Let's dive into how you can establish a successful career teaching English as a foreign language online, even without a degree. We will explore why some employers require a degree, how you can enhance your chances of employment, and where to search for job opportunities.
Why do some online teaching jobs require a degree?
When hiring someone to teach English abroad, employers often expect a degree in order to facilitate a work visa. But why would they demand a degree for online teaching, where visas aren't an issue?
This can be partially explained by recent reforms in the biggest TEFL market - China. Many leading online teaching platforms are based in China, the world's largest TESOL market.
Now, Chinese online teaching platforms must ensure their teachers possess not only a BA degree but also a 120-hour TESOL certificate from an accredited provider. These regulations, introduced in 2019 by China's Ministry of Education, align the standards for online teachers with those for foreign language instructors working in the country. The ripple effect of these reforms has been felt far beyond China, with other international teaching platforms raising their requirements to compete.
What do you need to teach English online?
Most employers require a 120-hour TESOL certification. Without a degree, acquiring a TESOL certificate is crucial unless you are prepared to work for a minimal wage.
It is also worth noting that not all TESOL certifications are equal. Although budget websites offer cheap certifications, these may have hidden costs and lack the necessary accreditation, which ultimately hinders recognition by employers. Therefore, a low-quality TESOL course could cost you more in the long run.
You should look for accreditations from government bodies or organizations connected with governments to ensure the course provider is adequately accredited.
Also read: Which TESOL courses are accredited?
In addition to certification, a fluent command of English is, of course, a requirement. Non-native English speakers can teach English online without a degree, but it might be more challenging. To this end, employers may require English proficiency tests from non-native speakers, like IELTS or Cambridge Proficiency certificates.
Which TESOL course should I get for teaching English online?
The international standard 120-hour TESOL training is a good starting point. However, if you want to set yourself apart and potentially command a higher salary, consider honing your skills in a specific area, such as online English teaching.
Advanced TESOL courses can help you stand out, showcasing that you have specialized skills relevant to the job. These credentials, alongside your 120-hour certification, can significantly improve your prospects when competing with degree holders.
Our 170-hour online TESOL course provides a comprehensive introduction to teaching English as a foreign language. After completing the 170-hour course, you should have a solid understanding of English grammar and practical skills for designing engaging, well-organized lessons for both online and in-person classes.
If you are already TESOL certified, consider our specialized 60-hour, 10-unit Course in Teaching English Online. One of the best features of this course is its flexibility, allowing you to complete it at your own pace. Upon successful completion, you will also have access to our dedicated support services.