Home TEFL forum Teaching in Asia & Oceania Does a MA trump lack of BA in Vietnam; S. Korea; Taiwan etc?

Does a MA trump lack of BA in Vietnam; S. Korea; Taiwan etc?

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  • Gabriel Clark
    Participant
    30 August, 2017 at 15:58
    • Total posts: 3

    Hi There,

    I’ve noticed that a lot of schools in SE Asia, particularly in Vietnam, Taiwan, China and South Korea, are looking for applicants with a BA.

    I’ve got 14 years’ experience plus an MA in TESOL and Applied Linguistics (but no BA).

    Now I’m wondering if my Master’s will trump my lack of Bachelor’s or whether this is something that universities (and/or governments) are blind to?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Gabriel

    dan
    Moderator
    5 September, 2017 at 14:34
    • Total posts: 770

    Very good question. In Vietnam, for example, as far as I’m aware, the requirement is for a “university degree”. It would stand to reason that if the MA certificate is from an accredited university, then this would be okay. But don’t quote me on that…

    FrancaisDeutsch
    Participant
    5 September, 2017 at 17:45
    • Total posts: 57

    Absolutely!

    In the Far East and Russia, MA’s hold a lot of weight. There are exceptions, however, where a school in Japan, for example, just wants to hire a pretty/handsome teacher who is 25 years-old. But, if the school is serious about education, MA holders – particularly in English/TESOL/linguistics – have a super strong advantage (MA holders in linguistics can teach English at university level in Taiwan).

    So then, it is not stretch of the imagination to believe that an MA holder in any field of linguistics may get hired over someone with a very reputable TESOL certificate/lower-level degree, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Far East.

    In the West, Master’s don’t impress much these days and rarely help in getting hired, unless it’s absolutely required of your profession.

    I, for one, have a Master’s in linguistics (translation-theory-based). In many schools in the West, it comes with little advantage. I am not going to be chosen over someone with a reputable TESOL certificate/diploma/degree. On the other hand, in other parts of the world, I have am favored, even though my MA in linguistics is not TESOL-based.

    (By the way, I have a 150-hour certificate in TESOL, but it’s not reputable in the way the Cambridge certificate is, for example; though it means something in “other parts of the world.”)

    Best of luck! You will do well.

    Gabriel Clark
    Participant
    5 September, 2017 at 19:10
    • Total posts: 3

    Thanks so much for the positive feedback, guys!

    Very promising.

    Just one quick followup question:

    I know that in Turkey, where I used to live, it’s impossible to get a work permit without a bachelor’s. You could have a doctorate from MIT signed by Chomsky himself. But no degree? No visa.

    Do any of the East Asian countries have policies like this?

    FrancaisDeutsch
    Participant
    5 September, 2017 at 23:01
    • Total posts: 57

    How can you have a Master’s without a Bachelor’s? Just curious.

    Gabriel Clark
    Participant
    13 September, 2017 at 7:14
    • Total posts: 3

    Haha! Good question.

    Some British universities value teaching experience and ability to write academically as enough foundation knowledge to start the MA.

    I had to write an essay detailing why I’d be capable of doing the MA and, well, why I’m such an awesome teacher! :)

    I can’t remember the list of Unis that allow non BA holders, but I did mine at Portsmouth University.

    FrancaisDeutsch
    Participant
    22 September, 2017 at 17:14
    • Total posts: 57

    Rules and regulations are constantly changing – hard to keep up with them all.

    I do know that an MA in straight linguistics, etc. can take you further than you’d ever think in EFL in the Far East/Russia.

    In the West, higher degrees generally mean little outside of your field.

    Best of luck in your future endeavors.

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