Let's begin with Steve's question.
Hi, I am looking for some honest advice. I am a 60-year old British man, living in Nonthaburi, and just about to retire from working for a large company in Thailand. I have thought about taking up teaching English but I don't have a bachelor's degree as I joined the RAF at 18, and have only ever done technical training through my 43 years of IT work. Is it worth my while to get a TEFL certificate and still find a reasonable teaching position without a degree? Thank you in advance, Steve.
So what about the replies and advice?
Stewart shot straight from the hip
"Steve, you are too old to work here as a teacher. They want young teachers that are more willing to adapt to the school's and students' needs. If you also don't have a degree also that is another problem"
Dewi was more encouraging
"Do you need the money? don't you have a pension? or are you just looking for something to keep you occupied? If it's the latter, then doing a TEFL course would keep your brain active. There are loads of opportunities for voluntary English teaching in Thailand. And neighbouring countries don't require a degree, actually"
And so was Ste.
"When I did my BA in TESOL at a college in Bangkok, there were people older than you doing the degree. It's never too late to start! Doing a degree would also provide you with a visa. The course also ran on weekends and Thai school holidays"
Simon had some decent advice
"You’ll definitely get work, but you probably won’t get access to the higher paid/better gigs. My advice? Take any gig that looks half decent then work your way up, you obviously have skills, you can do a good job for someone"
Could teaching online be the answer? Brett seemed to think so.
"Being over 60 your best bet is to teach online. However, you would certainly need a TEFL or TOESL"
"No degree, no experience, and being an older man, your pay for teaching online (even if you're accepted by a company) is going to be almost zero"
Don't think Stewart liked the idea either
"What the Chinese online teaching companies want is babysitters not teachers"
Both Gary and Mike felt the lack of degree would be a sticky point.
"Very difficult (if not impossible) to get a visa and work permit without a bachelors degree nowadays in Thailand"
"For the better jobs, you will definitely need a degree now"
Glyn offered his viewpoint on the degree issue
"Hi Steve, you are just the sort of person we need at our vocational college - a guy with real experience and knowledge in a technical working environment. However we always stick to the law and with no degree we would not be able to get a teacher waiver or non-b visa for teaching. Go for the degree as I feel sure you have much to offer Thai students. Good luck!"
Mark is a teacher with years of experience working in Thailand. He has grave doubts.
"Twenty years ago I would have said 'definitely'. Ten years ago I would have said 'yes'. Today I would strongly advise against it. This has nothing to do with the virus, but the new laws (and the efficiency of the rigorous enforcement of them) that penalize schools for hiring people illegally. It's not worth their risk and consequently, it's not worth yours to even try. You MAY find work, but you will be at the mercy of your employer and the work will be very poorly rewarded. You're in for a world of disappointment if you don't heed my advice.
We'll leave the last word to another Mark
"Steve, just enjoy your well-earned retirement"