It’s good to know your enemy when you’re setting out to teach English. You’ll often see teaching positions advertised online requiring candidates to have a degree. This often boils down to two reasons: legal work permit requirements and general preferences.
Work Permits: In countries such as China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea, they require a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent 3-4 year diploma) as a vital part of the visa/work permit requirements.
These requirements often came into action to protect local workers from job competition with foreign workers in traditional industries. In recent times they’ve been widened due to the increased demand for English teachers, allowing people to teach with a degree in any subject (not specific to teaching).
General Preferences: You may still see that a degree is listed as a requirement even for positions where it’s not needed for a work permit.
This is because the students (or their families who pay for the lessons) have strong personal preferences for teachers with degrees as they believe they will be more professional after investing several years in further education, and will be able to replicate some of the degree experience within their lessons. The companies will often recruit students into these lessons with the promise of having teachers with degrees, and that’s why the schools require it.