April 22, 2018, 06:36:51 PM

Author Topic: How did you get to teaching at a university?  (Read 2491 times)

Offline katngu15

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How did you get to teaching at a university?
« on: May 12, 2016, 06:45:01 AM »
I apologize if this thread already exists.. I can't seem to find one.

I'd like to hear from the people that are teaching at universities. How did you get your job? And what kind of experience and/or degree did you have upon receiving a teaching job at a university?

I'd like some insight! Thanks

Offline wanderingskald

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2016, 07:42:09 AM »
You need a Master's degree minimum.  Some universities in the boonies may hire you with just a BA, but even that is all but dried up.  Most unis demand MA+2 years uni experience.  Some will consider public school 0.5 years experience.  Having a related MA helps too.  And of course, networking.  Go to KOTESOL meetings and shake hands. 

Offline jeremydc808

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2016, 08:11:39 AM »
I took my MA in Korea through Framingham. Most of my classmates are Uni teachers. Networking helped get me a few interviews. However, 2 years was enough for me.

Jumped over to China for a change of scenery.


I'm not sure how Korean Unis see Chinese Uni experience but a few of my friends were able to get back to Korea after spending a few years in China. Not sure why though.


I always advocate the jump if you feel stuck at PS/Hagwons/ETC in Korea.

Offline connorsmiley

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2016, 08:17:15 AM »
@jeremydc808

How many of your colleagues received a job from your TESOL graduating class?

Offline jeremydc808

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2016, 08:22:18 AM »
2-3 were hired through recommendations. Most already have Uni jobs. They needed the degree to keep it.

Offline katngu15

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2016, 08:45:41 AM »
I took my MA in Korea through Framingham. Most of my classmates are Uni teachers. Networking helped get me a few interviews. However, 2 years was enough for me.

Jumped over to China for a change of scenery.


I'm not sure how Korean Unis see Chinese Uni experience but a few of my friends were able to get back to Korea after spending a few years in China. Not sure why though.


I always advocate the jump if you feel stuck at PS/Hagwons/ETC in Korea.

Thank you for your response! Super helpful. I didn't know Framingham offered programs through schools in Korea and it's great cause the program is specifically geared to ESL. I was contemplating doing my masters in English Education or Linguistics but I'm gonna do s'more research into Framingham. How did you find it?

Offline jeremydc808

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2016, 08:56:39 AM »
They are running 4-5 cohorts a year it seems.

Hanyang has openings for it's 3rd cohort in August and 4th cohort in the winter for a MA -TESOL and Busan may still have openings for the upcoming cohort. Another uni in Seoul is doing the MA-International education as well.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2016, 09:03:58 AM by jeremydc808 »

Offline katngu15

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2016, 09:07:45 AM »
They are running 4-5 cohorts a year it seems.

Hanyang has openings for it's 3rd cohort in August and 4th cohort in the winter for a MA -TESOL and Busan may still have openings for the upcoming cohort. Another uni in Seoul is doing the MA-International education as well.

Thank you for the info! And sorry, last question T_T

Did you do your master's while working full time teaching? If so, what challenges did you face, if any?

Offline FreddyPrinceWilliam

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2016, 12:21:49 PM »
Info on the framingham thing

http://www.fsumedkorea.com/

Offline cheolsu

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2016, 08:19:30 PM »
I got a job teaching at a university a few years ago when I was halfway through my MA. My Western colleagues at the time had either an MA, part of an MA or a lot of experience teaching at a university. During the time I worked there, every person we hired had a relevant MA, although people with both relevant MAs and experience at a Korean university were hard to find even for an interview.

On the other hand, we had lots of applicants, some of which we interviewed and some we didn't, that were in the process of completing their MAs. None of them were hired. I remember thinking a couple of years ago, when we hired someone with a relevant MA from a great school and some serious research to back it up, that I probably wouldn't get my job if I had to apply for it again.

Going through my Facebook friends list and looking at people who teach at Korean universities, more than 90% have a relevant MA and loads of experience. The only person who doesn't have an MA has taught at a university for about five years, starting when the market wasn't as competitive.

Just about everyone I know who teaches at a university has an MA, but that doesn't mean everyone with an MA teaches at a university. For the purposes of this thread, I'm going to say once again that starting an MA expressly for the purposes of teaching English at a Korean university is a terrible idea. I would recommend teaching certification in your home country if you're passionate about teaching or studying something in another field if you'd like to live in Korea long-term as a degree from a Korean schools opens up options in other industries here.

Offline jeremydc808

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2016, 12:47:58 PM »
Info on the framingham thing

http://www.fsumedkorea.com/

There are two programs (International Teaching and TESOL).

TESOL can lead to licensure.

Offline occidentalist

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2016, 01:18:40 PM »
I applied from outside Korea so I guess I was somewhat lucky. However in my favor was the fact that a) I am a qualified teacher, b) have two Masters degrees (though not subject relevant) and c) have 3 years prior University experience in Korea. Pretty much everyone I work with has a Masters and numerous years of University teaching experience.

Offline hockeyfan_inkorea

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2016, 03:57:35 PM »
Just about everyone I know who teaches at a university has an MA, but that doesn't mean everyone with an MA teaches at a university. For the purposes of this thread, I'm going to say once again that starting an MA expressly for the purposes of teaching English at a Korean university is a terrible idea. I would recommend teaching certification in your home country if you're passionate about teaching or studying something in another field if you'd like to live in Korea long-term as a degree from a Korean schools opens up options in other industries here.

I'm just trying to understand, but why would you say this is the case?

Offline Teachersa

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2016, 04:24:34 PM »
Just about everyone I know who teaches at a university has an MA, but that doesn't mean everyone with an MA teaches at a university. For the purposes of this thread, I'm going to say once again that starting an MA expressly for the purposes of teaching English at a Korean university is a terrible idea. I would recommend teaching certification in your home country if you're passionate about teaching or studying something in another field if you'd like to live in Korea long-term as a degree from a Korean schools opens up options in other industries here.

I'm just trying to understand, but why would you say this is the case?

I'm not cheolsu but I would agree.

An MA takes about 2 years to complete and costs about 10-15 million won. After you complete your MA you'll have to find a uni job which might not be in a location you're willing to work in and might not pay as much as your current job. Unless you're looking to stay in Korea for a really long time why study for something that only has limited value and might not yield the results you're looking for. There is a chance you might not get a uni job. Then what?

If you get teaching certification from your home country you'll be able to move to another country or even move back home to teach when you realise you no longer want to live in Korea.

I'd only suggest getting an MA for a uni job if teaching at a uni is your end game.

Offline cheolsu

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2016, 08:42:15 PM »
Just about everyone I know who teaches at a university has an MA, but that doesn't mean everyone with an MA teaches at a university. For the purposes of this thread, I'm going to say once again that starting an MA expressly for the purposes of teaching English at a Korean university is a terrible idea. I would recommend teaching certification in your home country if you're passionate about teaching or studying something in another field if you'd like to live in Korea long-term as a degree from a Korean schools opens up options in other industries here.

I'm just trying to understand, but why would you say this is the case?

If you do an MA just to teach at a Korean university, pretty much any MA from any school will do, and what you do during the MA might not be as important as simply having an MA. It's also a shortsighted move in that you aren't necessarily going to be in Korea in 5, 10 or 15 years, and may not necessarily want to be in education in 5, 10 or 15 years.

I have an MA in education because I wanted to be a teacher in both Korea and my home country, but I have an online degree without teaching certification. This makes my MA fairly marketable in overseas ELT, but not so much back home (ELT back home is miserably low-paying and competitive), and I know that I will be back home at some point.

For people who know that they want to be in Korea long-term (say, more than 10 years), doing an MA to get a job at a Korean university is not a bad option, and you can be successful both financially and professionally in ELT in Korea, but this requires having aims broader than just a university job. Also, not everyone can get a university job. Developing yourself into a professional that would be marketable outside the narrow world of Korean ELT is important.

Frankly, I wouldn't recommend starting an MA now if you're trying to get a university teaching job. You would probably be on the job market in late 2018 or 2019 at the earliest, and expend significant time and money on a degree that might well not produce the compensation, job security or professional success you want. If you want to stay in Korea, ask yourself exactly what it is that you want to do and consider what it would be that you do if you had to move back to your home country. Don't do an MA unless you can be sure that you can answer the latter question.

I've seen people do teaching certification in the US while living here and hit the ground running in the US. I've seen people do MBAs at Korean schools and gain work experience here that allows them to succeed both here and in their home country. An MA TESOL in the absence of other skills is going to lead to part-time teaching at a language institute or a university language centre.

Starting an MA just to get a Korean university job is, again, shortsighted. It will help you get what you want in the short-term, but once you get a university job, you realize that it can be a bit of a dead end. I came to Korea in my early 20s and had an MA and a job at a Seoul university after four years. During my years at that school, I saw three of my Western coworkers leave to never teach again. Two of the people before me had left to do completely unrelated work. I also left to do something completely unrelated to teaching.

There are people who do well for themselves here in ELT, but they usually have other options, such as vast experience in test preparation or grading, or home country certification. If their job in Korea disappeared, they could move to Malaysia or the Middle East or Texas and they'd be fine. I couldn't have said that about myself when I was teaching at a university, which is why I left.

This is long and maybe a bit repetitive, but a lot of people come to Korea not quite sure of what they want to do with their careers and like their life teaching here and start an MA as a way of moving up in the field. Of the 20,000 or so people teaching here, not everyone can do an online MA and get a job at a university. Surely, for some people, it won't work out. Even if it works out, it may not be exactly what you imagined or what you thought. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have studied something (or nothing at all, and sought even unpaid work experience instead) at a Korean university since home country certification for me is neither possible by distance nor likely to lead to employment as a Canadian.

Think carefully about what you choose to study, and imagine all sorts of different possibilities. Like law school, med school, the military or pursuing a career as an actor, an MA in TESOL is not for everyone, and doing so just to teach as a contract instructor at a Korean university is a shortsighted move that may not pay off long-term.

I'd welcome PMs from anyone who would like to talk about working at a Korean university or even what to do when you find yourself at a crossroads professionally in Korea. I've been there before and I'd love to help.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 08:44:31 PM by cheolsu »

Offline connorsmiley

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Re: How did you get to teaching at a university?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2016, 08:27:04 AM »
interesting read, thanks

 



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