Teaching: Not Just for Education Majors

By: Michelle Morico

It is becoming harder and harder for Marist Students to find a job in the United States after graduation thanks to the economy’s depressed state. What other options does a graduate have?

Teaching English Abroad.

Teaching English abroad. Photo courtesy of http://www.projects-abroad.org.

According to an article on Press Release Newswire, “In the current financial climate many [college] graduates are finding a dwindling number of career options open to them, but have found a new career path in the form of teaching English as a foreign language.”

Stephen Cole, the executive director at the Center for Career Services said that there has been an increase in the amount of students coming into the office worried about life after graduation.

“Students should be concerned about the economy.  The job market  certainly has been affected, though not in all segments,” Cole said.  “One way to understand the affect of the current conditions is through doing a little research about your choice of career, industry trends and geographic preferences.”

This year “there has been some interest in teaching English abroad, Teach America and the Peace Corps,” he said.

It is very simple for those with interest in teaching abroad to find out more information, according to Jerre Thornton, Marist international programs coordinator.

Thornton also made suggestions about potential employers. “Bunac.com is one possible program that offers work abroad opportunities in various countries,” he said. “There is also the JET Program at http://www.jetprogramme.org/ for teaching opportunities in Japan.”

Cole said that Marist will help students find out more information about programs they are interested in. Cole also said that he thinks teaching English abroad is a good resume builder, even for those that do not major in education.

University of Michigan’s website offers a breakdown of credentials for those who are certified teachers and those who are not, found here.

While countries like Japan and Thailand require English teachers to obtain TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificates, other countries like South Korea and China require only a bachelor’s degree in any field of study.

Seoul, South Korea at night.

Seoul, South Korea at night. Photo courtesy of http://www.nanopaprika.eu.

Rob Boyce is a Marist alumni with a Bachelors in communications who will start teaching in Seoul, South Korea in March. His concentration has earned him a higher salary in the teaching field.

“Although it might be difficult to land a job in the United States right after getting out of school, a Bachelors Degree goes a much longer way in other countries,” he said.  “There seems to be an endless demand for teachers in Korea. Schools will pay for your flight, housing, benefits and sometimes food on top of your salary.”

“Remember to research these programs carefully,” Thornton said. Like Japan, South Korea also has a government-sponsored program for recruiting English teachers. The EPIK (English Program in Korea) trains applicants to teach in public schools throughout Korea.

Boyce warns against working for the private sector. He said, “The private sector will pay you more but unless proper research is done, there could be a lot of downfalls.”

“It is important to do a ton of research on where you will be teaching, internet message boards are rife with stories about unfair bosses, contract breaches, late paychecks, and bad surprises,” Boyce said.

“Teaching abroad whether or not you are an education major is a great experience and resume builder,” Boyce said. “As a communications major, being able to teach and communicate with people from a completely different culture is something that will make me stand out in future job interviews. I couldn’t be more excited.”


One response to “Teaching: Not Just for Education Majors

  1. “While countries like Japan and Thailand require English teachers to obtain TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificates, other countries like South Korea and China require only a bachelor’s degree in any field of study”

    While some schools in Japan demand TESOL certificates, for a working visa you just need a degree, the same as Korea. However, if you want to do your job well and enjoy it, I would recommend a minimum of a 4 week course with observed teaching practice to anyone.

    Good advice about usually avoiding the public sector in Korea.

    TEFLtastic blog – http://www.tefl.net/alexcase

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