Netherlands Master's in education vs teaching experience in Asia, which?
January 13, 2015 7:47 AM   Subscribe

I have a B.Sc in computer science and have one year of experience English using my CELTA qualification. Looking around, I see a lot of requests for people with North American B.Sc's to teach Math/Physics/CS in Asia. I'm trying to decide whether to go and start teaching, or whether it is better to get a state teaching qualification (2yr) in the Netherlands first...

I love teaching. I have been teaching English for about a year now, and I think I would like to continue in the classroom. I think I would be happier teaching in my subject though (math/physics/CS).

I have worked about 13 years in the North American software industry, have a B.Sc, and have a CELTA qualification to teach English.

I am trying to decide how to maximize my opportunities in teaching math/science, and my options are currently

1 - head to Utrecht and take a 2 year Master's program resulting in a Dutch highschool teaching qualification
2 - head to Asia and begin teaching, gaining valuable classroom experience at international schools there

I am curious -- without an EU state qualification, will I have trouble teaching at international/IB schools in the EU (or elsewhere) in the future, or might my B.Sc plus relevant work experience be sufficient? I don't want to pigeonhole myself into being an Asian expat teacher for my whole career, and if the Master's program will provide more opportunity I would like to take it now.

Some facts:
- Born and raised in Canada, but I carry both Canadian and EU (Netherlands) passports.
- Native English speaker.
- B.Sc in Computer Science was taken from a reputable school in Canada.
- M.Sc I am looking at is offered in English in the Netherlands and provides a state teaching cert.
- Carry the Cambridge CELTA certificate and (will) have 1yr teaching experience.
posted by jpziller to Education (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think it depends on the school. Generally speaking, teaching in a public or private school (as opposed to an ESL school) in Canada or the EU requires some sort of teacher training such as a BEd, MEd, or basic teacher certification.

Even international school overseas require teacher training, although they tend to have more leeway about who they hire.

If you want to be a teacher, and you're sure that there is indeed a career path, it might be wise to get that teacher training first, since if you really want to teach you will have to get it anyway.
posted by Nevin at 9:46 AM on January 13, 2015

This depends on where in Asia you want to teach. For this reason, I suggest doing some reverse searching with the usual venues (Dave's ESL, TeachAway, ESL jobs in Asia, Jobs DB Asia).


1. This link at an international school in Taiwan is asking for a teaching certification and it states "Must have an official state-issued or provincial-issued teaching license." They also prefer those familiar with the Canadian school system.

2. This job at an international school in Vietnam asks for "Minimum of 2 /5 years of full or part time teaching experience in a K-12 certified content area."

3. This one in Singapore asks for "Qualified Science (Physical or Chemistry) teacher with a least 2 yrs teaching experience."

If you don't mind going to England for a year, consider getting a PGCE.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 10:24 AM on January 13, 2015

If you go to Asia, check out Korea and Thailand. Burma could be good too. The job will be the most basic thing until you have the experience to go where you want. Could you teach English with computer science, or are you dead against it? Is the degree in the Netherlands recognised in the places you want to be?
posted by parmanparman at 5:50 PM on January 13, 2015

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