TEFL Certificate vs. Masters Degree for Teaching in a Korean University

TEFL Certificate vs. Masters Degree

Which one is Better?

A reader question from Sam about a TEFL certificate vs. Masters degree for teaching in a Korean uni.

My Answer:

If we’re talking about strictly teaching, something like the CELTA (and the next level, the DELTA) is going to be much better than a Masters in many cases because of the practical nature of it. These courses also require supervised teaching practice, which in my opinion is by far the best way to improve your teaching skills. Teaching is an art and while it’s good to have the theoretical background, it’s best learned through doing.

What about Getting a Uni Job?

However, I have a hunch that the question is really about getting a university job in Korea and which one is better for that. The Masters degree by far–these days, it’s kind of a basic qualification to even get your foot in the door.

Koreans in general are pretty clueless when it comes to things like TEFL certs/CELTA, etc. In my own experience of doing the DELTA, none of the admins that I’ve mentioned this to have any idea what it is, even though I could use it get up to a year credit in many MA TESOL programs, especially in the UK. Like it’s a legit certification program for ESL teachers! Even a totally unrelated Masters degree is far better than any sort of TEFL certification.

However, if you really want to do the Celta or the Delta for teaching in Korea, check out:

Doing the CELTA in Korea

Doing the DELTA in Korea

How Can I Get a Uni Job?

If you have a Masters degree it really is possible to get a uni job teaching English in Korea. But, it’s not going to be easy because the field is really competitive. Get a leg up on the competition by checking out this book on Amazon: How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreams


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