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Working in Japan - IT Student

cloudmagic

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Hello,


I am a Freshman in college and I am interested in working in Japan when I graduate. Even if it is only for a few years and I decide to move back to the US, I have watched many documentaries about the lifestyles and entertainment in Japan and I think it would be an exciting experience.

I am studying information technology. I will specialize in Software Development, and (if possible) Cyber Security. I have been programming for a couple of years already so I have the basics down.

I really would like to experience this culture, and I plan on doing volunteer work there in Summer of 2014.

Do you think that a new graduate that has OK Japanese skills (self-teaching), got great grades, and proved himself through projects that he created in his own time would be able to get hired by a company in Japan?
 

DaisukeJigen

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It's possible, if you move to Japan first. I've looked around for software development jobs in Japan myself, and the few I find all require you already live there. Not to mention most require conversational level Japanese, if not higher.
That or have amazing skills. Skills that will make it worth a company to sponsor your visa.

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Glenski

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The question is, why should they hire you over a Japanese with similar skill set? They know the language and culture better. If you don't find a place that accepts people with low Japanese ability, you also have to prove a fresh graduate with no experience is worth their time. They are big on molding J grads into their own image and know you wouldn't adapt to that.

I'm curious what lifestyle you saw from the documentaries.
 

cloudmagic

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The question is, why should they hire you over a Japanese with similar skill set? They know the language and culture better. If you don't find a place that accepts people with low Japanese ability, you also have to prove a fresh graduate with no experience is worth their time. They are big on molding J grads into their own image and know you wouldn't adapt to that.

I'm curious what lifestyle you saw from the documentaries.

That is an interesting idea. I never thought about why they would hire me over a Japanese person.I am not sure if students in Japan would actually work on their own creations, AND work in group projects. I feel like I would have a good shot at showing my teamwork abilities.

IT is a field where there are not enough people for the job. Even if I prove to be ambitious, you don't think I would be able to get a job so easily?

Also, I am not sure how my Japanese skills will be three years from now. I do know this, though. If I study hard and visit Japan two summers in a row, I am sure I will be able to get myself to a business level of speaking.

From what I have seen, the Japanese culture isn't as fast paced as it is in America. I see people dedicate more time to work, which isn't a terrible thing, working earns you $$$. People eat healthier and cook their food oftentimes. People actually seem like they're willing to help one another though, and are very friendly. That's definitely a plus to me. I like the clothing styles that men and women wear, it's neat that people want to dress fashionable, yet you see many people dressed in quirky ways for fun (though usually for holidays or events). Japan seems like a more peaceful place to me than the US, and from what I've seen the nature is very beautiful.
 

Mike Cash

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You seem to be laboring under the mistaken impression that Japanese workers actually get paid for all the hours/work they put in.

Here are a couple of terms to amuse yourself with in your language studies:

固定残業 (こていざんぎょう)
ただ働き (ただばたらき)

Besides language problems and extra paperwork connected to visas and whatnot, besides having to figuratively wipe their butts for them, another reason foreign employees (well.... white/western employees) are less desirable is that they expect to get paid for all they do, have no qualms about hitting the door at quitting time while the Japanese employees stay on, expect better wages, benefits, and perks than Japanese employees, expect to actually use their vacation days to take vacations when they feel like it, think they should have "sick days" and "personal days", and think they should never have to do anything not in their "job description".

If I ran a company in Japan there is no way in hell I'd give a foreign prospect equal consideration for a position that I could more easily fill with a Japanese prospect who isn't going to cause me 1/10th the hassle and grief.
 

DaisukeJigen

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IT is a field where there are not enough people for the job. Even if I prove to be ambitious, you don't think I would be able to get a job so easily?

Might not be the easiest thing to get a job even in America. Trend with software development seems to be going towards contract work. Companies will have a few full time employees, but bring in extras as needed, and only till project is done, then they get the boot.

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Glenski

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That is an interesting idea. I never thought about why they would hire me over a Japanese person.I am not sure if students in Japan would actually work on their own creations, AND work in group projects. I feel like I would have a good shot at showing my teamwork abilities.
Most companies here hire J college grads on the basis of the school's reputation, not because of grades. They just want to mold them to their own "teamwork" image. Foreign teamwork, unless it accompanies working together with Japanese, is entirely different.

IT is a field where there are not enough people for the job.
Excuse me? The vast majority of people who ask about IT jobs in Japan (and often teaching jobs) have said IT jobs have dried up!

Even if I prove to be ambitious, you don't think I would be able to get a job so easily?
No.

Also, I am not sure how my Japanese skills will be three years from now. I do know this, though. If I study hard and visit Japan two summers in a row, I am sure I will be able to get myself to a business level of speaking.
It will be needed. Look at places like daijob.com and Career Cross to see what requirements are for IT jobs.

From what I have seen, the Japanese culture isn't as fast paced as it is in America. I see people dedicate more time to work, which isn't a terrible thing,
Japan puts the "dead" in dedicated. Lots of make-work work, and reading comics just to keep one's butt in the office chair and not go home before the boss, who just doesn't want to go home to his wife. Plenty of inefficiency in Japan.

working earns you $$$.
Yes, but OT won't in many/most corporate jobs.
 

Petaris

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IT is a field where there are not enough people for the job.

My god, where do you live? I need to move to where ever it is!

I am in the IT field and have been for 10 years. The job market absolutely sucks just about everywhere, and IT is no exception!

As your only a freshman in college right now I understand not having a good understanding of the job market as you aren't looking for a job, or at least not seriously. A lot of the jobs that you see posted are never actually filled, not because of lack of applications, but because of issues on the organizations side. Lack of funds for that extra IT person that you would like to have, or they are just fishing for applications to see if someone with a lot of experience and, if its an HR person, certifications to come along and be willing to work for peanuts.

I won't re-state what Mike and Glenski have written, but you really need to take their advise. If you really do have the drive then you can make this work, but it won't be easy and it won't be fast and the result will probably not be what you are imagining it to be.
 
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