Many graduates from the class of 2010 may opt to spend a year teaching English abroad as competition in the graduate jobs market becomes increasingly fierce
As competition in the graduate jobs market heats up, thousands of students are turning to TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) to escape the looming spectre of graduate unemployment.
According to a report by The Times, the biggest graduate recruiters are expecting a bumper year of applications, as the backlog of jobless graduates from previous years mounts up.
While a survey by High Fliers Research has indicated that there will be a 12 per cent rise in graduate vacancies this year, many of these jobs will be filled by graduates from previous years, meaning thousands of top graduates from the class of 2010 will miss out.
Michael Barnard, a spokesman for Milkround, a graduate recruitment website, speaking to The Times, said: “The general feeling is that graduates are going to face a tough time this year.”
“The increase [in vacancies] is good news, but it’s still not enough to result in all the graduates from the past two years being employed.”
With such fierce competition for jobs at home, many students are enrolling in TEFL courses to take advantage of the thousands of teaching opportunities in exciting destinations around the globe when they graduate: TEFL course provider i-to-i has reported an increase of 25% in people in the UK enrolling in their courses compared to this time last year.
Kelly English, 20, who is in her final year of an English Studies degree at the University of Nottingham, originally wanted to go into publishing, but is now planning to teach English in Japan after she graduates. In contrast to the situation in the UK, she believes that there are a lot of TEFL opportunities out there for British graduates: “Asia in particular provides so many opportunities to teach abroad and certain countries such as China and South Korea are really developing now. I think they'll be crucial in terms of the world economy later on, so it's exciting to think that we can get involved in that.
“I'd really recommend this career path to graduates, as it's so easy for us now to get up and go!
“What really appeals to me with TEFL is that you're able to live somewhere and actually meet local people and experience something a lot deeper than a tourist's perception of a place."
As the majority of TEFL courses, such as those offered by i-to-i, can be completed online, they’re perfect for students to fit around their studies so that they’re ready to teach English abroad as soon as they graduate. What’s more, teaching English abroad can help graduates gain the communication, interpersonal and leadership skills that prospective employers are so keen on.
Those wanting more information about TEFL courses should contact one of i-to-i’s TEFL advisors on 0800 093 2552 or visit http://www.onlinetefl.com.
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