While it is true that you require a degree in order to legally work as an EFL teacher in some countries, it is equally true that there are many popular teaching destinations that have no such restrictions. If you do not possess a degree you might need to be a bit more flexible about where you teach, but it should not be a barrier to your teaching adventure.
Is a TEFL certificate an advantage if I don't have a degree?
Regardless of your degree status, having a TEFL certification on your application forms will go a long way to improving your chances of landing the jobs you want. In almost every country with a sizable market for foreign teachers the vast majority of employers now expect their job applicants to have some amount of teacher training before being let loose in their own classroom.
Where in Asia is good for non-degree holders?
In recent times China has tightened its regulations for foreign teachers and it is now an official requirement to hold a degree to work legally. One option if you are set on China as your destination is to apply for a student visa which allows you to work as an intern in schools. Some of the best opportunities in the region for those without a degree can be found in Southeast Asia. Cambodia and Vietnam both have rapidly growing job markets where salaries are steadily increasing every year. While you are unlikely to get rich teaching in these countries, you are guaranteed to gain valuable classroom experience while enjoying a once in a lifetime adventure. Other less known countries that are worth taking a look at include Laos and Myanmar.
Where in Latin America is good for non-degree holders?
In general, Latin America is a great option for teachers without a degree as most countries in the region have few restrictions on who can teach English. Salaries are not particularly high in many areas, but a low cost of living often balances this out. The majority of positions are located in major cities, although a smaller number can be found in popular tourist areas and coastal resorts. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico all have a strong demand for teachers year-round, while countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay are all up-and-coming options with good potential.
Where in Europe is good for non-degree holders?
Although a 4-year degree is required in some popular destinations, including France and Germany, there are still plenty of great options to consider across the continent. Italy and Spain are traditionally the most popular countries for foreign teachers and they are both open to non-degree holders. You will also have no problem finding a job in much of Central and Eastern Europe as the demand is high and the restrictions on teachers minimal in most cases. The most popular country in this area is the Czech Republic where demand is particularly high and the salaries competitive. Russia is also worth checking out if you want something a little more off the beaten path.