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The Best Degree to look for a job in Japan?

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nicola1221

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Konnichiwa MinnaSama,

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimsu~ !!

I have a question and hope someone is kind enough to help me out. Thank you.

I wish to work in Japan someday and I know that without a degree it is almost out of the question. May I know what is the best/ideal degree (degree major in which subject) that will allow oneself to become demanding in Japan?

Thank you and wish you a happy new year.:p
 

Rurouni

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Nicola

A happy new year to you! An interesting post you've made...

The best degree for getting a job in Japan? Well, that depends on what you hope to accomplish. To get into Japan, you need a 4 year degree for visa purposes (as far as I know). Places like NOVA, JET and all the other language schools/programs need this degree in order to let you in (unless you come in on a dependent visa status, then I don't know the criteria).

However, if you want to take it a step further, I have noticed that MATESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and advanced computer science degree's also fair pretty well. At this level though, you need to at least complete a master's degree...not much fun in and of itself and will leave you in the poor house :p

The interesting thing is the difference in pay though. With a four year degree, you can make around 3,000,000 en a year to start. I just got a job in Ishikawa that starts out at 6,000,000 en a year because I have my MATESL....so it all depends on what you want, but the higher the degree, the greater the job potential and pay...

I hope this helps!
 

Ewok85

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but the higher the degree, the greater the job potential and pay...

Untrue and misleading. A degree is required in 90% of positions in Japan purely to satisfy immigration, a degree in underwater basket weaving will get you any job in Japan - PROVIDED - you have the experience, skills and attitude that your employer is looking for.

A degree means very, very little compared to actual work experience, certification and sound references.

Just do anything, they won't care.

(The other 10% I can think of are higher end English positions where masters in a relevant - education etc - field are required. This generally means Universities and the sort)
 

geishaboy

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I would say, from my experience (not MY own, but people who I met in Japan)

Firstly, a Degree in Japanese language would be a good start (lol), thats what I'm doing, but I guess it's not as useful outside of Japan as others. A friend of mine had a Degree in Education, he was making a pretty good living. People with Degrees in the fields of English also have told me that they have no trouble finding jobs.

Having said that I met a guy who had been living in Japan for a while with a Chemistry Degree, so really, like the others said, any Degree with a bit of experience or alot of enthusiasm should be enough to get you started in Japan.
 

senseiman

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My undergraduate degree is in Political Science, which has absolutely nothing to do with Japan or teaching but was enough to get me several teaching jobs in Japan. Take from that what you will.

Of course, this is just talking about English teaching jobs. There are other lines of work which will of course require some specific degree.
 

GaijinPunch

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Here's a somewhat known fact:
The Degree will get you in the door, and that's about it. I have a liberal arts degree (Japanese major, Asian studies minor) and now work in IT in Securities. Even with only 3 years experience, I was making about what an MBA would start with.

I would highly recommend on getting some degree you like, but being REALLY, REALLY good at communicating. Take some type of management course, and public speaking. I cannot tell you how important this is in just about any job.
 

yukio_michael

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(The other 10% I can think of are higher end English positions where masters in a relevant - education etc - field are required. This generally means Universities and the sort)
Ewok, what did you get your Bachelors (or equivalent degree in?) Do you have any cirtifications? What you're doing is probably similar to what I aim to be doing--- I might do the initial easy English teaching bit at first, but I'd prefer something in the tech field.

I do aim on having a good level of fluency, and my plans probably don't put me there for at least another two years or more; plently of time to work on my Japanese.
 

Glenski

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Would be nice if Nicola would come back and respond.

Teaching jobs are the easiest to get, and as already mentioned, entry level work requires only a BA/BS degree in any subject. What you do with that is up to you. Stay in teaching? Move sideways to another career?

If you want to get FT university teaching jobs, you'll need a specific master's degree (like linguistics). If you want to be a teacher in an international school, you'll need a teaching-related degree, plus a teaching license from your home country, plus experience there.

Non-teaching jobs are harder to come by. As a rule, they require fairly high fluency in Japanese for starters, and foreigners must usually have some unique skill/experience, otherwise employers would just hire locals.

aysis wrote:
what if i'm undergraduate but has a sponsor for me to work?
You still need to satisfy immigration's requirements for the proper work visa. I don't believe your country has a reciprocal agreement with Japan to offer a working holiday visa to undergrads. Your proposed employer may want to hire you, but he still has to abide by immigration law. Perhaps an internship visa?
 

Ewok85

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Ewok, what did you get your Bachelors (or equivalent degree in?) Do you have any cirtifications? What you're doing is probably similar to what I aim to be doing--- I might do the initial easy English teaching bit at first, but I'd prefer something in the tech field.

I do aim on having a good level of fluency, and my plans probably don't put me there for at least another two years or more; plently of time to work on my Japanese.

No degree, have never worked in teaching :)

I have the JLPT 2nd level, studying for my CCNP and MCP (Win2003) for around August testing.
 

yukio_michael

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No degree, have never worked in teaching :)

I have the JLPT 2nd level, studying for my CCNP and MCP (Win2003) for around August testing.
I think I'll stick to my East Asian Studies major, and get certification in areas that interest me or ones I feel may be relevant to working in Japan... I'm not exactly wanting to teach in Japan, it's just a backup plan.

Again, hat tip to ya for your hard work.
 

gboy

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Gentlemen,
am eletronic and communication engineering graduate...is there any available jobs here in japan, where to look?
 

youzenrin

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I am a finance major just started working in one of world's prestigious banks here in the US. Asian economy is growing like crazy and everyone wants to open their business in Asia (China in particular). However, getting into the region with its complex regulations are challenging as for now, so most companies enter Japan (easiest to get in) first to create a "base" before they launch their expansion elsewhere in Asia. My company (and others in the industry) are sending off their employees to Japan (including me) to participate in the robust Asian market. So within the next couple of months, I will be living and working in Tokyo full time.
I don't really know how to speak Japanese yet, but I have witnessed once too many times in my field (finance) that Japanese is not a major requirement to work in Japan. I was in a 3 months internship program in Tokyo 2 years ago and english was the main language in the office. So I could have the time to travel around Japan and learning the language slowly and surely without it having to affect my work performance.
:)
My suggestion to those who want to live in Japan is to find a good job in an internationally-recognized company in your area that has a branch in Japan. They usually have a rotational program, in which, if you are qualified, you can be relocated to their Japan office - not only that you will receive sponsorship but also perks like housing, travel bonues and such plus US salary and benefits like 401k (Japan salary is really low compared to the US and no 401k).
 

Glenski

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I don't really know how to speak Japanese yet, but I have witnessed once too many times in my field (finance) that Japanese is not a major requirement to work in Japan. I was in a 3 months internship program in Tokyo 2 years ago and english was the main language in the office.
I wouldn't count on this all the time. Besides, showing that you have taken the effort to learn even a little Japanese, enough for politeness' sake, goes a long way. Plus, even when you are sightseeing, you can get by in English a lot, but why be so arrogant when it doesn't hurt to learn a little of the local language? You can't assume everyone here is conversant. They may have been taught English 6 years by the time they leave high school, but oral communication is not a high priority.
 

youzenrin

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I wouldn't count on this all the time. Besides, showing that you have taken the effort to learn even a little Japanese, enough for politeness' sake, goes a long way. Plus, even when you are sightseeing, you can get by in English a lot, but why be so arrogant when it doesn't hurt to learn a little of the local language? You can't assume everyone here is conversant. They may have been taught English 6 years by the time they leave high school, but oral communication is not a high priority.
Yes, mochiron! :cautious: I did learn the local language while I was there. It was very unexpected that they sent me off to Japan the first place (me being without any Japanese language skills). I worked almost 18-20 hours daily (in English) and had very little time to concentrate on studying the Japanese language alone. I had the opportunity to practice some words when I went out to some local shops/ restaurants. I didn't try to absorb the language and culture fully though, because I did not think that I would ever return to Japan after my internship (to live). But obviously I was wrong. I'm studying Japanese by myself now hoping to prepare myself better for the second time (who knows I might bump into you, Glenski, someday somehow in Japan).
Oh btw, I do know that there are a lot of ways to experience Japan and I just happened to know one. But I don't expect anyone to follow the same route. 😏
 
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Beer Baron

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I am a finance major just started working in one of world's prestigious banks here in the US. Asian economy is growing like crazy and everyone wants to open their business in Asia (China in particular). However, getting into the region with its complex regulations are challenging as for now, so most companies enter Japan (easiest to get in) first to create a "base" before they launch their expansion elsewhere in Asia. My company (and others in the industry) are sending off their employees to Japan (including me) to participate in the robust Asian market. So within the next couple of months, I will be living and working in Tokyo full time.
I don't really know how to speak Japanese yet, but I have witnessed once too many times in my field (finance) that Japanese is not a major requirement to work in Japan. I was in a 3 months internship program in Tokyo 2 years ago and english was the main language in the office. So I could have the time to travel around Japan and learning the language slowly and surely without it having to affect my work performance.
:)
My suggestion to those who want to live in Japan is to find a good job in an internationally-recognized company in your area that has a branch in Japan. They usually have a rotational program, in which, if you are qualified, you can be relocated to their Japan office - not only that you will receive sponsorship but also perks like housing, travel bonues and such plus US salary and benefits like 401k (Japan salary is really low compared to the US and no 401k).

YES! Very good advice. to be honest if you want to earn a good living in japan and some respect too then forget english teaching as a long term plan. you need to get a degree (mainly for visa sake but you'll need it for a decent job anyway) and some certification doesn't hurt either like CA or CFA and couple that with a few years experience in your own country in your chosen field. now you need to get involved with a big company (foreign investment banks are great). They will likely offer you a good job, and help with housing etc (and not crappy housing either), plus the language spoken in the office will almost certainly be english so you wont be at a disadvantage if you aren't yet fluent in japanese. this is really the most viable way to make a successful living in japan and have enough money to really enjoy yourself in a big city like tokyo. (we are talking 9,000,000+). It would be hard to land this kind of job if you are under 26 or 27 though just purely because you'll need to have finished high school, uni, and a few years working less glamorous jobs.
 

Ewok85

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Give me a few years and I'll have proven all you've written wrong ;) 🙂

I worked almost 18-20 hours daily (in English) and had very little time to concentrate on studying the Japanese language alone.

I find after an 18hr workday I like to spend the remaining 6hours sleeping, so I can see how study is an issue. Maybe do it on the train?
 

youzenrin

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It would be hard to land this kind of job if you are under 26 or 27 though just purely because you'll need to have finished high school, uni, and a few years working less glamorous jobs.
Don't fret, I'm 23. Only hold a bachelor's degree from a public University.
The hard work part comes from working on enhancing your resume (above average GPA, internships, leaderships) and maintaining your determination.
I find after an 18hr workday I like to spend the remaining 6hours sleeping, so I can see how study is an issue. Maybe do it on the train?
Yup. That's right.

(but you do know that there are short breaks in between the hours, don't you? you can study/eat/chat, do whatever u want)
Some days are better, some days are worse. Once you move up the corporate ladder, the better your hours will be. ☝
 
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Beer Baron

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Give me a few years and I'll have proven all you've written wrong ;) 🙂

hey, good attitude. I'm sorry if it sounded like I think that's the only way to make it work. you certainly can attack it from another direction and still be very successful and happy. so I wish you the best of luck. :)
 

nicola1221

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Dear all,

Thank you so much for your kind reply! I really appreciate your input!

I understand that there are many out there who are working as an English teacher in Japan. However, I do not think that I stand a good chance in becoming an English teacher in Japan. (Because I'm not a native speaker.)

Other than teaching field, is there any other field that is currently in short supply of manpower in Japan?

Thank you once again. Yoroshiku Onegai Itashimasu!!
 

ET_Fukuoka

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I got my BA in Sociology and then jump on the next plane to Japan. Worked for NOVA for 5 years. Origianally I planned to change companies but the schedule (1:20-9:00pm most of the time) suited me perfectly. After few years (and steady yearly raises) I cut back my schedule to 4 days a week. When I got back to the US (2 years ago) I am still not bringing home as much as I did in Japan. Everyday I ask myself, "Why did I leave?"

Now I am subconsciously trying to talk the wifey into going back.... (^_^)

If I could do it again I would have switched to parttime and studied Japanese a lot more. My Japanese is good but should be A LOT better.
 

Glenski

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Nicola,
How old are you? You are a non-native speaker of English and don't have a degree. Both of those items are barriers to finding work here. To find non-teaching work just compounds the problems, not only of finding work but in getting a work visa.

Also, what is your work experience? What are you trained/educated to do?

Non-Japanese who want non-teaching jobs had better know enough Japanese to get by in an interview and on the job. There are plenty here that get by without much, but they are probably miserable and just doing the lowly jobs (although I can't imagine how, with no Japanese).

You will need more than a skill/experience to get most non-teaching jobs. Think of it this way -- what can you bring to the bargaining table that a local Japanese can't?
 

dan_j

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just woundering if theres any jobs in multimedia /computers in japan for me?
i no a sum japanese words

thanks
 
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