Of course there are some who think the teaching qualifications aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. You blow all that money to jump through the hoops when you could already have got a job teaching English and be saving up.
If you’re confident and creative or just a natural bullshitter then you can probably just jump in head first to the job market. Exaggerate a bit about your teaching experience and your natural charm will get you a job (most JET and NOVA teachers don’t seem to have any prior teaching experience.) If the job is with small children, like kindergarten, they do usually ask if you have had some experience working with kids. Well, we were all kids once and worked with each other right?
It also has to be said that when schools are looking for native speakers they’re also looking for white faces. If they have some pale, foreign monkeys on the company literature it does wonders for the school’s reputation. Many of the students may end up learning something but for others it’s simply a dream they’re paying for. In Mexico there are schools full of girls taking the classes just to date the gringo teachers.
To get a job with a good salary though, many schools are going to want to see something on paper. Few of them have much idea of what the certificates are supposed to look like though and there’s a thriving market in fake diplomas and teaching certificates in places like Bangkok and Paraguay. Whereas some spend years writing essays and running up bank loans to graduate, for $50 you can become a Bachelor of the Arts in just a few minutes! There’s really nothing so worth investing in as education.
If you do decide to go the way of document falsification at least buy a grammar book so you have some idea what you’re talking about. Be prepared, too, that it might all go horribly wrong if the immigration guys don’t buy it – we’ve heard that your best bet would be a diploma with a raised seal and try to get transcripts to go with it.