Friday, March 1, 2013

Reader Question...How Long?

This one from Jacob:

"How long is it possible for somebody like you to teach in Korea at the University level?"

My answer:

It's possible to spend decades teaching at Korean Universities and I've met a few people here who've done it.  There are a few things to consider though:

1. The market is becoming saturated in terms of a large number of very qualified teachers fighting for a limited number of "good" jobs.  It's becoming more and more similar to Japan where good uni jobs are few and far between and are mostly locked up by an elite few.  I have a feeling that Korean unis will realize this soon enough (if they haven't already) and job conditions will become not as fabulous as they are now.

2. Age discrimination is an issue in Korea.  You will likely not get hired here if you're above 60.  And if you start somewhere when you're younger and are approaching that age, watch your back and start exploring some other opportunities.

3. Some unis won't hire foreign instructors for more than 3-4 years because of issues to do with the Korea Teacher's pension plan.  In a teacher's fifth year, the school has to pay a significant amount more for their portion of the contribution than they did in years 1-4, which makes some places reluctant to keep people for the long-term. 

No comments: