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BA vs MA for International Schools


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I would like to know if it is possible for International Schools in Thailand to accept a Masters in Education instead of a Bachelors for a work permit and teaching licence? 

 

I have an Associates Degree, which allowed me to do my MA at a reputable university in the UK. I have a waiver for my licence on the understanding that I would be able to provide a BA within the next two years. I also have a PGCEi, and a TEFL, and more than six years teaching experience. I am almost done with my MA, so by the next check in I would have this, but still not a BA. Would this be an issue for immigration and for other international schools, should I decide to change jobs? An MA is higher than a BA so my assumption is no, but one can never be too careful.

 

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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Well it seems a lot of schools prefer one such as yourself. One that will have a masters and particularly in Education. I think there are a total of 3 waivers one can get. Each being 2 years. But maybe someone knows better than I.

 

You seem to be making excellent progress on the path you are currently on. Having that PGCEi, I think is enough to go just about anywhere.

 

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17 minutes ago, Solinvictus said:

Well it seems a lot of schools prefer one such as yourself. One that will have a masters and particularly in Education. I think there are a total of 3 waivers one can get. Each being 2 years. But maybe someone knows better than I.

 

You seem to be making excellent progress on the path you are currently on. Having that PGCEi, I think is enough to go just about anywhere.

 

Thank you. Apparently the MoE didn't care much for my PGCEi if I didn't have a Bachelors as well. 

 

In your opinion, do you think schools would require specifically a BA, or would they be fine with my above credentials and the MA? I really don't want to go through the hassle to do a BA as well only on the basis of a work permit.

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It really varies on the school. Some schools that are lower tier might not even consider you much as you have such a high education. But then again, you could be a blessing for them.  Your aim are the higher tiered schools, especially for the better pay given your credentials. But your question is about getting that teacher's license..Remember that a work permit is easy to obtain. It is the teacher's license that is more of a hassle.

 

But here we are again, facing this sort of ambiguity when it comes to bureaucratic 'by the book' sort of paperwork processing here. But your MA is in Education so I believe you are golden. Just take a look at these ads for some schools, as they are quite 'wishful' to find someone with a MA in Education. You will be fine I think. I suppose no need to produce a BA when you have a MA in Ed.

 

Worst comes to worse, being a good teacher, the school may help you in a variety of ways, if you happen to not get approved by Kru Sa Pa for the teacher's license.

 

Someone correct me if I'm off on this.

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1 hour ago, Teachingjessica said:

a reputable university in the UK

That is quite vague.  The ministry of education has a list of accredited universities.  If your “reputable” university is on it then I don’t see why it would be a problem.  But...the only people I have ever known that went from an Associates degree to a MA did so by taking some sort of online course which counted for very little in the end.

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12 hours ago, Airalee said:

That is quite vague.  The ministry of education has a list of accredited universities.  If your “reputable” university is on it then I don’t see why it would be a problem.  But...the only people I have ever known that went from an Associates degree to a MA did so by taking some sort of online course which counted for very little in the end.

It is through the University of Nottingham, and first I completed my PGCEi with them, and then was accepted for my MEd. So it definitely counts. But I know how picky the Teacher’s licence process can be, thus I’m trying to figure out if schools and MoE accept this instead of a BA. 

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2 hours ago, Teachingjessica said:

It is through the University of Nottingham, and first I completed my PGCEi with them, and then was accepted for my MEd. So it definitely counts. But I know how picky the Teacher’s licence process can be, thus I’m trying to figure out if schools and MoE accept this instead of a BA. 

From the University of Nottingham Website, it says that a PGCEi does *not* give qualified teacher status. (See link below)

 

The university of Nottingham, however, is on the list of approved universities. (See other link)

 

Personally, I can’t see why they wouldn’t accept an MEd without a BA but then again...it’s up to them.  I do know that when I wanted to become a teacher (even though I never followed through with it for personal reasons), that I had to provide formal (sealed) copies of my transcripts (showing the degree attained) from my “accredited” university in the US.  That would lead me to believe that until you have completed your Masters Degree and have the formal necessary papers in hand, that you won’t get your license.  I’m not sure if a “work in progress” will mean much to those who give the official stamp of approval.  Everything here seems to be done with a “checklist mentality”.  So...finish it up...and then, I wish you luck with your endeavors.


https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/education/study/pgcei/index.aspx


 

List of accredited universities University of Nottingham is #130

http://e-accreditation.ocsc.go.th/acc/search/internew/unitedkingdom.htm

 

 

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Hi Everyone,

 

I am currently considering becoming the latest ajarn to land in Thailand with big hopes and dreams, and have been doing my research on this and other similar forums but still have many questions! 

 

I was scrolling through the forum and found this thread which seems to address one of my main questions. The below comment in particular stood out:

"the worst teachers were the PhD's.....not a clue" 🙂  so with this in mind please go easy on me...

 

I am adding the finishing touches to my own PhD in Anthropology.  I do not have any specific TEFL or CELTA qualification, however I do have experience teaching university tutorial classes to undergrads over the past few years.

 

I am not too concerned if the job would 'match' my qualifications, as I would be very happy to teach anywhere at any level, but I was  wondering if my PhD would be sufficient to unlock any doors to a teaching job in Thailand.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Jamie 

 

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3 hours ago, jamiemccoll said:

Hi Everyone,

 

I am currently considering becoming the latest ajarn to land in Thailand with big hopes and dreams, and have been doing my research on this and other similar forums but still have many questions! 

 

I was scrolling through the forum and found this thread which seems to address one of my main questions. The below comment in particular stood out:

"the worst teachers were the PhD's.....not a clue" 🙂  so with this in mind please go easy on me...

 

I am adding the finishing touches to my own PhD in Anthropology.  I do not have any specific TEFL or CELTA qualification, however I do have experience teaching university tutorial classes to undergrads over the past few years.

 

I am not too concerned if the job would 'match' my qualifications, as I would be very happy to teach anywhere at any level, but I was  wondering if my PhD would be sufficient to unlock any doors to a teaching job in Thailand.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Jamie 

 

As long as you have a bachelors degree you can teach in Thailand. However, in regular schools you will need to get the Thai teacher's licence. If you have a teachign qualification (such as a PGCE or Bachelor of Education), you can get a full 5 year licence. Otherwise, it is a provisional licence. A TEFL is useful, but not a requirement, if you plan to teach english as a second language. You could do one in Thailand and that would give you an indication if you like it or now, as the good courses should have in-classroom practice. 

You could also consider university teaching (no teaching licence required) and make more use of your PhD. Look up some Thai universities and see if any have vacancies for your field. 

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On 3/5/2021 at 9:15 PM, Surelynot said:

Sadly, most schools don't care if you can teach....what they want is the highest degree possible for their prospectus.

 

In my 25 years of experience in UK schools, the worst teachers were the PhD's.....not a clue.

So just how many school teachers in the UK have PhD's? I would imagine not too many. Masters yes...but PhD's? And if they do, they must also have teaching qualifications. Those PhD's working in universities are a different story - they are there because they want to do research, and must also 'teach" one or two courses a semester. I only ever met one in university who had school teaching qualifications.

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On 3/5/2021 at 1:23 PM, Teachingjessica said:

I would like to know if it is possible for International Schools in Thailand to accept a Masters in Education instead of a Bachelors for a work permit and teaching licence? 

 

I have an Associates Degree, which allowed me to do my MA at a reputable university in the UK. I have a waiver for my licence on the understanding that I would be able to provide a BA within the next two years. I also have a PGCEi, and a TEFL, and more than six years teaching experience. I am almost done with my MA, so by the next check in I would have this, but still not a BA. Would this be an issue for immigration and for other international schools, should I decide to change jobs? An MA is higher than a BA so my assumption is no, but one can never be too careful.

 

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks.

I would imagine the best approach would be to contact them directly and ask the question/send your CV in..at least you're likely to get a definitive answer which may help in your quest.....good luck

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Are prospects for decent paying PhD. jobs in the UK/US hard to come by now a days? Just thinking to myself why would someone have such an esteemed accomplishment of obtaining a PhD. and then be interested to get a 40K teaching job in Thailand.

 

Clearly, the beauty, beaches, and the food of Thailand have to be the bigger reasons for the move.

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16 minutes ago, Solinvictus said:

Are prospects for decent paying PhD. jobs in the UK/US hard to come by now a days? Just thinking to myself why would someone have such an esteemed accomplishment of obtaining a PhD. and then be interested to get a 40K teaching job in Thailand.

 

Clearly, the beauty, beaches, and the food of Thailand have to be the bigger reasons for the move.

I’ve known some PhDs in the US that were little more than “perpetual students” who went on for a PhD only so they could defer paying back their student debt from their overpriced (and usually useless) Bachelors and Masters degrees.  I also assume (rightly or wrongly) that the hiring manager with only a Bachelors or Masters (plus real world experience) could possibly view a candidate with a PhD as an “uppity know it all” (book smarts vs experience) and hard to train because after all...many PhDs think they are special.

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21 hours ago, jamiemccoll said:

Hi Everyone,

 

I am currently considering becoming the latest ajarn to land in Thailand with big hopes and dreams, and have been doing my research on this and other similar forums but still have many questions! 

 

I was scrolling through the forum and found this thread which seems to address one of my main questions. The below comment in particular stood out:

"the worst teachers were the PhD's.....not a clue" 🙂  so with this in mind please go easy on me...

 

I am adding the finishing touches to my own PhD in Anthropology.  I do not have any specific TEFL or CELTA qualification, however I do have experience teaching university tutorial classes to undergrads over the past few years.

 

I am not too concerned if the job would 'match' my qualifications, as I would be very happy to teach anywhere at any level, but I was  wondering if my PhD would be sufficient to unlock any doors to a teaching job in Thailand.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Jamie 

 

What do you plan to teach?  If you just want to teach English, a TEFL qualification might help although unfortunately many schools in Thailand think a BA/MA/Phd in any discipline is more important.  Quite how that helps you teach grammar points and pronunciation, I have no idea.

 

If you want to teach anthropology you would probably need a teaching qualification just like you would in your own country.  Are you qualified to teach anything else?

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18 hours ago, DavisH said:

As long as you have a bachelors degree you can teach in Thailand. However, in regular schools you will need to get the Thai teacher's licence. If you have a teachign qualification (such as a PGCE or Bachelor of Education), you can get a full 5 year licence. Otherwise, it is a provisional licence. A TEFL is useful, but not a requirement, if you plan to teach english as a second language. You could do one in Thailand and that would give you an indication if you like it or now, as the good courses should have in-classroom practice. 

You could also consider university teaching (no teaching licence required) and make more use of your PhD. Look up some Thai universities and see if any have vacancies for your field. 

Thanks for your response DavisH 

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1 minute ago, brewsterbudgen said:

What do you plan to teach?  If you just want to teach English, a TEFL qualification might help although unfortunately many schools in Thailand think a BA/MA/Phd in any discipline is more important.  Quite how that helps you teach grammar points and pronunciation, I have no idea.

 

If you want to teach anthropology you would probably need a teaching qualification just like you would in your own country.  Are you qualified to teach anything else?

Thanks for your reply Brewster.

 

I do not have any formal teaching qualifications but have experience teaching tutorials and workshops to undergraduates. 

I have been looking at opportunities to use my anthropology knowledge in Thai universities, but these are very limited. My plan at the moment is to find an English teaching job so I  can relocate to Thailand and then  once I am in the country perhaps I can try to explore the possibility of finding an anthropology related job in a Thai university.

 

At the moment I am trying to establish if I need TEFL qualification before I start looking for English teaching jobs, but I am guessing from your response:  "many schools in Thailand think a BA/MA/PhD in any discipline is more important", that a TEFL certificate would be desirable but not essential. Would that be correct?

 

I do agree  with you  that having a PhD does not necessarily equip you with the skills to teach grammar and pronunciation but I have been working as a proofreader whilst completing my PhD so I hope that this would  stand me in good stead.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Solinvictus said:

Are prospects for decent paying PhD. jobs in the UK/US hard to come by now a days? Just thinking to myself why would someone have such an esteemed accomplishment of obtaining a PhD. and then be interested to get a 40K teaching job in Thailand.

 

Clearly, the beauty, beaches, and the food of Thailand have to be the bigger reasons for the move.

To be honest, in the time it has taken me to (almost) complete my PhD I have become quite disillusioned with the world of 'academia'  in the UK. Job opportunities are few and far between, and as Airalee noted in response to your comment: "many PhDs think they are special", I think this can be extended to include 'many academics'!! So I have came to the conclusion it is time for a change.

I have been looking at options in various Asian countries, but Thailand keeps coming top of my list!

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, jamiemccoll said:

Thanks for your reply Brewster.

 

I do not have any formal teaching qualifications but have experience teaching tutorials and workshops to undergraduates. 

I have been looking at opportunities to use my anthropology knowledge in Thai universities, but these are very limited. My plan at the moment is to find an English teaching job so I  can relocate to Thailand and then  once I am in the country perhaps I can try to explore the possibility of finding an anthropology related job in a Thai university.

 

At the moment I am trying to establish if I need TEFL qualification before I start looking for English teaching jobs, but I am guessing from your response:  "many schools in Thailand think a BA/MA/PhD in any discipline is more important", that a TEFL certificate would be desirable but not essential. Would that be correct?

 

I do agree  with you  that having a PhD does not necessarily equip you with the skills to teach grammar and pronunciation but I have been working as a proofreader whilst completing my PhD so I hope that this would  stand me in good stead.

 

 

 

A lot depends on whether you're looking at a TEFL "career" or just a way of spending some time in Thailand.  There are plenty of TEFL jobs for those with a degree and the right appearance/attitude.  Unfortunately a lot of Thai schools are not concerned with your actual teaching ability.  However, TEFL jobs worldwide will normally expect to see a decent TEFL qualification, like a CELTA or Trinity TESOL.  Also, the better language schools in Thailand, like the British Council, Wall Street place far more importance on a TEFL qualification and experience, although a degree is still necessary for the work permit.

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19 hours ago, brewsterbudgen said:

What do you plan to teach?  If you just want to teach English, a TEFL qualification might help although unfortunately many schools in Thailand think a BA/MA/Phd in any discipline is more important.  Quite how that helps you teach grammar points and pronunciation, I have no idea.

 

If you want to teach anthropology you would probably need a teaching qualification just like you would in your own country.  Are you qualified to teach anything else?

Many schools are struggling now to get ANY western teacher. I don't think they would care much as long as they meet the minimum qualifications. 

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19 hours ago, jamiemccoll said:

Thanks for your reply Brewster.

 

I do not have any formal teaching qualifications but have experience teaching tutorials and workshops to undergraduates. 

I have been looking at opportunities to use my anthropology knowledge in Thai universities, but these are very limited. My plan at the moment is to find an English teaching job so I  can relocate to Thailand and then  once I am in the country perhaps I can try to explore the possibility of finding an anthropology related job in a Thai university.

 

At the moment I am trying to establish if I need TEFL qualification before I start looking for English teaching jobs, but I am guessing from your response:  "many schools in Thailand think a BA/MA/PhD in any discipline is more important", that a TEFL certificate would be desirable but not essential. Would that be correct?

 

I do agree  with you  that having a PhD does not necessarily equip you with the skills to teach grammar and pronunciation but I have been working as a proofreader whilst completing my PhD so I hope that this would  stand me in good stead.

 

 

I would suggest you do a TELF certificate in the UK before you come out here. You will be able to judge from that if english teaching will be what you want to do. 

You will have generic skills from doing a PhD....writing skills in particular, that you can use when planning lessons. I also have a PhD but in science, not maths that I teach. However, I did later do a formal teaching qualification. You may end up doing the same if you enjoy teaching. 

 

 

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On 3/5/2021 at 8:23 PM, Teachingjessica said:

I am almost done with my MA, so by the next check in I would have this, but still not a BA.

I'm confused, I thought that a Bachelor degree was needed to even apply for a Master Degree? Anyway you seem to be very competent, it is up to the university to accept your application and with those credentials I don't think there is a problem.

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I recently went through this.  Hold an equivalent to an associate degree and also a Master degree.  Immigration wouldn't budge on not being able to produce a Bachelor degree.

Eventually the woman helping me with the visa just left it a few days and then went back again to try and it wasn't brought up as an issue, so got my work visa.

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On 3/7/2021 at 2:00 PM, Solinvictus said:

Just thinking to myself why would someone have such an esteemed accomplishment of obtaining a PhD. and then be interested to get a 40K teaching job

Cost of living is a huge factor. Many apartments in major US cities now command $2000-3000 USD a month. I had several friends making six figures who were struggling.

What used to be considered a big salary matters little when the rent ends up taking half your income. Each time I pay the rent on my 6500 baht condo, with many amenities lacking in the US, I get a huge reminder of why I had escaped. 😁

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On 3/11/2021 at 10:15 AM, Meanies said:

I recently went through this.  Hold an equivalent to an associate degree and also a Master degree.  Immigration wouldn't budge on not being able to produce a Bachelor degree.

Indeed. When I first got here I thought my MA in Edu would be all that would suffice. Nope, immigration and the teacher’s council only cared about my BA. I’ve had some colleagues from European unis who issue MAs without a BA, who had run into this problem. They somehow jumped through some hoops to get around it.

Back to the original topic, I really wished that my MA in Edu and several years experience would be more attractive to international schools, but my CVs have just been going into a black hole. Apparently you’ve really got to know some people.

I was once recommended some big agency that claims to search for a good intl school for you, but they’ve got some ridiculous requirements, like letters of rec from your HoD, your school director, a supervisor, two parents, and I suppose the Pope as well.

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