What's new

Working in Japan with plenty of experience but no degree

Joined
May 20, 2014
Messages
240
Ratings
1
Hi,

I've been working as an English teacher here in Spain for about 9 years. I was given the opportunity to do so, having no previous experience or further preparation than high-school (6 years) and a bilingual level of English (and Spanish) , at a complicated moment in my life. I've gained much experience and have, in my opinion, more than enough experience and knowledge to teach the language.

Now I have a much better personal situation overall and I've signed up for a degree in English Philology (first year) in a University which specializes in people who want to work and study at the same time, and they offer the option of doing the course overseas.

My question is, having the experience and knowledge, but not the degree, do I have any realistic options of working as a teacher in Japan with good working conditions? I've heard about Conversation Schools and their very bad reputation, so I'm not sure that's a good option. And most of the job offers I read on https://jobs.gaijinpot.com/ ask for some kind of degree (not necessarily English related) and a native level of English (which I have).

So, to summarize, I'd like to know what options an English Philology undergrad with plenty of previous working experience in teaching and a native level of English has to work in Japan.

PS: my level of Japanese is very basic, JLPT N5 more or less.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Ratings
1,568
The first problem you're going to have is with Immigration requirements. They're going to require a degree. In some cases they will accept ten years relevant work experience instead, I believe.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
thesuker, what is your nationality? This may play a role, too. I believe that for native English speakers, you only need 3 years of related work experience. If you are NOT a native speaker, you will need 12 years of your education to have been all in English.

It may also depend on which work visa you apply for: instructor (for ALT or HS work), specialist in humanities (eikaiwa), professor (university).

Read more at this link and its bottom link. http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/kanri/shyorui/01.html

I would also like to add this question. How long are you planning on staying in Japan? If it's long-term, then my advice is to get the degree first. Competition among degreed people is fierce here at all levels of teaching. Moreover, I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but the process goes like this:
  • get a job first
  • get the work visa later
The exceptions to the second step do not currently apply to you (and may never): having a spouse visa already, a dependent visa already, having a student visa already, having a working holiday visa already. So, if you were thinking that you could just apply for a work visa and then go job hunting, that's incorrect. Work visas need sponsors, which explains why the process is in the order I stated above.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 20, 2014
Messages
240
Ratings
1
I've got double nationality: English and Spanish (both passports). My initial idea was to work there for a year or so, but after thinking about it and Mike's comment, I think it might be more realistic to work for two or three months in Summer, just to experience what it's like living there. After that, focus on my degree and if I liked the initial experience, after finishing the degree, try to find a permanent job as a teacher.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,727
Ratings
267
You might want to go for the working holiday visa. No degree or guarantor required. Almost no waiting to get it. THEN you can look for work.

One word of caution when applying to an employer. Don't bring up dual nationality. Just say British. Less confusing to them (and to immigration).
 
Top