Keywords

TESOL, employment, graduates, survey, career path, alumni, career

Abstract

As English expands across the world, quality English teachers are increasingly needed. However, reports that even degree-holding TESOL professionals have a hard time obtaining stable employment are prevalent. This study sought to provide empirical evidence about career paths in TESOL based on survey responses from 250 alumni of a well-established U.S. university TESOL graduate program who had successfully completed their course of study and had worked during a 35-year period since the program’s inception.

The results indicate that TESOL graduates spend about half of their career time in TESOL-related employment. Most are involved in teaching, but jobs in administration, materials development, or testing are more likely to be full-time and offer benefits. Graduates spend little time in EFL positions, but these jobs are the most likely to be fulltime and offer benefits. The majority of graduates report salary satisfaction, indicating that perhaps the field attracts those who are not looking for stable, full-time employment. These findings can guide students planning their own careers in TESOL and assist faculty who advise TESOL students and design teacher-preparation programs. In addition, the results contribute significantly to the small body of literature focused on TESOL employment.

Original Publication Citation

Priddis, E., Tanner, M., Henrichsen, L., Warner, B., Anderson, N., and Dewey, D. (2013). Career path trends of alumni from a U.S. TESOL graduate program. TESL-EJ, 17(3).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2013

Publisher

TESL-EJ

Language

English

College

Humanities

Department

Linguistics

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

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