Ajarn.com - shallow and sad
Ajarn.com used to show many jobs with salaries over 40,000 baht and now has many jobs with salaries between 20,000 and 30,000 baht. Most jobs are with agencies which can take from 4,000 to 15,000 baht of someone's monthly salary and agencies often do not provide any benefits. A website that has random articles and blogs about Thailand, but does not provide any well paying jobs seems rather shallow. Supporting agencies and schools that offer poor salaries demonstrates a desire to earn money from individuals that desire to post an ad, but very little sincere desire to have any quality. Some individuals create websites and pretend they are trying to help teachers, but really money seems more important. Shallow and sad.
Phil (ajarn.com) replies - I decided to put your letter on-line to show that life running ajarn.com isn't always a bed of roses. OK, where to start? "Ajarn.com used to show many jobs with salaries over 40,000 baht" - well, you need hard figures to back up sweeping statements like that. If we take the last three years, the number of job ads posted on ajarn.com increased 12% in 2011, 22% in 2012 and so far by about 15% in 2013. Yes, you are probably seeing an increase in job ads advertising positions in the 20-30K bracket but that doesn't mean there are fewer positions in the 40K+ bracket. It's just that those better-paying jobs are becoming a smaller percentage of the overall jobs posted. And that's the way it is I'm afraid.
Teacher placement agencies have increased considerably over the last three years. Yes, as middlemen, they do retain a portion of the teachers salary and yes, most agencies do tend to pay salaries around the 30K mark. But the ads are merely a reflection of the direction the Thailand TEFL job market has gone in. How can Ajarn.com be held responsible for the way things are?
I know from the e-mails we receive that ajarn.com has helped a lot of teachers to find information on teaching on Thailand. There is no 'pretending to help teachers' involved. Some we help, others maybe we don't. But is ajarn.com a business and is it there to make money? Yes is the answer to both questions - and I have never ever denied it. The overhead costs of running ajarn.com are considerable and of course, there are an awful lot of man hours that go into keeping the site updated, etc. The site has to pay for itself. In all honesty, If it didn't, I would pack it in tomorrow and go fishing instead. That's the reality.