Do you have the SKE or needgreater goal? Many of us often do. But it’s a big step that can be scary to commit to. Often, one of the biggest things to hold is back is the fear of the unknown, specifically, “how will I support myself financially?” Let me help you find the answer to this question. Please read to the end.
In today’s world, most jobs ask for certifications, licenses, and degrees. The days where you could walk in and just prove you could qualify with the experience and knowledge you have are nearly gone. Everyone wants written proof- a little piece of paper that says you qualify. It’s definitely a hassle and, at worst, it can be the only thing holding you back from obtaining a job.
So, what do needgreaters do? When trying to find a way to financially support themselves while abroad or even looking for a flexible job that will help them in their pioneering, many turn to teaching English online.
You’ve probably heard about teaching English online before, right? It’s a surprisingly high-paying job. If you live in the Western hemisphere, there is a big disadvantage to this job which is also an advantage. Early hours. That’s right. You’ll have to wake up really early to teach energetically with a smile on your face. This shouldn’t be too hard to do, though, if you go to sleep earlier, take naps as needed during the day, or are used to early morning service. The advantage is that usually, by the time that everyone is beginning to go to work, you’re done! You’ve got the whole the day to dedicate to field service, household chores, and anything else. However, though there are online teaching jobs that don’t require any certifications, they are few and often pay less. How can you overcome this obstacle?
First, inform yourself. Some of the most common certifications required are the TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA.
CELTA is the most prestigious and super expensive certification. It shares similarities to going to an Ivy League school. You may not learn much more than a community college there, but the name is well-recognized and the tuition will be much higher since you’re paying for the name that may open doors for you. As such, CELTA is not one of the options I’d recommend, unless you have that kind of money ($3000+) and plan to compete for a job in a prestigious school abroad.
However, TEFL and TESOL do the job just as well. What is the difference between a TEFL and a TESOL? Basically, it’s just the same thing with a different name. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The focus is slightly different but often these certificates are interchangeable. TEFL certificates are meant for those who plan to go abroad to teach students in a country where the primary language is not English, while TESOL certificates are meant for teachers who plan to work with non-native English speakers living in an English-speaking country. So, jobs that require a TEFL will nearly always accept a a TESOL and vice versa. I’ve seen more job requirements asking for a TEFL than a TESOL, so I recommend getting a TEFL if you are trying to choose between the two, unless you are aware of different requirements for a specific job you’re trying to get. Make sure to get a 120-hour certificate since this is the minimum most jobs ask for. I’m sure are this point you have several questions.
- How do I obtain a TEFL?
It’s pretty simple, actually. Many TEFL courses are held online. Pay a fee, take a course, take a test at the end, and get a certificate.
- Does it really take 120 hours?
Not usually. Most online courses are self-paced meaning that you can go faster (or slower). Some may have time limits on how long you will have access to this course, so be sure to check on this.
- Do you have any course you recommend?
Yes. I’m happy to share a link with you. It’s a simple, inexpensive, self-paced 120-hour TEFL course that comes recommended by other friends and has great reviews. Be sure to ask the course administrators for a certificate number since some schools require this to verify the certificate.
- I have a question you didn’t answer here.
Feel free to contact me (Alba). See our “The 4 Sisters” page.
Now, we’ve covered TEFL and TESOL certification. Does this mean you’ll be able to get a job teaching English online? Yes, but in all honesty, the requirements to obtain this kind of job get tougher and tougher over time. Though at this time you can still get an online English teaching job having only a TEFL, most of the better-paid jobs also ask for a Bachelor’s degree.
What other reason might one have for getting a Bachelor’s (4-year) degree? Well, it’s ideal for needgreaters since obtaining a visa that will legally allow you to work and stay longer in another country usually requires a Bachelor’s. In addition to that, having a Bachelor’s helps you get higher-paid English teaching jobs (think $20-$40/hr). Lastly, even if you don’t go to another country or decide to teach English online, having a degree is useful because it makes it a little easier to obtain any kind of job.
You might think at this point that you might as well give up. After all, don’t Bachelor’s degrees take 4 years to get? Maybe you don’t want to spend that much time getting a degree. Well, Bachelor’s can be obtained in 4 years, just like TEFLs can be obtained in 120 hours, or less… You might also think, aren’t college degrees very expensive? Usually they are. But when you study online, the price can be reduced significantly. Are you still thinking of giving up? I’d like to say, don’t! There is a awesome opportunity. Why don’t you get a Bachelor’s from a university geared for us? Until the end of this month (April 2020), there is a significant discount to do so. Want to know more? Feel free to contact me (Alba). See our “The 4 Sisters” page.
* For those of you who missed the April deadline, there is still some hope. Group discounts! If you can get a group of 5 friends (or more) to sign up at the same time, you can get a 40% discount! Can’t round up 5 friends? Get in touch and we’ll try to help you get a group together.