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To work in Japan, what is the better option: study maths or informatics?


21 Sep 2021
Good night everybody, I am new at the forum, I am Spanish, and I degree in law at the UNED university, but that studies are not useful in japan (i think ), nowadays I am studying Japanese at the official school of language. I am going to the A2 level complete this year. I wonder if studying for a degree in informatics would be a good idea, but I prefer math science. If I study Maths at University, I could find a job in Japan ? or is it more helpful informatics engineering?
Hi Makoto and welcome to the forum.

I am a fully-qualified career counselor. Let me give you some advice. You are trying to choose a major then find a job to fit that major. This is backwards. First, find a job/career you like then choose the major that fits that job/career.

Start looking at the job market. What are your three or four top choices for a job/career in Japan? Outside of Japan? What is the job demand for each of the jobs/careers you like? Starting Salaries? Which Japanese companies do you like the best?

You have a lot of research to do. The sooner you get started, the better.
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Greetings Butaro and thanks for your message, I think you are more successful in a major that you like yes but... the question (for me), is that I want to live in Japan, and I'm trying to know if studying a major in maths is useful to find a job in Japan as informatics science.

The best way to find an answer is to contact a professor or counselor in an Information Sciences Program at a Japanese university. You should also contact a professor or counselor in a Math Program at a Japanese university. They will have the best knowledge about jobs for their graduates. At my university here in America, each Math and IT Department has academic advisors with a degree in their field, and these are the people you should talk to. (An advisor without a math degree is not allowed to work as a counselor in the Math Department.) I would avoid talking to General Advisors or Admissions Specialists at universities.

(I do not think anyone on this forum can answer your question.)

You may have better luck contacting English-speaking universities in Japan than Japanese-speaking universities in Japan. Or find a Japanese person who will contact Japanese-speaking universities for you. (Do you have any Japanese friends at your university or in your town? If there is a Japan Club at your university, you should join it.) Of the top of my head, I can think of three English-speaking universities in Japan: Sophia University (in Tokyo), International Christian University (in Tokyo) and Temple University - Japan (in Tokyo).

You should also talk to professors and counselors in Information Sciences Programs and Math Program at a university in your country. They may be members of an international professional organization that has members at universities in Japan.
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Well, but it is possible some people have a major in maths or informatics and work in japan and can tell me if is valid or not ...
I would say it's possible to find work in Japan following either path. My degree was in computer science (informatics?) and I worked in finance in Japan. But there were also people there with a science/math background. They tended to work on the software that requires math (such as arbitrage government bond trading for example) while I'd work on software for transferring data from vendors to our back office systems. At the end of the day we were all working on software though.
At my current company, the guy who understands the math still codes but he's director of advanced engineering and directs the efforts of other engineers as well as solving the hardest problems.
And is very important if you come from a private university ir public university for work in japan? I say this cause japanese people like to study in a public university
As far as helping you get a job in Japan, literally the only thing that matters about your degree is that you have a four-year degree in anything from any accredited university, as this is a requirement for certain working visa types.

Beyond that, there is nothing about any one specific major or type of university that is (in and of itself) going to significantly impact your chances of landing a job in Japan. I would advise you to focus on developing relevant skills and experience and improving your Japanese language ability, as these will undoubtedly make you more attractive to Japanese employers (or any employer, for that matter).

Obsessing over (relatively) minor details like math vs. information science or public vs. private university as if either choice will be the key to getting you in the door to Japan is only going to distract you from more important and practical concerns.
I would say that getting a job in the IT sector should be easier for a foreigner in Japan. After majoring in math, the options may be mainly in teaching. And, if you go for a teaching job without native level Japanese, you will have limited possibilities of getting a job at an international school. On the other side, with your interest in mathematics background, you may land an excellent job in niche areas like data engineer or data science if you add an information technology qualification. You may find some good information for an IT career in "How to get an Information Technology Job in Japan".

However, you need to see if you have a passion for information technology because success ultimately comes from love and interest. However, on the other side, I feel that a person interested in mathematics should easily find interest in information technology.

I wish you all the very best.
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