Here's a TEFL certification question we get asked fairly regularly:
"Will an online TEFL course enable me
to compete successfully against more seasoned teachers?"
The long and short of it is probably not. But it will give you an advantage when it comes to competing with other entry level applicants. And here is something more to consider...
It doesn't matter so much what is said in various ESL forums about whether it's worth it to get TEFL certification or not.
What matters is what the reality on the street is and here is some advice in examining the question from the market perspective.
Many employers see an applicant with TEFL certificates as being more serious about teaching overseas. Just spend a few minutes surfing the web on teaching in Japan and you'll see plenty of jobs that require or prefer certification in their applicants.
The fact of the matter is there is a lot of turnover in this industry because there are a lot of untrained teachers in the field that "muck stuff up". Employers know this and they seek to cut their losses in this area. It's a business thing. That's why they try to cut their losses on potential candidates that aren't serious enough about teaching in Japan to get TEFL certification.
So there it is. The job market not only supports the idea of there being value in getting certified it is also what entry level applicants need to be concerned with. There isn't much value with being concerned about some rant about whether or not a TEFL certification will clinch the job or not - unless that person is actually an employer.
Keep in mind that not all employers value TEFL certification in the same way. Some see it as a definite asset while others don't.
Now, as an entry level ESL teacher looking into getting their first job teaching in Japan, you shouldn't be concerned with those who don't value certification, instead you should be concerned with marketing yourself effectively by getting certified.
and then target those employers who value and employ certified applicants.
Folks, in getting a job, it comes down to being a numbers game and the more employers you are qualified to send your resume out to the better your chances of finding work teaching ESL in Japan. And when you consider that many of these on-line education providers also provide job placement as an extra perk for course buyers it makes the decision even clearer.