Teaching Without a Degree


I am a twenty five year old white male from the UK. I have travelled in Vietnam before and have fallen in love with the country.

I dearly want to live and work in Vietnam, but my problem is I don't have a degree. I have studied for two years at university, but had to leave my studies for personal reasons.

I am learning Vietnamese, I'm studying TEFL, tutoring people where I am, and am prepared to do a TEFL course. What chance do I have of finding work? or tutoring privately?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!


Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

So, Mate. What's her name?

Forget about tutoring. You need to have contacts and you need a place to do the lessons and students can be unreliable and not show up for scheduled classes..

Not going to happen without a degree and some contacts. And never worth the trouble unless you sign a strict contract with the student anyways.

Your chances of getting work with a Private School are 100% IF....

You do at the minimum one of those 120 hour TEFL online courses. You need a bargaining chip in Vietnam to win a job.

With the 120 hour course then at least you can present a resume.

I think you would get hired no matter what (Unless you're as Ugly as Hell) but you will get a really low ball deal because very few schools will contact you.

Having some sort of experience with the TEFL will make you 1,000 times more employable.

I know schools in Vietnam where fewer than 10% of the teachers hold a degree. And 90% of them hold a fake Degree made on Koh San Road in Bangkok.

Get a TEFL (Or for best results get a CELTA). Head to Ho Chi Minh city or wherever in Vietnam. Buy a Sim Card for your mobile phone. Include the phone number on your resume and print them out with a small photo of you on top.

You can write down a list of school addresses from the teaching English in Vietnam page.

Jump on the back of a moto taxi the
next morning, dressed with a shirt, tie, slacks and proper shoes (You can buy all that in the markets of Ho Chi Minh City for about $27USD).

Take 5 resumes with copies of your TEFL and a photo of your pretty face. Tell the moto driver to take you to five schools.

Give him the list of schools or take a risk and see where he takes you. Don't offer more than 20,000 - 30.000 Dong.

Drop off your resumes at 5 schools and return home. You will get a phone call to go in for an interview.

You must do a Demo class where the School's staff watch you for 10 minutes after giving you a topic.

'Tell us the difference between Present Perfect and Simple Past'.

That's where you will need your TEFL. If you even do OK at the demo but everyone thought you were polite and kind then you're in. Then you bargain your per hour price.

Never less than 12USD / hour, I always say.

Sorry for the too much info bit there. I just want you to get a job and I mean it when I said that your chances are 100%.

If you put out a resume without any reference to the world of teaching, you might be working for $8USD an hour but you'll get work.

If you present yourself well, dress well and make the students happy with how you teach, you'll get a ton of hours and be making $2500USD per month.

The rent on your Town House will be $300USD.

If you come to work smelling like a beer factory and dressed poorly, you'll get fired.

Peace and Good luck to everyone.

Comments for Teaching Without a Degree

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 16, 2013
Does Age Matter When Teaching in Vietnam?
by: Mari Kubo

I have worked at the High School level, for 15 years in the U.S. as a Para Professional. I do not have a teaching degree. Upon reading the advice to take the CELTA class, I am encouraged as I love education and plan on relocating to Vietnam. I am 57 years old.

Is age a deterrent?

Thanks for any feedback.



Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Your 15 years experience in High Schools in the U.S. is a huge asset to have. You said that you do not have a teaching degree but do you have a degree in anything? A Bachelor's degree in any Major? The CELTA course is unavailable to non-degree holders in many countries and costs nearly 3,000USD

For that price, you could do a TEFL Internship in Vietnam That would see you qualified and trained in Vietnam with a guaranteed job.

Finding work in Vietnam without a degree is no problem. Having a degree in Vietnam merely adds an extra $1,000USD a month to your salary and puts you in the best working environment possible. You'll qualify to work at some of the best Private schools such as ILA and Universities such as RMIT.

Age matters in some schools and is an advantage in others. Less so in Vietnam than Thailand or Cambodia. In fact, age is sometimes seen as an asset because students here don't treat teachers the same way they do in the U.S, Europe or Canada. Students are more respectful of their elders and consider it a good thing to have a teacher wise in the ways of the world.

Again, that is something more prevalent in schools that require a Bachelor's Degree, A TEFL/CELTA, etc, and some teaching experience.

You'll be fine. As long as you are reliable, know your stuff and speak without a heavy accent.

Best of luck.


Jul 06, 2010
Thanks for Advice on Teaching in Vietnam
by: original poster

Thank you very much for your advice! It's nice not to hear cynical, disparaging voices for once.

It just so happens I look the part in a shirt and tie. I was often told how handsome I was, when I was in Vietnam. Which is another great thing about the country, the people are so, so friendly.

I don't drink, don't smoke, and I spend every minute of free time learning Vietnamese....and Vietnamese history which fascinates me.

Thank you again :)


Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

You are very welcome.

I hope everything turns out the way you plan. Please stop by and give us an update. I'd love to hear how you get on and what city you end up living in.

Cheers and best of luck,


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Teaching English in Vietnam.