Do I need a teaching related diploma/degree? Can it be a business degree?


To answer your question Adam, it depends on where do you want to go. In Central America, you definitely need a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification + a degree. Most schools will accept this and give you a job, but some schools that pay high salary (not all) may require a degree in Education as well. If you teach in language schools, that are only dedicated to teaching English, then any degree + TEFL certification of 120+ hrs is sufficient. Having TEFL certification on your resume will put you ahead of others.

Hope that this helps.


It does depend on where you want to go. The short answer to your question is no, however, my experience comes from teaching a year in Thailand. I graduated with a degree in Communication Studies, but many of the people that I was in the program with came from many different backgrounds; some with degrees, some without. Having a degree in education had an advantage in that those people could be placed in schools that could afford to pay a higher salary, like private schools. However, the main thing is that you take the TESOL (basically the same as TEFL) course, which teaches you how to teach people that don't speak English. That certification also helps boost your salary and desirability to schools. Some schools may even ask that you teach more than one subject since you have background in business (i.e. they may ask you to teach some sort of math class in English so that the students are exposed to English on a more regular basis). Thai schools generally want a teacher who is a native English speaker and has a degree of some kind, but each school is different and there is a high demand for native speakers. I hope this helps, and I'm happy to answer any follow-up questions.

Good luck!

Great advice from Hossai + Rachel -- one thing I'd add, though, is that some positions specifically ask for ESL teachers with a background in business to teach business English abroad. Latin America has a lot of opportunities for this, and it's great if you'd rather teach adults (not kids). One of the downsides of teaching business English is that you typically teach before/after business hours or during lunch breaks.

Pueblo Ingles, for example, teaches business professionals English in Spain and prefers their volunteer teachers to have business experience:

Some more info generally on teaching business English abroad:

Thanks guys, that's really helpful. I would love to teach business English. I would to teach in taIwan. I am from south Africa and speak English fluently. My concern is I don't have a degree of any kind. I am currently working in senior management and my wife and I are looking for an adventure. ........any suggestions. ....we would love to go soon, but the degrees are what's holding us up

I can't really speak for Taiwan, but I do have a couple things I can add based on your most recent comment. Again, my experience really only pertains to Thailand, but I hope this still helps a bit.

Having a degree is optional in Thailand, but it may make a placement slightly more difficult. While there are so many schools that just want a native English teacher (degree or not), there are also some schools that want a teacher with a degree; it just depends. Another thing that may make it harder is if you and your wife both want to teach and be placed in the same school. It's definitely possible, but that also may limit your options. I know XploreAsia tries their best to keep couples together, and if they can't get the same school they try to get schools that are at least close together.

Another option you could look into is teaching in Myanmar. XploreAsia was trying to recruit people to teach business English to adults when I was going through the program a year ago. I imagine they are still looking for people who are willing to teach there as well.

Again, I know this isn't information on Taiwan, but theses are some things to keep in mind as you prepare and choose where you would like to go.

Thank you Rachel.

What is the difference in salary between Thailand and Taiwan?
We don't mind teaching at different schools, obviously they would need to be somewhat close to each other. ....
Do you get paid more to teach business english?

So am I correct in thinking that you can get a good job without a degree in Thailand

Hi Adam,

You do not need a teaching degree to participate in the Auxiliares program with the Spanish Ministry of Education. They accept applicants from all academic backgrounds - the only requirements are that you have a degree, English is your native language and you have some prior experience with youth.

Best of luck!

Hi Adam!

Most countries do not require that you have a bachelor's degree in a certain subject, as long as you have a bachelor's degree from an accredited 4 year university. In some locations, you might receive higher pay, or a position at an international school with experience in your home country or a degree in education/ TEFL - but that is not the norm for a lot of people wanting to teach overseas. Do you have an idea of where you want to go?

Let us know, we're happy to help!

Ally from CIEE Teach Abroad