Over qualified, too expensive, or from the wrong field?

I have a master’s degree in education, am certified in 3 areas as a teacher and as an administrator, and am finishing my doctorate in education. While I’ve been responsible for all the content areas, I was teaching as a special educator, and I know some HR groups from non-USA countries don’t get that a special educator would have covered those topics. I’ve only taught for a few years, but that seems to be more than most people who I’ve seen getting jobs on various sites. Also, I’ve spent a few years training teachers.

I’ve had a few offers to take jobs with entry level pay, but that’s not affordable due to my student loans.

I’m having trouble finding a solid job in Taiwan. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why I might be struggling to get a job in Taiwan?

I’m not sure…are you applying to universities? You won’t make much teaching in Taiwan anywhere really, and qualifications and experience don’t usually equate to a great deal more of a salary.

More importantly though, why Taiwan? If you are open to going elsewhere, you could bring in a heck of a lot more money!

Because it’s Taiwan. Wrong market for your skill set. I think the problem isn’t you can’t get a job, but you can’t get a job that you want (salary/pay wise). You could probably get something here to your liking, but it would take time and probably difficult to find if you just arrived. Again, as with all things, it wouldn’t be impossible but generally speaking I think you’d need to take a job you didn’t like and then see what else is on offer after people get to know you. Universities should be possible for you because you are studying for your PhD. They may ask you to start part-time with just the MA behind you, but once you have proven yourself you should have no problem getting work. Although, the pay isn’t that great (check the forums on university positions and how much they pay). Is it worth the risk and the time of trying to find a position here that pays what you want? Maybe you could try another country where you get paid more because they know you are qualified.

Yup, I’ve had above average offers from Korea and the USA. I’ve also had people try to tempt me to go the PRC and the Middle East with some high paying jobs that I didn’t think were a match. I could probably get a job in Japan (but I don’t understand how that works economically, despite people’s claims to be saving money over there). That said, I want to go to Taiwan. I like the warm weather, hours, culture, etc.

I can’t made due off of the 65K NTD I see posted a lot because of my student loans, and I’m reluctant to tak a job with minimal security for the same reason. I’ve been trying to teach K-12. When I put in apps to teach at some unis in Taiwan a year or so ago, I didn’t get a good response either.

I’ve heard that the Taiwanese struggle with English, despite dedicating years of training on the subject. It seems as though they are trying to do it on the cheap and not trying to recruit people who know how to teach effectively. I’ve also had interviewers stress to me that I should use ineffective approaches to teaching (instead of effective approaches) because their kids don’t know how to speak much English. However, their kids don’t know how to speak much English because the teachers/ administrators don’t use effective approaches. I’m very good at what I do, and I’m disappointed that I can’t seem to find a match.

You’re not likely to get a university job with an MA. You need a Ph.D for that in most cases. How much do you have a month in student loans? It seems difficult to believe that someone couldn’t pay off loans and live fairly well on 65K a month. I realize prices were a bit lower then, but I did it on $52K a month, and saved money besides. Of course, I wasn’t living in a great big apartment, I had a room, and later when I “moved up”, a taofang (room with ensuite bath). It wasn’t until I wasn’t paying back loans that I got an apartment.

In Taiwan, however, you should not hold on to the idea that you know how to teach, for the most part. You are there to implement a set curriculum, which, most times, is flawed. This is not really any different from teaching in the US these days, though if you’re in special ed you may have a bit more flexibility.

Live on 65K a month? I really don’t think so. I would not say my lifestyle is lavish even though I live in the mountains and own my home, no mortgage. My husband and I couldn’t live on 65K a month. Our son can hardly live on that amount a month :wink: You can struggle on 65K a month if you need to pay of loans.

Most of the people here “teaching” in cram schools are not teachers, they are just people who can lip flap in English and have some sort of university qualification and some of them who are supposedly native speakers of English, speak English as a second language back in their home countries. That’s good enough for bushiban work but I don’t think you would want to be an entertainment jockey at one of those schools. You are over qualified for just English teaching.

Chris1234 you are really most likely not going to find a high paying job in Taiwan right away. You would be better off in Japan or in the Middle East. Or just stay in the USA where people really understand the vaule of your skill set. But Taiwan is a nice place to live so if you can adjust and learn to live with less money then come on over.

Even though I am a qualified TEFL teacher with a Degree in Education I won’t work for a school as I prefer to teach English at home. I’m a native indiginous woman. I get more satisfaction teaching the children in my tribal community than I did when I worked for a cram school in the city.

Just for balance most people in Taiwan live on less than 65k/mth. It’s doable, it’s not very attractive of course, especially if you were to include costs of international travel, renting places etc.
The average wage in Taiwan is around 40,000 NTD/mth, the min wage is around 18k/mth, most people earn less than the average at about 30-40,000 K/mth. Top university professors might earn 150k-200k/mth. That’s why you will find it hard to get a high paid job, there are very few high paid jobs in Taiwan! People who earn good money almost all run their own businesses.

We average just under 50K/month for two people. That includes a mortgage, and we have a very comfortable lifestyle. Whether the OP would consider 65K an acceptable salary is another matter entirely.

I pay close to 1K USD each month in student loans, so there’s a limit to the cost of living benefits for me based upon location.

Maybe this job advert

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 2&t=117199

Rooms in central Taipei are still under 10K, and that’s not going “all student” either. There’s only so much one can eat. Even if you take 30K out for loan repayment, that leaves 35K. Okay, some taxes, let’s say $30K a month. 10K for lodging, and there’s still 20K left for food, transportation, and anything else. If that’s not doable, I don’t know what is. And that’s in central Taipei – other places would be cheaper, and wages would not be that much lower in many cases for English teaching.

This will sound all “back in the day”, but back in the day :wink: we used to live frugally until we’d paid off our debts, and then we appreciated having our own bathroom when we could afford it without impacting our paying off our loans. And the apartment, when we got it. And the occasional Western meal. And so on. If you are insisting on living in Taiwan while maintaining a Western lifestyle and paying off all your debt, you’d better have an expat package.

tbh - you are pretty much going to make ends meet in Taiwan (esp near Taipei) at 30-35K NT/mo. You can easily live on it but to save any significant money you will need to get a roommate and not expect to buy too much frivilous stuff. FWIW - I spend a little more than that in Kaohsiung but I also have a really nice apartment, a car and some expensive hobbies. But I rarely drink or party which is the easiest way to blow money.

If money is a concern then I would head elsewhere and you should be able to not only pay off your student loan faster but not worry as much about penny pinching.

[quote=“ironlady”]
This will sound all “back in the day”, but back in the day :wink: we used to live frugally until we’d paid off our debts, and then we appreciated having our own bathroom when we could afford it without impacting our paying off our loans. And the apartment, when we got it. And the occasional Western meal. And so on. If you are insisting on living in Taiwan while maintaining a Western lifestyle and paying off all your debt, you’d better have an expat package.[/quote]
I don’t know what the OP’s situation is but “back in the day” debt was a lot less than what folks are graduating with these days.

People had debt “back in the day” that wasn’t only student loans, you know.

We average just under 50K/month for two people. That includes a mortgage, and we have a very comfortable lifestyle. Whether the OP would consider 65K an acceptable salary is another matter entirely.[/quote]

50k a month? For 2 people? Comfortably? Thats insane if you dont live in Taidong or somewhere else in the boonies. How do you save for the future or afford a vacation…ever? Hell, I’m on $100+ per month, not in the city, and feel like I am living on the breadline. Have a small family, but will never be able to afford a second kid. Life is expensive and $50,000 income with $30,000 student loans = frugal existence.

chris1234, I don’t what kind of student loans you have, so I don’t whether this will apply to you.

I had Stafford Loans, which became Direct Loans when I consolidated them. I owe a lot. A couple of months ago, I got on the Income Based Repayment Plan. I qualified for that plan because of the kinds of loans I have (and I guess my income (relatively small) and my debt size (relatively large) played a role as to whether I qualified in practical terms). The Income Based Repayment Plan is now providing me with a great deal of relief from my student loan debt burden. The amount of relief varies according to a formula that I still don’t fully understand, but the formula is fairly simple to apply from my end of things. PLUS Loans also qualify for this repayment plan.

Just on the off chance that you have one of those kinds of loans (Stafford, Direct, or PLUS), here’s link to a calculator that helps a person get an idea of what his or her payment would be like under that repayment plan: studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/un … calculator

Here’s a post I made a few months ago about that repayment plan: forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 1#p1472671

There are other repayment plans for the kinds of loans I mentioned above.

Maybe this job advert

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 2&t=117199[/quote]

That looks worth checking out. That doesn’t look like a typical agency. It looks like it really is a worldwide outfit.

That looks like a no-joke job, though. I bet that school’s gonna get some real work outta whoever gets that job.

[quote=“chris1234”]Yup, I’ve had above average offers from Korea and the USA. I’ve also had people try to tempt me to go the PRC and the Middle East with some high paying jobs that I didn’t think were a match. I could probably get a job in Japan (but I don’t understand how that works economically, despite people’s claims to be saving money over there). That said, I want to go to Taiwan. I like the warm weather, hours, culture, etc.

I can’t made due off of the 65K NTD I see posted a lot because of my student loans, and I’m reluctant to tak a job with minimal security for the same reason. I’ve been trying to teach K-12. When I put in apps to teach at some unis in Taiwan a year or so ago, I didn’t get a good response either.

I’ve heard that the Taiwanese struggle with English, despite dedicating years of training on the subject. It seems as though they are trying to do it on the cheap and not trying to recruit people who know how to teach effectively. I’ve also had interviewers stress to me that I should use ineffective approaches to teaching (instead of effective approaches) because their kids don’t know how to speak much English. However, their kids don’t know how to speak much English because the teachers/ administrators don’t use effective approaches. I’m very good at what I do, and I’m disappointed that I can’t seem to find a match.[/quote]

Using effective or ineffective approaches really doesn’t matter. It is difficult to excel at a language that you rarely use. Think about subjects that you have studied in the past and never use. Do you excel at them?

I don’t want to sound mean, but it probably wasn’t the brighest idea in the world to borrow so much money to be a teacher. You have serious debt for a profession that doesn’t pay that well.

[quote=“chris1234”]Yup, I’ve had above average offers from Korea and the USA. I’ve also had people try to tempt me to go the PRC and the Middle East with some high paying jobs that I didn’t think were a match. I could probably get a job in Japan (but I don’t understand how that works economically, despite people’s claims to be saving money over there). That said, I want to go to Taiwan. I like the warm weather, hours, culture, etc.

I can’t made due off of the 65K NTD I see posted a lot because of my student loans, and I’m reluctant to tak a job with minimal security for the same reason. I’ve been trying to teach K-12. When I put in apps to teach at some unis in Taiwan a year or so ago, I didn’t get a good response either.

I’ve heard that the Taiwanese struggle with English, despite dedicating years of training on the subject. It seems as though they are trying to do it on the cheap and not trying to recruit people who know how to teach effectively. I’ve also had interviewers stress to me that I should use ineffective approaches to teaching (instead of effective approaches) because their kids don’t know how to speak much English. However, their kids don’t know how to speak much English because the teachers/ administrators don’t use effective approaches. I’m very good at what I do, and I’m disappointed that I can’t seem to find a match.[/quote]

The real issue in Taiwan is can you teach.

I also do teacher training. I currently am training 24 teachers for the Dept. Education in Korea. I’m not living in Korea. They were sent specifically to do my program in Australia.

That’s what makes all the difference. Qualifications are good, but it is the classroom that counts. Taiwan is very risk averse because they see all types. If you get in the classroom and do a bang up job there is plenty of money to be made and opportunities to be had. If you muddle along then you’ll continue to get your 64K and that’s it. My starting salary in Taiwan was 65K over 20 years ago, so wages have definitely not changed for teachers that much, but I never made less than 100,000K after my first two months. I think you should consider how enjoyable you are as a teacher, how much grammar you know, how informed you are on the local market, how well you understand the longer term needs of your students, and how dedicated you are to seeing those through, and then how educated you are. The first five count before the last one. However, the last one is what will give you a bright future if you satisfy the first five.

All that said, I’ve written programs for Pearson, Disney, CTW, and even done work on Warner Bro. material and I wasn’t qualified at all, except through experience and background knowledge.

The only thing that matters is can you do the job.