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What do Chinese employers prefer? More experience or better qualifications?


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I'm about to decide on which TESOL course to do and I need to ask a quick question.


Do you think Chinese schools, universities etc. would prefer several months to a year's experience (because of a job guarantee) or a higher quality TESOL degree?

This might be a dumb question, but I'm trying to check everything.

Thanks in advance!



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Firstly, when you talk about doing a 'TESOL' course... what do you mean?


A "TEFL" course: Usually either online or short term (1 to 2 weeks) with some teaching practice (if in person) or none at all (online). Often these aren't really accredited or accredited by some dubious organization.


CELTA/Trinity TESOL (or other accredited course): One month long, rigorous and full accredited. Also reflected in the price.


TESOL MA: Usually for those who've been teaching for a while but there are a few courses that require no experience.


Most schools that will hire you with a short term 'TEFL' course are likely to hire you without it. They might request you do an online one just so you have the actual certificate when they apply for your expert cert. (etc). However, I'm fairly sure some schools just make one for teachers that don't have one - whether or not they tell them they are doing this probably depends on the school.


Also, some better schools (especially in Beijing/Shanghai) will want you to have two years relevant experience. However, there are lots of jobs that require no experience at all.


In China, it's best to think of nothing being 'fixed'. The answer to everything is 'it depends' and 'maybe'. If you want to get a better job (pay, reputation) then I would do the CELTA. If you just want to come over to China for 12 months, teach a bit, explore and have a good time then I'd just do an online so you have some idea of what you're getting into.


If you had to choose 'some experience' (like 4-6 months) and doing a CELTA, I'd probably do the CELTA then get some experience. It will give you a better base to work from.

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Fair enough, thanks for your response.


I don't have a Bachelor's degree, so I figured I wouldn't be getting the top jobs anyway. I decided to go for a middle ground and picked one that dramatically exceeds the requirements for a TESOL/TEFL course, but as far as I know isn't externally accredited.

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