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  • Finding technical job with no Japanese skills?

    I am looking for advice on how to find a technical job in Japan. I would be willing to work as a programmer, statistician, actuary, engineer, etc. I have BS degrees in physics and applied math and I graduated just a couple years ago. I speak English fluently since I grew up and still live in the US. I recently visited Tokyo for a week with almost no prior knowledge of Japanese and really enjoyed the visit. I learned some Japanese during my visit, but I still can't make basic conversation or read. But I really want to move to Asia (I'm considering Korea and Taiwan also) and want to improve my Japanese and I am studying Japanese in my free time

    I previously had internships as a systems engineer and analyst. I have used C++ and SPSS, but my skills right now are not good enough to pass interviews for programmer or statistician positions. But I am willing to work on those skills if I can get a job in Japan.

    Anyone know of any good technical jobs in Japan (preferably in Tokyo) that are willing to hire English speakers with technical degrees but poor Japanese skills? Is it even possible if I don't have a few years of prior experience in a technical field? Or is starting off as an English teacher really the only way I can get my foot in the door?
    Would it be easier to get hired in Korea or Taiwan?

    Oh, I'm also Korean American. Can things get ugly with the other Japanese coworkers who don't like Koreans?

  • #2
    Originally posted by 13cyberphoenix View Post
    I am looking for advice on how to find a technical job in Japan. I would be willing to work as a programmer, statistician, actuary, engineer, etc. I have BS degrees in physics and applied math and I graduated just a couple years ago. I speak English fluently since I grew up and still live in the US. I recently visited Tokyo for a week with almost no prior knowledge of Japanese and really enjoyed the visit. I learned some Japanese during my visit, but I still can't make basic conversation or read. But I really want to move to Asia (I'm considering Korea and Taiwan also) and want to improve my Japanese and I am studying Japanese in my free time

    I previously had internships as a systems engineer and analyst. I have used C++ and SPSS, but my skills right now are not good enough to pass interviews for programmer or statistician positions. But I am willing to work on those skills if I can get a job in Japan.

    Anyone know of any good technical jobs in Japan (preferably in Tokyo) that are willing to hire English speakers with technical degrees but poor Japanese skills? Is it even possible if I don't have a few years of prior experience in a technical field? Or is starting off as an English teacher really the only way I can get my foot in the door?
    Would it be easier to get hired in Korea or Taiwan?

    Oh, I'm also Korean American. Can things get ugly with the other Japanese coworkers who don't like Koreans?
    Getting a technical job, oh yes, you might try, though without proper Japanese it will be difficult. Are your skills really marketable? Can you offer something Japanese dont have? English teaching sounds like a good start. That way you can learn more Japanese. Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 13cyberphoenix View Post
      I am looking for advice on how to find a technical job in Japan. I would be willing to work as a programmer, statistician, actuary, engineer, etc. I have BS degrees in physics and applied math and I graduated just a couple years ago. I speak English fluently since I grew up and still live in the US. I recently visited Tokyo for a week with almost no prior knowledge of Japanese and really enjoyed the visit. I learned some Japanese during my visit, but I still can't make basic conversation or read. But I really want to move to Asia (I'm considering Korea and Taiwan also) and want to improve my Japanese and I am studying Japanese in my free time

      I previously had internships as a systems engineer and analyst. I have used C++ and SPSS, but my skills right now are not good enough to pass interviews for programmer or statistician positions. But I am willing to work on those skills if I can get a job in Japan.

      Anyone know of any good technical jobs in Japan (preferably in Tokyo) that are willing to hire English speakers with technical degrees but poor Japanese skills? Is it even possible if I don't have a few years of prior experience in a technical field? Or is starting off as an English teacher really the only way I can get my foot in the door?
      Would it be easier to get hired in Korea or Taiwan?

      Oh, I'm also Korean American. Can things get ugly with the other Japanese coworkers who don't like Koreans?


      I have a similar dream.

      I want to be a doctor in Japan, but I don't know much about medicine and I only know about 1,000 kanji and my Japanese conversation skills are basic.

      You let me know how your dream pans out and I'll let you know about mine....

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by HarryHurry View Post
        I have a similar dream.

        I want to be a doctor in Japan, but I don't know much about medicine and I only know about 1,000 kanji and my Japanese conversation skills are basic.

        You let me know how your dream pans out and I'll let you know about mine....
        May be the HONORIS@CAUSA@DOCTOR for your excellent posts on the GPF. I believe that. May your dream come true!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 13cyberphoenix View Post
          I am looking for advice on how to find a technical job in Japan.
          Get a job teaching English. Write code (iPhone apps, etc) in your spare time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 13cyberphoenix View Post
            Oh, I'm also Korean American. Can things get ugly with the other Japanese coworkers who don't like Koreans?
            In Japan you would be considered more American than you would be considered Korean. Even Koreans born in Korea dont consider Korean Americans to be "real" Koreans and you are probably considered Korean or Asian in American. Not one and not quite the other.

            To add to the above posts it will be quite difficult for you if you don't speak Japanese as you would require a lot of handholding by the locals and most companies can not really be bothered with employees who can not speak the language. Its as though you will be more trouble than its worth. Imagine a Japanese or Korean with your qualifications coming to work in America but could speak no more than basic and rudimentary English. Would you like to have to deal with such a person?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HarryHurry View Post
              I have a similar dream.

              I want to be a doctor in Japan, but I don't know much about medicine and I only know about 1,000 kanji and my Japanese conversation skills are basic.

              You let me know how your dream pans out and I'll let you know about mine....
              You have an impressive post history here. I can vouch for you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by meiji View Post
                Get a job teaching English. Write code (iPhone apps, etc) in your spare time.
                I thought about that. But how good would my Japanese have to be before someone would consider hiring me? Would spending 2 years studying full-time at a language intensive program be enough?

                I've heard mixed opinions on how good my programming skills would have to be if I don't know Japanese well. I've heard there are some foreign companies that have lots of workers who have no Japanese skills, since alot of them are from India.
                Last edited by 13cyberphoenix; 2012-04-04, 03:47 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Genkii View Post
                  You have an impressive post history here. I can vouch for you.


                  Thank you for your kind words. Your support is like a crotch to me...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 13cyberphoenix View Post
                    I thought about that. But how good would my Japanese have to be before someone would consider hiring me? Would spending 2 years studying full-time at a language intensive program be enough?

                    I've heard mixed opinions on how good my programming skills would have to be if I don't know Japanese well. I've heard there are some foreign companies that have lots of workers who have no Japanese skills, since alot of them are from India.
                    Well, you have 2 paths here if you want to come to Japan right now, and it really depends on how soon you want to/need to be working.

                    1. If you have the money/time to do language study, do that. 2 years at a language intensive program in Japan if you worked hard would probably be enough to get up to business level. Just having the language isn't enough to land a job as a programmer though, although with those language skills and your background you might be able to get some other entry-level work in the tech industry.

                    2. If you need to be working sooner than that, you could go with the English teaching and working on coding in your spare time.

                    The main things to remember is that:

                    a. the language requirement is an requirement in addition to any other skill requirements, not instead of.

                    b. it's an employers market everywhere right now, including Japan, so you need to either have the chops to get the job you want, or be willing to take a different job and pay your dues.

                    c. I would highly recommend looking at job listings in Japan and see what sorts of skills they are looking for. I'm in the tech field as well, so I know there's a lot of Java, database, and iOS programmer jobs out there, and if you are looking for a developer job I would target your coding resources towards experience in those sorts of areas.

                    Good luck.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 13cyberphoenix View Post
                      I thought about that. But how good would my Japanese have to be before someone would consider hiring me? Would spending 2 years studying full-time at a language intensive program be enough?

                      I've heard mixed opinions on how good my programming skills would have to be if I don't know Japanese well. I've heard there are some foreign companies that have lots of workers who have no Japanese skills, since alot of them are from India.
                      I know several indian programmers who came to Japan without any Japanese skills, working at foreign companies (banks, etc.). But just the promise to learn C++ will not get you a job. The most obvious choice will be to try and find a job in the same field where you have worked after graduation. Even if this is 'actuarian', there are many foreign insurers in Japan.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If u have interest in java you can do java certification so that easily you can get good job.....

                        Find out OCA Java SE 7 Preparation article at http://www.epractizelabs.com/blog2/?p=413

                        Thanks in advance....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 13cyberphoenix View Post
                          I am looking for advice on how to find a technical job in Japan. I would be willing to work as a programmer, statistician, actuary, engineer, etc. I have BS degrees in physics and applied math and I graduated just a couple years ago. I speak English fluently since I grew up and still live in the US. I recently visited Tokyo for a week with almost no prior knowledge of Japanese and really enjoyed the visit. I learned some Japanese during my visit, but I still can't make basic conversation or read. But I really want to move to Asia (I'm considering Korea and Taiwan also) and want to improve my Japanese and I am studying Japanese in my free time

                          I previously had internships as a systems engineer and analyst. I have used C++ and SPSS, but my skills right now are not good enough to pass interviews for programmer or statistician positions. But I am willing to work on those skills if I can get a job in Japan.

                          Anyone know of any good technical jobs in Japan (preferably in Tokyo) that are willing to hire English speakers with technical degrees but poor Japanese skills? Is it even possible if I don't have a few years of prior experience in a technical field? Or is starting off as an English teacher really the only way I can get my foot in the door?
                          Would it be easier to get hired in Korea or Taiwan?

                          Oh, I'm also Korean American. Can things get ugly with the other Japanese coworkers who don't like Koreans?
                          My plan is to come over and teach English for about a year while I look for a programming job. Networking is a big deal, knowing the right people can get you in places you would have trouble with normally. As suggested above coding in your spare time is a great idea.

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