What's new

I'm 24 & employed, options for studying in Japan?

Welcome to our Japan community!

A discussion forum for all Things Japanese. Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

postscript

後輩
Joined
29 Sep 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Hi there,

I'm from the UK, aged 24 and I'm currently employed in the tech industry. I spent a year at Sussex University studying Computer Science back in 2010-2011 but was unable to complete it due to financial and personal reasons forcing me unable to continue. Currently I'm employed with a good job in tech that I enjoy, but I really want to experience university in Japan.

I'm basically making this thread to ask what kind of options I have for enrolling as an undergrad at a Japanese university in something like Computer Science or another technical field. I completed 3 years of college with the highest possible grades and a year's apprenticeship with an employer before becoming a full-time employee and of course I have a lot of workplace experience, I feel this should help my chances somewhat.

I've been learning Japanese on and off for nearly 5-7 years and while I don't have any JLPT certificates, it wouldn't take me long to get them.

My main concern is money - from what I understand, Japan has no student loan systems and I can't seem to find much in the way of clear information on scholarships - they seem to be oriented at people already at university. What sort of options are available to me to finance my studies and related costs?
 

cocoichi

後輩
Joined
28 Jul 2015
Messages
402
Reaction score
125
Hi there,

I'm from the UK, aged 24 and I'm currently employed in the tech industry. I spent a year at Sussex University studying Computer Science back in 2010-2011 but was unable to complete it due to financial and personal reasons forcing me unable to continue. Currently I'm employed with a good job in tech that I enjoy, but I really want to experience university in Japan.

I'm basically making this thread to ask what kind of options I have for enrolling as an undergrad at a Japanese university in something like Computer Science or another technical field. I completed 3 years of college with the highest possible grades and a year's apprenticeship with an employer before becoming a full-time employee and of course I have a lot of workplace experience, I feel this should help my chances somewhat.

I've been learning Japanese on and off for nearly 5-7 years and while I don't have any JLPT certificates, it wouldn't take me long to get them.

My main concern is money - from what I understand, Japan has no student loan systems and I can't seem to find much in the way of clear information on scholarships - they seem to be oriented at people already at university. What sort of options are available to me to finance my studies and related costs?

From what I know university fees in Japan and the UK are not that different, ranging from 5000 to 15.000 GBP per academic year depending on the university. On a student visa you can work part time I guess, as I saw many Chinese and some American class mates work a few hours a week in a konbini, bar or izakaya. If your Japanese is good enough to study an IT degree in, then it must be good enough to get a part time job with.

I think JLPT or some other Japanese language certificate is essential for getting admitted. I don't know if that will be good enough to study IT with, but only you can decide that. Maybe you should buy a Japanese book that is used for IT study and try to read it yourself, and then judge if you could do it.

Much safer will it be to obtain a degrew in the UK and go on exchange to Japan, or do a Masters there after your Bachelor.

Good luck!
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
5,408
Reaction score
3,189
Is your goal to study in Japan or get to Japan and live there? If the latter, another path to consider is to finish up your degree and find a tech job in Japan.
 

postscript

後輩
Joined
29 Sep 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Yeah, my problem is that getting a degree in the UK will feel like a step backwards for me. In terms of career, I'm progressing up the ladder well and I'm sure I could get a tech job in Japan so long as I got some JLPTs down. But I want to study mainly for the experience of Japanese university life and also to help specialize within tech further. Otherwise I'd have to do 3-4 years in the UK and THEN do more in Japan, by which time I'd be nearly in my 30s..
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
411
Trust me. Getting your degree in Japan will be the backward step.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
5,408
Reaction score
3,189
I've never studied in Japan so I can't say but from everything I've heard, the collegiate level in Japan is not particularly helpful in terms of gaining practical career skills in fields such as computer science. So I don't mean to dissuade you, certainly the college life in Japan would be great. Whether or not it will give you a career boost is less clear. It could certainly change the path of your life.
 

cez

先輩
Joined
8 Feb 2008
Messages
112
Reaction score
73
I can't seem to find much in the way of clear information on scholarships - they seem to be oriented at people already at university.

Where did you look for information?

There is a Japanese government (Monbukagakusho, MEXT) scholarship for undergraduate students.

See here: JAPANESE GOVERNMENT (MONBUKAGAKUSHO:MEXT)SCHOLARSHIP FOR 2015 (UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS):文部科学省
And here: Undergraduate Students (Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) Scholarship) | Scholarship Guide | JPSS, the information site of studying in Japan

Contact the Japanese Embassy in the UK for details.
 

cocoichi

後輩
Joined
28 Jul 2015
Messages
402
Reaction score
125
Yeah, my problem is that getting a degree in the UK will feel like a step backwards for me. In terms of career, I'm progressing up the ladder well and I'm sure I could get a tech job in Japan so long as I got some JLPTs down. But I want to study mainly for the experience of Japanese university life and also to help specialize within tech further. Otherwise I'd have to do 3-4 years in the UK and THEN do more in Japan, by which time I'd be nearly in my 30s..

My wife's brother was 31 and working at a bowling alley, but got an IT job in which he would be trained from scratch at work. Programming etc. He did have a university degree though, but not in a tech area. I think you will need a university degree to get a foot in the door. It might be even a requirement for immigration, but not sure.

Why don't you look at this: Computing & IT Degree Online | University of Derby Online Learning | UDOL
it's affordable and can be completed within a year.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
411
Why would it be a backwards step?
Because degrees from Japan are not highly valued.

Look, you couldn't afford to finish school in your own country, so how do you figure you could do it here, where things cost more, where the language barrier is high, where IT majors are notorious for speaking English badly, and where you have hardly any fallback to rely on?

Why do you "really want to experience university in Japan" anyway?
 

postscript

後輩
Joined
29 Sep 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Where did you look for information?

There is a Japanese government (Monbukagakusho, MEXT) scholarship for undergraduate students.

See here: JAPANESE GOVERNMENT (MONBUKAGAKUSHO:MEXT)SCHOLARSHIP FOR 2015 (UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS):文部科学省
And here: Undergraduate Students (Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) Scholarship) | Scholarship Guide | JPSS, the information site of studying in Japan

Contact the Japanese Embassy in the UK for details.

Hi, both of these are out of my age range and the latter is only applicable to certain Science studies, nothing in tech/computing. I wanted to contact the embassy directly but couldn't find an email address anywhere.
 

postscript

後輩
Joined
29 Sep 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Because degrees from Japan are not highly valued.

Look, you couldn't afford to finish school in your own country, so how do you figure you could do it here, where things cost more, where the language barrier is high, where IT majors are notorious for speaking English badly, and where you have hardly any fallback to rely on?

Why do you "really want to experience university in Japan" anyway?

Many degrees all over the world are useless, I'm not expecting it to take me further than my current tech certifications and work experience has. You're asking me why I want the experience but really that speaks for itself, of course the opportunity to work in a more academic environment would be incredibly stimulating and helpful but the main part IS the experience of studying in Japan, I'm not looking for a way to strictly further my career otherwise I'd stay where I am, I'm looking for a way to do something different and new.

And as for the cost of living, everything I've looked at puts Tokyo living prices lower than London, I'm prepared for what's ahead, I just need the opportunity.
 

cocoichi

後輩
Joined
28 Jul 2015
Messages
402
Reaction score
125
Many degrees all over the world are useless, I'm not expecting it to take me further than my current tech certifications and work experience has. You're asking me why I want the experience but really that speaks for itself, of course the opportunity to work in a more academic environment would be incredibly stimulating and helpful but the main part IS the experience of studying in Japan, I'm not looking for a way to strictly further my career otherwise I'd stay where I am, I'm looking for a way to do something different and new.

And as for the cost of living, everything I've looked at puts Tokyo living prices lower than London, I'm prepared for what's ahead, I just need the opportunity.

Then why not take an intensive Japanese language course for 6 months to a year at a Japanese university? This will give you the student experience, while avoiding entrance exams and other prerequisites.
 

postscript

後輩
Joined
29 Sep 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Then why not take an intensive Japanese language course for 6 months to a year at a Japanese university? This will give you the student experience, while avoiding entrance exams and other prerequisites.

That's not a bad idea, though I'm not sure how it could be funded. I'm guessing you can't get a scholarship for Japanese language though.

I think the ideal situation would be if a Japanese company could sponsor me to study in Japan for a year and then take me on after that.
 

cocoichi

後輩
Joined
28 Jul 2015
Messages
402
Reaction score
125
That's not a bad idea, though I'm not sure how it could be funded. I'm guessing you can't get a scholarship for Japanese language though.

I think the ideal situation would be if a Japanese company could sponsor me to study in Japan for a year and then take me on after that.

I mean absolutely no disrespect, but I think it will be very very hard for you to get a sponsorship or scholarship for any kind of education in Japan. I say this because most scholarship organisations require you to hand in a transcript of obtained study results. You are self taught / trained on the job, so I think they will be very hesitant to award you.
As for a company willing to sponsor you, you should ask yourself if this is a realistic scenario? They would have to invest in the thousands of GBPs for someone with no degree to his name and wait for a whole year, while there are probably people available with work experience and a degree that can start right away.

If your Japanese is good enough, you can always take on a part time job while studying at a language school. With some saving before you go and a part time job to keep you going, an intensive language school might be the best shot that you have.
 

postscript

後輩
Joined
29 Sep 2015
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
I mean absolutely no disrespect, but I think it will be very very hard for you to get a sponsorship or scholarship for any kind of education in Japan. I say this because most scholarship organisations require you to hand in a transcript of obtained study results. You are self taught / trained on the job, so I think they will be very hesitant to award you.
As for a company willing to sponsor you, you should ask yourself if this is a realistic scenario? They would have to invest in the thousands of GBPs for someone with no degree to his name and wait for a whole year, while there are probably people available with work experience and a degree that can start right away.

If your Japanese is good enough, you can always take on a part time job while studying at a language school. With some saving before you go and a part time job to keep you going, an intensive language school might be the best shot that you have.

Hm, it sounds like it. I feel like my options are as follows:

1) Privately fund my own degree (Would need lots of money)
2) Attend a UK uni and try and get an exchange year.
3) Do the language school thing
4) Somehow arrange a bespoke scholarship or something.

Other than that, I don't know if there are any other ways.
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
12 May 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
310
Fifteen or twenty years from now I think you'll be kicking yourself if you choose any option aside from number two.

Many degrees all over the world are useless, I'm not expecting it to take me further than my current tech certifications and work experience has.

I'd seriously reconsider this if I were you. Education is one of the best investments for one's future one can make. It opens doors tomorrow which you don't even know exist today.
 

cocoichi

後輩
Joined
28 Jul 2015
Messages
402
Reaction score
125
If you look at the online learning thing I've posted earlier, you can earn a degree while keeping your job (whether full time or part time). After that you could come to Japan for a masters or language school, or a free mover exchange semester. You could be one of the richest students walking around in Tokyo :geek:
 

hsark

後輩
Joined
7 Feb 2016
Messages
72
Reaction score
24
Trust me. Getting your degree in Japan will be the backward step.
yup I`m yet to see the merit of getting a bachelor's from Japan....but I do feel a masters/Phd or a post-grad is quite valuable from Japan......

Hm, it sounds like it. I feel like my options are as follows:
2) Attend a UK uni and try and get an exchange year.
Other than that, I don't know if there are any other ways.
Take option 2 they will be more opportunities for funding in Japan even if you go the self-funded route
 

hsark

後輩
Joined
7 Feb 2016
Messages
72
Reaction score
24
Seriously, what gives you that impression?
personal experience in the field of Architecture/Design Tech......it's definitely opened good opportunities for me ........though to be honest you need are real game plan, passion and some decent networking and yes there much easier countries to study and live, with more well know universities but that`s what the internet is for and meeting people with real world experience.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
411
What does "personal experience" mean? C'mon. You aren't answering the question with all that other text.

I'm asking why you think an advanced degree from a Japanese university seems to hold any weight with employers wherever you plan to work. If you don't get work here, I personally think a lot of employers outside Japan will not consider it to be all that equivalent to a degree from a native speaking country. You don't hear of many architectural designers here who are foreigners.

Also, how common is it for people in your field to have an advanced degree? Have you researched the need, especially within Japan?
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
5,408
Reaction score
3,189
I think the source of the advanced degree in many cases is less important than the fact that you have one. Perhaps it depends on the degree but I think after the first job or two after school people are judged almost exclusively on their work experience. The degree is more of a checkbox to get your foot in the door for certain positions. At least for industry.
I would think that a foreign degree would have more cachet than a degree from a generic university, say Oklahoma State, not known for whatever the degree program is.
 
Top Bottom