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Life as an engineer in Japan

solidsnake

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Anybody here working as an engineer in Japan? I'd like to know the life of an engineer there.

I've read somewhere youngsters in Japan are shunning away from engineering courses in universities since these professions are considered difficult and not bringing in much fortune as compared to medicine,law etc. :eek2:

As a result there is a shortage of engineers in Japan. Is it true engineers in Japan often work long hours and lead stressful lives?:?

Any insight is deeply appreciated. Thanks.
 

Megumi Kimoto

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I am not an engineer, but I worked with engineers for two software companies in Japan.
There, the engineers were working like slaves. There were many reasons for working like this: The customer kept changing specifications; Communication between the customer and the engineers took too much time; Bugs were found; In the testing phase, the client changed their mind again; The initial planning was optimistic to begin with.
But I think the situation is the same in the U.S.
I saw engineers who came from India, the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and South Africa. They worked hard for a year or so for good compensation. Then they finished their assignments, and returned to their home countries.
 

Taiko666

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I'm an engineer at a well-known European company in Tokyo. The working environment is very similar to what I was used to in the UK.

I'm definitely not a salaryman! There's no dress code (I'm in shorts and a t-shirt as I write this at my desk), and no requirement to stay until your boss leaves.

There are many ex-pat, long-term (PR and even naturalized J-citizens) in this company, so the conditions can't be that bad- although I've noticed a tendency for long-term ex-pats to marry a Japanese woman, have a child, then hotfoot it out of Japan before the child reaches school age. Actually, that strategy seems pretty sensible to me, and my Japanese fiancee agrees...
 

CA_Wix

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I agree with the last poster.

I am an expat now for three months, and will be here at LEAST two more years. I am American, and was hesitant to make the move here because of what the other people on here are saying.

To my surprise I have had little problems. It seems like because I am not Japanese I am not expected to work quite as much as the Japanese. Most of this is probably because I am not looking for a promotion in Japan. I will return to my home in USA when my assignment is over. therefore I don't have to really impress the uppers to the extent that some of my Japanese colleagues deem necessary. It depends on the situation.

Also I am single and 26 years old. I have found that coming here to Japan was a wonderful decision because I am learning a lot and having so much fun. This place can really be fun if you make an effort to keep an open mind and want to learn. Most people are curious about America (and other places besides Japan) so it is common to have good conversations.

Ok hope this helps you. Good luck!!
 

Alma

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can anybody be more presice on word engineer... what kind? what are you doing exactly?
 

CA_Wix

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Sorry for being unclear. I am an Electrical Engineer. I work for an automotive supplier.
 

alantin

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Thanks for all the posters!

I got interested in this thread because I'll get my bachelors degree in engineering (information technology) in about a year or so and I'm hoping to work in Japan in the future.

I'm more interested in foreign companies than a Japanese one because I'd expect them to be a little more reasonable about the working style than their japanese equivalents. Or am I wrong?

How do people feel about this? Is the style in foreign companies in Japan different than that of the Japanese ones?
 

CA_Wix

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I think so. My friend is working in a foreign company (German) here in Japan and it is rather different. For example he is frustrated because I am learning Japanese faster than him simply because I hear Japanese all day every day at work. His coworkers will speak English to him every day. I would guess a non-japanese company here might require less, but like I said I don't find my hours and pressure at work any harder than USA

Again, it all depends on your own situation when you get here. It's hard to say because there is a lot of pressure here. Most Japanese customers have a difficult time trusting foreigners so lots of hard work might be required to earn their confidence. Just like the other guy said too: what is an engineer. There is a wide range of jobs called "engineers".
 

Alma

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CA wix, thanx for clearing it... you seem to have a lot fun, nice! 🙂
 

Stefan000

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Hmm, I'm not a pure engineer, but a chemical engineer, that is if I choose that. I'm now focussing just on chemistry/science (at university)

Don't know if there is a good market for that in Japan.
 
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Anybody here working as an engineer in Japan? I'd like to know the life of an engineer there.
I've read somewhere youngsters in Japan are shunning away from engineering courses in universities since these professions are considered difficult and not bringing in much fortune as compared to medicine,law etc. :eek2:
As a result there is a shortage of engineers in Japan. Is it true engineers in Japan often work long hours and lead stressful lives?:?
Any insight is deeply appreciated. Thanks.[/QUOTE
what is the proper spelling for the last name Goto? do u know?
 

kaitagsd

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I'm also aiming to get my bachelor's in Engineering (Mechanical) and then going over to Japan to work. I hope it is not as bad as some people here make it sound... because from common perspective, engineers are highly specialized and skilled professionals that usually make more money than any other undergraduate. On top of that, if you add a Business Administration degree or some sort, it should definitely be a good combination.
 

solidsnake

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Oh LOL I almost forgot that I opened this thread. Thanks for the input guys. When I asked this question I was actually considering to take masters degree in Kyoto, but it seemed that the application process was too long and it appeared that the Kyoto University delegation didn't manage to secure a supervisor for me, luck wasn't on my side I guess.
 
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