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Preferred degrees for working in and/or with Japan

Of the options listed, which type of degree is most sought after by Japanese employers?

  • Marketing Management

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Business Management

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • IT Management

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

Zanoske

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Hi Everyone!

I'm heading back to school soon and was curious if anyone had input about which type of degree may give me an edge if I wanted to work in Japan -OR- work in a company that has close ties with Japan, but are based in the US.

I've narrowed it down to 3 options (all Bachelor's Degree) in the order that I'm most interested:
  • Marketing Management
  • Business Management
  • IT Management
(Check out the voting poll at the top of the thread, and be sure to enter your vote!)

Now I know that just because I have a degree in X doesn't mean I'll ever be guaranteed a job doing Y; that's largely why I'm interested in how these fields are viewed by Japanese business. I have a lot of corporate experience, so I'm doing things kind of backwards, but from what I understand a degree means a lot more to Japanese business than actual work experience.

If you have any feedback or comments please share, and thanks in advance!
 
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Glenski

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You said you have a lot of corporate experience. How is it that you don't have a bachelor's degree in any of those fields? What is your experience anyway?

None of those are my area of expertise, but I'm going to take a shot and say a degree from a foreign university with majors in marketing and business management are less likely to get you a job here than one in IT management. Japan doesn't look favorably on marketing or business ways that don't come from within its own culture.

And what is your level of reading/writing/speaking Japanese?

You might want to look at this site for more advice.
 

Zanoske

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You said you have a lot of corporate experience. How is it that you don't have a bachelor's degree in any of those fields? What is your experience anyway?
😅Very proud of this - Through perseverance, quick-adaptability, and a bit of good luck I was able to find work as a Corporate Trainer with a focus on software understanding and personal development. I enjoy what I do very much, but I think somewhere down the line I'll want to make a change which is why the degree options I mentioned are kind of varied. I have 6 years experience working in my field for large corporations.

None of those are my area of expertise, but I'm going to take a shot and say a degree from a foreign university with majors in marketing and business management are less likely to get you a job here than one in IT management. Japan doesn't look favorably on marketing or business ways that don't come from within its own culture.
Interesting! I hadn't heard that. I'll have to do some more research to validate, but thank you for your input! I had figured that marketing degree from US might come in handy with Japan companies exporting to US market. Maybe it does, I'll follow up if I find anything out.

And what is your level of reading/writing/speaking Japanese?
I can read and write hiragana/katakana. Kanji is intimidating lol; I'll get there one day. I call myself a beginner, but I can hold a basic conversation, and know enough random vocabulary to get my thoughts across (most of the time, anyway).

You might want to look at this site for more advice.
Thank you for the website! It's a bit premature to look now, but I saved the link to reference in a few years :)
 
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Glenski

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I had figured that marketing degree from US might come in handy with Japan companies exporting to US market.
They don't use American marketing strategies. They have a tough time doing business abroad in English, as well, whether with America or SE Asian companies, and it's a real pain for them. I've been studying aspect of this for the sake of my own students after graduation. They send workers to the US, for example, usually with p!ss-poor preparation in language and culture and expect people to fend for themselves after a pitiful TOEIC score of 650-730. Then after they return to Japan, they do their best to dispel any western ways they might have picked up related to doing work. So, with that in mind, why would they appreciate using foreign ways?
 

johnnyG

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They don't use American marketing strategies. They have a tough time doing business abroad in English, as well, whether with America or SE Asian companies, and it's a real pain for them. I've been studying aspect of this for the sake of my own students after graduation. They send workers to the US, for example, usually with p!ss-poor preparation in language and culture and expect people to fend for themselves after a pitiful TOEIC score of 650-730. Then after they return to Japan, they do their best to dispel any western ways they might have picked up related to doing work. So, with that in mind, why would they appreciate using foreign ways?
???
 

Zanoske

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They don't use American marketing strategies. They have a tough time doing business abroad in English, as well, whether with America or SE Asian companies, and it's a real pain for them. I've been studying aspect of this for the sake of my own students after graduation. They send workers to the US, for example, usually with p!ss-poor preparation in language and culture and expect people to fend for themselves after a pitiful TOEIC score of 650-730. Then after they return to Japan, they do their best to dispel any western ways they might have picked up related to doing work. So, with that in mind, why would they appreciate using foreign ways?
I wonder if this is consistent with all business though? I have a friend from America who was able to land a marketing job in Japan with a bachelor's and minimal experience. I'm sure opportunities exist, but I agree that the business practices might not sync up all that well. Like all jobs though, you have to be able to learn and adapt quickly. As long as we do that I'm sure we'll be ok anywhere.

My next concern is about salary. I'll see if I get any responses here, or if I should start a new thread, but I'm curious now about the cost of living and the tiers of avg. household income for lower, middle, and upper class. Based on the website Glenski sent over in his first response, it looks like a lot of the jobs I'd typically be looking in to cap out around 50K(ish) USA dollars. I'm curious about how that would translate in the US job market, around NYC. From what I could tell the same job in NYC would pay around 70-80K. So does that mean making 5,000,000 (50K-ish USA dollar - if my math is right) puts you at middle/upper-middle class income in Japan?
 

Glenski

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I wonder if this is consistent with all business though?
No, but is pretty typical.

I have a friend from America who was able to land a marketing job in Japan with a bachelor's and minimal experience.
If you only give that tiny piece of information, it's almost impossible to say much in reply. There are many factors here.
what degree?
what level of Japanese did your friend have vs. what was required?
what sort of company was it and what was their customer base?
what sort of position did he get?
and more.

My next concern is about salary. I'll see if I get any responses here, or if I should start a new thread
By all means don't start a new one! Keep all the info here for your sake and ours.

does that mean making 5,000,000 (50K-ish USA dollar - if my math is right) puts you at middle/upper-middle class income in Japan?
I wouldn't say so, more like low-middle to middle at best, IMO. 50,000 USD, or roughly 5 million yen is about 420,000 per month (hard to figure because of the bonus plan). I seem to recall seeing figures on the average Japanese salary close to that, but I couldn't tell you what age the worker was. I'm sure there is a page with Japanese demographics or stats on that. Live in a big city close to downtown, and this will be a meager wage, which is why a lot of people tend to live far from their job despite the long commute. How well you would save depends on lifestyle, location, eating habits, desire to go out or party or sightsee, health insurance and pension payments, and number of trips out of the country. Keep in mind that starting salaries for many teaching jobs are 250,000 to 300,000 yen/month, just as a comparison for a living wage.
 

musicisgood

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Seems like everyone wants to move to Japan these days to work. I don't have anything bad or negative to say about living here, and I've been here for quite some time. I've worked for a Japanese company in California before moving here and they go by the book. I mean they actually give you a book to daily study and yes, they do test you. I was in the management trainee program of Yoshinoya restaurants. I don't know how it would of worked out if I got a job with them when I moved here. I did understand that the LA office would have made a long distance call to help me with getting hired here in Japan, but I didn't go that route. I did have an opportunity to work for Japanese company here and I enjoyed it and the people were friendly.
Income wise, I live where things are not too expensive and the salaries are not like in the big cities, but in this area, one would at least have to make 350000 yen a month. At around 450000 yen a month, I feel one can enjoy Japan (locally anyway).
 

Zanoske

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Both of the below points were similar so my next reply is to you both:)

I wouldn't say so, more like low-middle to middle at best, IMO. 50,000 USD, or roughly 5 million yen is about 420,000 per month (hard to figure because of the bonus plan). I seem to recall seeing figures on the average Japanese salary close to that, but I couldn't tell you what age the worker was. I'm sure there is a page with Japanese demographics or stats on that. Live in a big city close to downtown, and this will be a meager wage, which is why a lot of people tend to live far from their job despite the long commute. How well you would save depends on lifestyle, location, eating habits, desire to go out or party or sightsee, health insurance and pension payments, and number of trips out of the country. Keep in mind that starting salaries for many teaching jobs are 250,000 to 300,000 yen/month, just as a comparison for a living wage.
Seems like everyone wants to move to Japan these days to work. I don't have anything bad or negative to say about living here, and I've been here for quite some time. I've worked for a Japanese company in California before moving here and they go by the book. I mean they actually give you a book to daily study and yes, they do test you. I was in the management trainee program of Yoshinoya restaurants. I don't know how it would of worked out if I got a job with them when I moved here. I did understand that the LA office would have made a long distance call to help me with getting hired here in Japan, but I didn't go that route. I did have an opportunity to work for Japanese company here and I enjoyed it and the people were friendly.
Income wise, I live where things are not too expensive and the salaries are not like in the big cities, but in this area, one would at least have to make 350000 yen a month. At around 450000 yen a month, I feel one can enjoy Japan (locally anyway).
Thank you both for your input! This has been helpful. I also may have misspoke - I assume that you're both talking about annual household income, where I agree yes, making around 5 million yen a year puts you at the middle class entry threshold. I think this makes sense.

I am also speculating that my wife would also work a 5 million yen a year job, which would put our annual household income at 10 million yen a year (or approx. 830,000 yen per month). Based on musicisgood's response, at around 450,000 yen/month you can begin to thoroughly enjoy Japan. So now, with the 10 million yen/year in mind, are we getting closer to the upper-middle income range?
 

Glenski

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I also may have misspoke - I assume that you're both talking about annual household income,
How did you misspeak, and what other income would you be talking about?

I am also speculating that my wife would also work a 5 million yen a year job
That means doing separate taxes, of course. And, there is the issue of whether you have to pay for taxes in your home country.

are we getting closer to the upper-middle income range?
LMGTFY
 
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