Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Reader Questions: Getting a University Job in South Korea

Some reader questions from Kyle:

"Would you be willing to give some advice?  I'd like to teach at a Korean University with my Masters in Ed. , a K-12 ESL Certificate (State of Michigan and North Carolina), 4 years of K-8 licensed US teaching experience, and 15 years of K-12 ESL teaching experience in Taiwan.


1. Would being 47 years old make it difficult for me to be hired by hagwons, public schools, and universities?

2. What's the best path to getting a Korean University job that pays at least US$30,000 per year?

3. Is it best to travel to Korea first and job hunt or secure a job before leaving?  (I'm thinking Visas and paperwork here, in addition to the benefits being there before signing contracts).

4. Do you recommend any websites/blogs about working in Korea?

5. Can a qualified teacher like me just show up and find a job or is it always seasonal on schedule like hiring in August and in February?"

My answers:

If you're looking for advice about getting a university job in South Korea, check out my book:

How to Get a University Job in South Korea

It'll have all the information you need, and if not, send me another message and I'd be happy to help.

But, more specific answers:

1. Yes, 47 is a bit old but it's not impossible, especially if you look "young" for your age.  The prime age for most places is between about 25 and 40.

2. See the book!

3. It can go either way, depending on how adventurous you are.  It's often possible to find a better job when your boots are on the ground, but the job market is pretty tight for job-seekers these days and you can burn through a lot of money while waiting for the right one to come along.

4. Check my sidebar for a few blogs that I like.  As far as I know, nobody else is writing exclusively about teaching in Korean universities besides myself.

5. Universities hire seasonally, as well as public schools but hagwons hire year-round and you can literally start almost any week of the year.

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