Thursday, January 16, 2014

Reader Question: MA +2

This one from James:

"I have an MA (in English Language & Literature), but, I have been looking at many advertisements that say MA + 2 years experience at a college or university, and I would like to know more about what that entails, and what the expectations are. I completed my MA in 2012, and my university teaching experience is limited to the 8 months I was a teaching assistant to an ENGL 101 class. My goal is to teach at a university this fall, but I would love to know, how does one get the experience if most jobs are asking for 2+ years?"

My answer: 

These days, it seems like job requirements are getting higher and higher and due to some government regulation regarding funding, universities want the magic MA +2 years experience at a uni.  If you have an MA but don't have the experience, you're still a step ahead of many people competing for the entry-level uni jobs, which is where you have a chance, especially at crunch time when the semester is starting in a few weeks and they still haven't filled all their slots with warm bodies.

By entry-level, I mean the jobs that have some sort of negative factor(s).  These include: in the countryside, low-pay (2.2 or less), high hours (16+), low vacation (less than 16 weeks), unpaid summer/winter camps, 5 days a week schedule, or teaching children as well as uni students.

You could also look for "uni-gwon" jobs, which are hybrid uni/hagwon jobs.  Something like an English cafe, or language institute at a uni and usually around 20-25 hours/week with a month or two vacation.  For the purposes of your resume, it still counts as "uni experience."

Apply to these jobs and stick it out for 2 years, even if it's not great.  Then, you'll have the magic number on your resume and can move on to bigger and better things in Busan or Seoul and with better working conditions. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reader Questions about the Delta

These ones from Shirley:

 "I found a DELTA module 1 distance course that starts in March and ends in June. I'm hoping to work at summer schools at the end of June, so do you think that's enough time to complete the module?  Additionally, is it possible to postpone the exam?"

Is it possible to do module 1 and 3 simultaneously? Is it possible to start module 3 before module 1?"

My answers:

Cambridge holds the Delta exam twice a year, so you could postpone the June exam, but it would have to be for 6 months later.  If you want to take the exam in December, just take the prep course that finishes in December.  You'll be so tired of it if you study for a year and it's really not necessary.  And, you have to register for the exam a few weeks ahead of time and pay a lot of money, so it's not like you can just get stressed out and then decide to postpone it on a whim.

You can do modules 1/3 at the same time, but you'd have to be very organized/extremely self-motivated if you did it by distance.  If you do the Delta in person somewhere, you'll often be working on modules 1/2/3 concurrently.  You can do the modules in any order, or just do one or two and not the other one(s).

Friday, January 10, 2014

Reader Question: Asian looking people working at Korean Universities

Another question from Shirley:

"Would being of Asian appearance reduce my chances of getting a job at university?"

Short answer: yes!  While I have met people who are Asian looking (or black) working at Korean universities, it's relatively rare.  And I've heard that it's actually quite difficult for any non-white person to get any job in Korea, since most admin/school owners/principals have some sort of idea that the white, blonde hair/blue-eyed person speaks English better than someone who does not look like that.

Another thing that Koreans think about Korean-Americans or Chinese-Canadians (etc), is that they will have an accent of some kind and not the "real" accent of the country that they grew up in.

For all the details about Getting a Uni Job in South Korea, check out this Ebook:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reader Question: Delta recognized by Korean Universities?

Another one from Shirley:

"If I got the DELTA qualification,  would Korean universities recognize it?"

My short answer is no!  Most admin in Korean universities have absolutely no idea what a Delta is and what it actually means.  Most of them don't even know what the Celta is.  If you're choosing between a Delta and an MA in anything, you'd be better off by far doing the MA if you want to work at a Korean university.

I'm only doing the Delta as a post-Korea plan.  I'd like to eventually become a Celta trainer, somewhere warm, near the beach, with scuba diving (preferably!)