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A fresh graduate student wants to find a job in Japan


#1

Hi guys

I’m a final-year college student from Viet Nam and I’m working on my thesis at the moment. Here is my circumstance and plan:

  • I major in Computer Engineering. I have little experience in many programming languages (Assembly, Python, C, Java, CUDA). My side projects are all personal and small as well; check out my GitHub account. I had a 3-month internship last year at FPT software where I received some training in writing Linux device driver and optimizing codes; all of them are super basic though. After the training, I participated in one of their project, which was specially created for college student to have fun. We were supposed to build a quadcopter from scratch; the software controlled the copter was an Opensource one. I left FPT 3 months later to continue studying new semester with no copter built and a sneaky error, which I had never found out, stopped the copter from working. That concluded my programming experience.

  • I joined a program called VIJAPED (Vietnam-Japan Program for Employment Ability Development) 3 weeks ago and have been learning Japanese since then. The program is hosted by my school (HCMUT - Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology), TAMSUI VIETNAM CO., LTD and JAPAN CREATE. They will teach people, who pass their interview, Japanese and some skills to adapt to Japanese working environment and from them, I will receive interviews from Japan’s company. In 9 months from now on, I hope that I will be able to reach N3.

  • I think that my English skill is pretty average. The last time I measured it was 2 years ago; I got a 550 TOEIC score at that time. I haven’t done anything to improve it since then but I believe that I can boost my English skill to roughly 800 TOEIC with some effort in 9 months.

Now, let’s just assume that after 9 months, my plan works out. I’m going to have JPLT N3, about 800 TOEIC and no further programming experience. I have some questions, please give me some answers and maybe insights as well:

  • Is the VIJAPED program reliable? It’s technically a Japanese recruitment company behind the program and I know that they have succeeded in bringing few dozens of engineer students to Japan; all of them literally went to big Japanese corporations. But still, I am worried about what kind of company they will find for me. In my opinion, big Japanese corporations are often traditional.

  • If I don’t rely on VIJAPED, what is the odds of finding a job in Japan for someone with my skill set? What kind of company will possibly be interested in me? I can not help but feel intimidated by the job requirements posted on Daijob, Glassdoor, etc. Any job that relevant to C and Linux will fit me.

  • Does anyone have any advice to make my plan better?

Even a comment on my circumstance is very appreciated. Thanks all!


#2

As I mention in getting your first developer job in Japan, the hardest job to get will be your first one. Most companies who hire non-Japanese developers won’t relocate someone to Japan, and even those who do tend to be looking for someone who’s an exceptional match.

I don’t know anything about the program you mention, but as it mentions stuff like teaching “Japanese business manners”, I guess they’re focused more on traditional companies. If you’re someone looking to do low-level development, that might be where most of the opportunities are.

If you’re looking on your own, I’d start by researching companies that look interesting to you. If you can demonstrate that you understand what a company is doing, and that you’ll be able to add value to it, even if you don’t quite meet the requirements, they’ll often be open to at least talking to you.


#3

As you have said, even if I don’t meet the requirements, they’ll often be open to at least talking to me. That’s pretty pleasant to hear! I guess I will look harder for some company, research about them and plan something out.

Contributing to open source project to buff up my resume, improve my English, learning Japanese, find a Japanese company and persuade them. There’re actually a lot of things that need to be done so it might take longer than 9 months. Anyway, thanks for your reply Paul! I hope we will meet in Japan one day. haha.