English teachers, and this number is set to grow by 15% every year. So if there’s one thing that shouldn’t be difficult for a TEFL teacher, it’s finding a job. Why, then, would a TEFL course provider think that guaranteeing you your first job after you finish your course is so great? Let’s dive into:
8 good reasons why doing a TEFL course with guaranteed job placement could be a bad idea.
Reason 1 not to take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job:Any TEFL course worth its salt will train you to a level where you will be highly employable around the world, and perfectly able to find a job for yourself. If these courses aren’t already training students up to that level, what are they teaching?
Reason 2 not to take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job:Any school that says you can only use their specific qualification to teach with them is not telling the truth. Quality TEFL qualifications are recognized all over the world.
Reason 3 not to take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job:Companies that can find you guaranteed jobs often have connections with specific schools or recruiters, meaning that they can only offer really specific positions. When you look at the whole range of TEFL jobs available all over the world, why would you limit yourself to what just one provider has to offer?
Reason 4 not to take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job:In fact, seeing as you’ll likely have no choice in the kind of job you’ll be offered at the end of a TEFL course with guaranteed job placement, the likelihood is that you will be offered the kind of job that other teachers aren’t applying for because the conditions aren’t up to scratch.
Reason 5 not to take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job:Let me repeat, you probably won’t get to choose your working conditions. Giant alarm bells! If someone asked you to sign up for a job without knowing the hours, salary, location or resources at home would you say yes? NO! Then why would you consider doing it abroad?
Reason 6 not to take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job:And, what kind of school would employ a teacher they hadn’t met or even interviewed? It doesn’t bode well for how much they value their staff or their students.
Reason 7 not to take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job:Stories abound online of trainees not being offered jobs they wanted to accept at the end of TEFL courses with guaranteed job placements, then being told they need to take supplementary courses to get access to better jobs. In other words, it might be a straight-up scam.
Reason 8 not to take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job:Which will leave you out of pocket, unqualified and back to square one. 😤 Don’t let the fear of being unable to land a teaching job abroad limit your options! Going it alone might seem like an intimidating option but, honestly, you’ve got this. Thousands of people find awesome TEFL jobs every day - all you need is to meet the basic requirements for most English teaching jobs abroad (that’s your bachelor’s degree, TEFL and native-level English speaking skills). Needless to say, the major benefit finding a job for yourself is that you will have the freedom to choose a position is right for you. The key word here is choice. Because if you do a quality TEFL course and have a bachelor’s degree there is no question that you’ll be highly employable all over the world. So, why put your future in someone else’s hands? If we haven’t convinced you on the merits of conducting your own job hunt, then allow us to (oh so graciously) point you in the direction of the following TEFL programs that do offer guaranteed job placement:
What’s the alternative to a TEFL course that guarantees me a job, then?This one’s easy - an internationally recognized TEFL course (like the OISE University of Toronto TEFL) is what will set you apart in the ESL job market overseas. Remember, your TEFL course provider should set you up for success overseas. The course content should also include practical guidance on the realities of teaching abroad, where to look for jobs and how to choose one that’s right for you. There are lots of TEFL course creators that offer job search guidance to varying degrees. So, as long as your course:
- Is designed by experts in instructing English language learners
- Provides you with career advice on finding reputable ESL jobs in the regions you’re interested in teaching in
Your ESL job search will be a breeze. 👌 For example, our TEFL course is the result of a collaboration between Teach Away, a leading recruiter for ESL teaching positions overseas, and the University of Toronto OISE, a top-20 university and world-renowned faculty in the field of English language instruction. If you’re still feeling unsure about going it alone and trawling through mounds of job listings, a great way to teach abroad with a safety net is to apply to a government teaching program. Most of these programs run for a full year and are ideally suited for native English speaking degree holders who are eager to live abroad after graduation.
Previously, the Explore Program in China was a good example of great-paying English teaching positions in cities across the country and offers great benefits like return airfare and free housing. The JET program in Japan and EPIK in South Korea are excellent bets, too. Armed with a legit ESL qualification and some job-hunting know-how, you should be ready to find your perfect TEFL job in no time. All under your own steam.