Graduate job-hunt: consider teaching English as a foreign language
There’s no doubt that 2020 was a year of great uncertainty, chaos and disruptions. The traditional sense of learning is forever altered and while many students across South Africa anticipate a delayed graduation and plan on paying off student loans, the 2021 job hunt is already under way.
According to Stats SA, South Africa reached its highest unemployment rate in 12 years as joblessness surged to 6.5 million during the third quarter of last year. With the need to compete for jobs and in an unpredictable economy, many graduates will be unable to pay back student loans, which will result in a delay to the start of their professional careers.
“With employers cutting back on graduate programmes and new hires, one of the most challenging parts of securing a job during Covid-19 is finding companies that are actively recruiting. Graduates need to be innovative and may need to expand their career interests to secure an income for the time being. In the long run, showing that you can adapt to difficult situations will impress future employers,” says Tom Gibbons, director at The TEFL Academy.
Entry-level jobs not only provide a salary to young people but also equips them with essential work experience to progress to the next level of their careers. This usually involves learning both technical skills in their career field of choice and essential soft skills such as: time management, communication, professional conduct and work ethics.
“It’s difficult to learn these skills when you’re in a remote setting, unless the career or company you’re working in has been geared towards remote work,” says Gibbons.
Whether you are looking for an exciting post-grad venture discovering the unknown or interested in teaching English or in need of paying off your student loan while also learning new skills – Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) can be an exciting online work-opportunity for you.
Although TEFL is not new to the world and has been in existence before the pandemic.
TEFL opportunities are designed to ensure that teachers are prepared for the challenges that come along with remote work, and is a non-negotiable skill as technology becomes more integrated.
This is a great opportunity for those with student loans, especially those loans that need to be paid off between three to six months after graduation and we all know that landing a first job is imperative to achieving that.
“Due to a global increase in demand for online English teachers, since the start of the pandemic, there are currently thousands of online teaching jobs available to South Africans. All that you need to get started is a legitimate TEFL qualification – which can be completed in four to six weeks from anywhere in the world – a stable internet connection, a laptop with a microphone and webcam, and a method to receive payments, like a PayPal account,” says Gibbons.
“Earning a TEFL qualification can also be the first step towards a long-term teaching career,” he adds.
“There is a misconception that teaching English is just for a gap year or part-time income, but those who enjoy it and stick with it can build a life around teaching. Additionally, once travel and borders open up again, it’s a guaranteed passport to see the world.”