Dear John: Should I head abroad after my NQT or do a masters?


I’m currently doing my NQT year and hoping to secure a move abroad if the right position pops up in the country of my interest.  My question is, is it advisable for me to be wan to move abroad after only a single year’s experience?  Secondly, the country of my choice also offers more if you have a masters; is it advisable to add to the 1/3 masters I have hold currently from my PGCE? What I don’t want is added pressure whilst doing my NQT which is tough enough as it is.

Thanks for any help or advice



There is no right answer to this question. If they pay more for masters, they are more likely to appoint such teachers and it might only take you another year and a half to two years to complete your course part-time. But, the opportunity might not be there in two years time, for all sort of reasons, so go for it now and see what happens, you might not be appointed and they might say, come back with a masters and some more years of teaching. At least you will know. If you are appointed, the issue of re-entry is the same for someone with one year of teaching as with ten, especially if the curriculum has changed in the meantime. But, you will have other teaching experiences to offer schools from any time spent abroad. In the end, it is for you to decide whether, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.

As I said, there is no correct answer and others may post telling you that they have taken both approaches with success and to avoid the other.


John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teacher training and consultancy, including a brief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitment analyst, visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University and hosts our Career Clinic where you can post questions to him.