Should you take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job placement?

Should you take a TEFL course with a guaranteed job placement?

A TEFL course with a guaranteed job at the end of it? Sign us up, it sounds fantastic. When you’re investing time and money into a course with the express intent of finding something new and exciting, it’s only natural to find a claim of a “guaranteed job” enticing. Is it, though, as assured and as good as it sounds?

You won’t find a great many courses that claim a job is yours after completion. Think of even the biggest and most reputable universities in the world - they don’t make such extravagant claims. Why? Well, plenty of reasons, but ask yourself; if you were an employer, would you be willing to bring someone in, virtually sight unseen and without an interview? 

Sure: big, flashy assurances of a  “guaranteed job” seem great on paper. Everyone needs to make a living. However, if you ask us, it isn’t the best way to get started as an EFL teacher, and there are plenty of reasons why.

Let’s debunk a harmful TEFL trend.

What is a "guaranteed job"?

So, let’s start by defining what we mean here.

Some TEFL courses or providers will tell you that once you complete a TEFL course, it’s not necessarily the certificate that you get will qualify you for plenty of jobs. It’s that the provider will get you a job.

How could this be? Well, there are plenty of TEFL providers with links to companies worldwide. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a good thing for TEFL providers to be connected with international employers and have their finger on the pulse. However, if you’re being sold a “guaranteed job”, it’s likely to be with a corporate affiliate of the course provider. Who benefits? Well, it's likely that the course provider will be taking a commission for filling a vacancy.

That vacancy will be specific. It might not be what you want, or what you’re able to do (for any number of valid reasons), so who really wins here? It isn’t necessarily you.

These kinds of starter jobs tend to be low-paid, with conditions that are already set in stone. The ability to choose the kind of working environment you want is essentially non-existent.

Why limit yourself?

There are tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of TEFL jobs advertised worldwide

If you have a TEFL qualification from an accredited course provider and a degree* then you will have your pick of countries and employers. Surely achieving a TEFL certificate is a passport to making exciting decisions for yourself and your family? One of the best things about becoming a qualified TEFL teacher is the freedom it provides!

Meanwhile, a guaranteed job is going to offer non-negotiable terms and pay, which is quite likely to be less favourable in comparison to a job you would find for yourself.

You could end up placed in a less-than-optimal location, having to work more hours than you should. What’s more, you’ll likely earn less than other positions in the same area. Again, is it worth sacrificing the freedom to choose the right job for you?

*even without a degree there are plenty of options to TEFL!

Men and women waiting for an interview

What sort of employer hires without an interview?

We’ve covered how to spot TEFL scams and bad employers in the past, which is a post we urge anyone about to apply for TEFL jobs to read first. One big red flag we see time and time again is a job offer without an interview. 

A willingness to recruit like this doesn’t reflect well on an employer. It implies that it’s a job for just anyone - and you’re not “just anyone”.

Crucially, remember that an interview is a two-way street. You need to make sure the job is a good fit for you just as much as the employer needs to make sure you’re the right candidate. Without an interview, neither side really knows what they’re getting into.

These jobs usually aren’t always guaranteed

A guaranteed job would imply that the only requirement to get the job is the completion of the course. There’s often at least a degree of dishonesty at play here. 

As it turns out, many of these “guaranteed jobs” aren’t really guaranteed at all. In fact, you’ll still need to go through the application and interview process for TEFL jobs like anyone else.

They claim it’s “guaranteed” because with the huge demand for EFL teachers worldwide it’s highly likely you will find a job. But it’s ultimately not actually guaranteed – this is essentially a marketing gimmick used to sell the course.

A man holding out a clipboard with a CV on it

Courses that do offer a guaranteed job are expensive

Is there a catch with these “guaranteed jobs”? You bet there is.

TEFL courses that genuinely offer a guaranteed job are usually 4-week intensive courses, held in the country the job offered is in. Typically, these courses cost in excess of £1,000/$2,000 and that doesn’t include accommodation and living costs. Paying inflated fees to get a job that likely offers a more modest salary than other comparable employers doesn’t seem worthwhile to us.

In our opinion, if you’re looking for an intensive course then your best option is either the CELTA or CertTESOL courses, which are internationally recognised qualifications held in high regard by employers worldwide. But as we’ve discussed in a previous blog post , an intensive course is unlikely to increase your chances of finding a better job. In truth, experience determines the level of salary in the TEFL market.

Never pay to get a TEFL job

With these courses, you’re essentially paying over the odds to get a job. With the exception of internships, should never have to pay to get a TEFL job, whether the fee for job placement is included in your course fee or an additional cost. 

Any reputable TEFL course provider is going to offer assistance with finding work. Here at The TEFL Org, our students get lifetime access to our TEFL Jobs Centre and advice from our TEFL experts. We can help with your CV and take a look at job adverts and contracts for you to make sure it all checks out. It’s not a “guaranteed job”, it’s not a gimmick, it’s practical advice and excellent resources for finding something that suits you to a T.

With such a high demand for EFL teachers worldwide it simply isn’t necessary to pay to get a job. Considering recruiters make a commission for placing teachers into jobs, it’s a bit suspect to charge for a service they already make money from doing.

If it seems dishonest or crooked, it probably is.

Accreditation matters

Many courses that claim to offer a guaranteed TEFL job don’t have adequate accreditation. This may not be a problem for the employer the course provider has a relationship with, but what about your next job? It’s so crucial to think long-term.

We have heard of TEFL qualifications not being accepted because the course provider has dubious accreditation. There is no single accrediting body for TEFL courses so we recommend only taking a course that has government regulation or affiliation. The TEFL Org is the most accredited TEFL course provider in the world , and we have English-government regulation from Ofqual , the DEAC in the USA, as well as accreditation from The British Accreditation Council , Scottish Qualifications Authority , and more.

A woman typing on a keyboard with a world map on the table next o her

Finding a TEFL job might seem daunting. Believe us, though, when we say if you have a TEFL qualification from an accredited course provider and a BA degree then you won’t have a problem finding work teaching English abroad. 

Even without a degree you can find teaching work abroad – there are just some restrictions concerning where you can teach, due to working visas for specific countries.

A TEFL course with a guaranteed job placement is unlikely to guarantee a great TEFL experience. As an EFL teacher, your skills are in such demand that you can be selective and find a job that works for you. You dictate the market, not the other way round.

Teaching English as a foreign language should be about having the freedom to make exciting decisions, and having an impact globally. Chat to a TEFL expert if you have any questions, send us an email, or download our TEFL brochure to find out more.

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