Ever asked yourself – how can I get a job in tech without a degree in Japan? Well, first you should know that it is possible. There are basically six methods we’ll explore in this article. We’ll look at:
- What you can do to start now
- Options to accelerate your studies, and
- High-paying jobs
What Are My Options?
Getting a job and work visa in Japan without a degree is not impossible, but it is challenging. Here are a few ways to get around it:
- Study toward your degree in Japan. You can work up to 28 hours a week on a student visa, so you can start building your career and gaining experience before even graduating.
- Apply for the Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) or Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) visa categories. It’s a great way to hone your skills and gain experience. You’re limited to a 5-year stay, but it’s possible to switch to a work visa afterward.
- Have 10 years or more experience in your field. Immigration will be more likely to grant you a work visa, even without a degree.
1. What You Can Do to Start Now
So, what’s the first step? There are a few things you can start with today.
Map Out Your Transferrable Skills
Also known as soft skills, these are often overlooked, but very important for success in the modern workplace. Examples include critical thinking skills, adaptability, problem-solving skills, relational skills, an eye for detail, and so on.
Whether you are currently working or studying, start by thinking about what you do on a daily basis. Which soft skills do you use the most? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Pinpoint what you could potentially specialize in, and what areas you need to improve on to reach your goals. Forbes and Coursera have detailed guidelines you can follow.
Build Your Network
Networking is one of the best ways to find work. In fact, many Japanese companies hire based on references from existing employees. As the saying goes – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Start networking by either joining communities or meetups.
There are some great tech communities you can join in Japan, such as:
For Tokyo-based, bilingual tech meetups, we recommend:
Self-Study With Free Courses
You don’t necessarily need to spend money to improve your skills. There are some excellent free courses covering a wide array of tech specialties. These will give you the foundational knowledge you need to get started.
2. Options to Accelerate Your Studies
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, let’s look at how you can up your game.
Entering the country on a student visa can be a great way to establish yourself and pave the way for a career and long-term stay. Top universities like Sophia, Waseda, and Temple offer English-language IT and engineering courses.
Another option is studying online. This will give you more choice and flexibility. Check out these lists of the best online bachelor’s in information technology degree programs and best online bachelor’s in computer science degree programs.
Finally, you could also take the ITPEC exam. It is based on the Japanese Information-Technology Engineers Examination (jōhō shori gijutsusha shiken 情報処理技術者試験), so it is accepted in Japan. It can also be taken in a number of different countries.
Enroll in a Coding Bootcamp
Coding is an essential skill if you want to work in tech. Our article on the best coding bootcamps in Japan can help you scope out your options., and includes all price ranges.
Online Tech Courses
There is a wealth of online courses you can take to hone your skills. Websites such as Udemy, EdX, and Coursea offer courses in almost anything you can imagine, and are also rather affordable.
We help tech professionals
With World in Pro, you will find:
- English-language jobs – No need for Japanese proficiency.
- A variety of job openings – Work for top tech companies and startups in Japan.
- International applications accepted – Find a job before arriving in Japan.
3. High-Paying Jobs
With so many different fields, it can be difficult to decide what is worth investing your time, energy, and money into. To help you compare, we’ll look at some of the most common tech jobs, and what you can expect to get paid for them.
What they do: In short, they build and maintain websites. They monitor performance and capacity, meaning how fast the website runs and how much traffic it can handle. Sometimes they also create content for the site.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥5,059,662
Digital Marketing Specialist
What they do: They plan, create and publish marketing content for various platforms. This content can be written or visual. Once published, they optimize their marketing funnels to improve performance, and share their results.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥9,872,967.
What they do: They analyze a company’s marketing data. Their insights help companies make decisions and optimize their marketing strategy
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥7,055,369
What they do: They use data to identify key insights into customers, their preferences, and behaviors. These findings can be used to solve problems and are shared with decision makers.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥4,700,969
What they do: They are responsible for the code and scripts that make computer software and applications function. They turn designs created by software developers and engineers into workable code that can be understood by smartphones and computers.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥4,500,000.
What they do: Also called systems architects, they inspect companies’ existing computer systems and procedures with the goal of laying out and implementing improvements. In doing so, they increase efficiency.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥8,847,717
What they do: They plan, implement and maintain the computer networks that support a company’s internal voice, data, video, and wireless network services.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥3,789,993
Computer Support Specialist
What they do: Sometimes also called help-desk technicians, they provide technical help to computer users who are not trained in IT. They can help customers in person, by phone, via online chat, or by email.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥6,945,121
What they do: They plan and execute marketing campaigns via various digital platforms. Their goal is to reach potential customers and boost the sale of products or services offered.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥7,812,772
What they do: They set up and maintain equipment used to develop, test, produce, and sustain aircrafts and spacecrafts. They are responsible for the safety and functioning of crucial parts of these vehicles.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥5,800,489
What they do: They specialize in network and IT infrastructure security. They are very knowledgeable about cyberattacks, malware, and how cybercriminals behave. Their job is to anticipate and prevent these attacks.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥9,677,590
What they do: They create visual concepts with the goal of capturing the attention of potential customers. In other words, they create the layout and production design for a variety of marketing content.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥3,918,816
What they do: They install and maintain telecommunications equipment such as phones, switchboards and data transmission equipment. They make work in private homes, businesses, telephone exchanges and other network sites.
Average annual salary in Japan: ¥5,959,570
Find Your Ideal Tech Job in Japan
Inbound Technology works with top startups and tech companies in Japan. Our career advisors are standing by to help you find the ideal job. Get in touch here or on LinkedIn.