Outschool is an excellent complimentary company to teaching English online with VIPKID. Outschool has grown in popularity recently for numerous reasons.
First, VIPKID has decided to pay all teachers under their new VIPKID pay structure – which is functionally a pay decrease for most veteran teachers. As such, teachers with any ambition are going to start looking for new opportunities in the online teaching space.
Second, the entire landscape of online learning has grown in popularity due to the pandemic; forcing students to learn online. Last, the technology to actually teach online has improved drastically over the last few years.
With a quality webcam, laptop and a decent microphone, students can now have a quality, engaging online learning environment from anywhere in the world.
VIPKID vs Outschool – Which is better?
In short, we suggest teachers do both. VIPKID in particular is excellent because of the stable pay and bookings and it’s a nice way to get experience teaching online.
With a few hundred online classes, you’ll really start to feel confident moving forward with your own engaging online class on Outschool.
Last, the VIPKID platform provides you with everything you need to teach.
The students, the lesson, the technical platform and the training. All you need to do is teach your class, leave feedback and that’s it. You just teach and go.
Not so with Outschool however. The income earning potential with Outschool has definitely outpaced VIPKID. But with Outschool, you’re in charge of creating the lessons, material and hosting the class on Zoom.
Outschool can be a bit more challenging to get students as well as it’s a marketplace and not an after-school tutorial option for parents the way VIPKID is.
Outschool, is simply a marketplace that helps connect teachers with students. Nothing more, nothing less.
Outschool versus VIPKID
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the critical differences between these two options for the professional educator looking to teach online.
- Getting bookings for your class
- Requirements to teach
- Technical requirements for class
- Teaching hours
- Class Curriculum
- Long term, which one is best?
Let’s take a look at the potential pay between these two companies.
VIPKID pays teachers a flat rate with a bonus per class. The pay structure is now a bit convoluted at VIPKID.
It’s first based on your tier. There are 8 tiers, what tier you’re in is based on how many life time classes you have taught and how many monthly classes you actually teach. The more classes you teach, the bigger the bonus per class.
To get the maximum pay you need to do over 20 hours which few teachers do. Functionally expect to get $18-$20 an hour at VIPKID now.
For Outschool, the pay is determined by you the teacher. You can price your class anywhere from $5 per student all the way up to $70 per student.
So if you price your class at say $8 and you get 10 students. You could make $80 per that class before Outschool takes their cut which is 30%.
All in all, you’ll make more per hour at Outschool than you will with VIPKID.
With a higher income potential, and not being subject to having your hourly pay be arbitrarily reduced like VIPKID has done – Outschool is the better option. You can make $100 for one 30 minute class on Outschool, compare that to $10 for the same amount of time on VIPKID.
Getting booking for your class
How do you actually get students with both these platforms? Let’s take a look.
With VIPKID, the parents book you for class. Classes are for 25 minutes and are 1 on 1. Teaching 1 on 1 is much more preferable, enjoyable and easy than teaching a large class of 10+ students via Zoom.
As the parents book you, there is not real marketing yourself with VIPKID beyond creating a great VIPKID intro video.
You just apply to VIPKID, go through the hiring process and then being the process of opening classes. It’s typically a bit slow for most new teachers. But after a month or so you’ll start to get regular bookings.
You’ll also start to get regular students which makes VIPKID so much fun, easy and enjoyable to teach.
Your class will be presented in a marketplace of other classes students can take. Booking are determined by how well you position your class in terms of price, thumbnail, student age, reviews and how many courses are involved.
You can and should develop an entire curriculum around your course. So students take one class and have an incentive to follow up and take the next class.
Don’t expect to have any long term students.
It’s great teaching 1 on 1. Much easier than managing a Zoom call with multiple students. Also, because the parents book you, once you establish yourself on VIPKID it’s easy to get as many classes as you want.
Requirements to teach
What are the requirements to teach online with both of these platforms?
VIPKID requires you be from Canada or the United States (no exception). You must have a bachelors degree minimum and a TEFL certificate or be willing to get a TEFL certificate through VIPKID.
As it’s a freelance course platform and not an after school program like VIPKID, there are no educational requirements needed to apply and teach on Outschool.
Though they do have a vetting process. You do have to demonstrate that you have competency over whatever your class is about.
Last, only nationals of select countries can apply and teach. You must be from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand.
Technical Requirements for Class
Both have their own specific requirement to teach an online class.
VIPKID requires you to have fast internet, a good webcam (integrated is acceptable), good audio, a decent teaching background, good lighting for class. and a pair of headsets.
For specifics, go here.
The requirements for Outschool are the same. Though depending on how you teach the class, a pair of headsets is optional as some teachers prefer to stand during class in front of a whiteboard like they are teaching an actual class.
The biggest difference between VIPKID and Outschool are the hours required for teaching.
VIPKID Teaching Hours
Students take VIPKID classes starting at 3 pm Beijing time, ending at 8 pm. It’s illegal for students in China to have class after 8 pm. VIPKID if functionally an after school for Chinese students where they can get 1 on 1 tutoring from native English speakers in the US and Canada.
As such, the hours are early mornings for US based teachers. Typically you’ll need to be in bed by 8 or 8:30 and up at 5:30 or 6 am.
Outschool Teaching Hours
With Outschool you can open hours whenever and teach class. As it is a global platform you have much more flexibility with your class and can teach at more normal hours.
Again, you need to be available when your students are available. So that should go into your decision making when creating your class. But you won’t have to do early mornings if that is not for you.
What do you actually teach and how? Which one is easier and less stressful?
This is where VIPKID shines. The curriculum and slides are completely done for you. As a new teacher it does take time to prep for class, but once you have experience with all the lesson, the prep work ends and you can get to a point where you don’t need to do any prep at all.
Also, the curriculum has gotten better over time. With the use of animation and interactive elements, VIPKID makes teaching an online class fun and easy for both the teacher and student.
The curriculum is up to you when you teach on Outschool. That means you have to create your course from scratch. This requires a lot of upfront work with no guarantee that you’ll even get students.
If you’re not liking the idea of creating your own teaching material, slides, activities and so forth and don’t want to spend a week or two creating a class that has a risk of failure, stick to VIPKID.
VIPKID makes teaching online fast, ease and profitable. Outschool is risky because you could end up spending time creating a class no one wants, but you could conversely find a topic that students love. Allowing you as a teacher to get away from just teaching English while making a higher hourly rate.
Which is best long term?
VIPKID has been around since 2016 and since it’s inception has been the online English teaching leader among all the online teaching companies.
Outschool got it’s start back in 2014 and was created to be a teaching version of Fiverr (Fiverr is a freelance platform for creative professionals).
Online teaching in general has no signs of slowing down, but long term we have to advise that Outschool is the better option because you have more control over your hourly wage.
As Outschool takes a 30% cut and that’s very unlikely to change. Where with VIPKID they can decide to pay you less per class whenever they want.
In reality you should do both. Teach perhaps 8 hours a week with VIPKID and the rest of the time focus on growing your Outschool classes. Using VIPKID as your reliable, part time income.
VIPKID vs Outschool Conclusion
Both VIPKID and Outschool are excellent ways to make money teaching online. Long term it’s best to go with Outschool. But if you’re looking to get started teaching online and have teaching experience but no experience in the online space, start with VIPKID.