Any advice for a fresh graduate looking to land a job in Japan?

Hi all:

I am a fresh Commerce graduate interested in landing a job in Japan. I already have a 2-year business analytics master offer from a German business school, but is actually more interested in working in Japan in the long run. I couldn’t apply for Japanese Master degrees as I don’t have a graduation thesis for my 3-year Bachelor degree from University of Melbourne. I could apply for a zero-bakcground friendly IT degree at Unimelb but still don’t know if it’s a good idea.

I personally think I have two options:

  1. I go to Germany and learn data analytics, focusing on statistics, ML, and their business applications, and finally land an analytic job in Germany. I begin to study Japanese part-time (I once took part in a Japanese cram course three years ago and have somehow acheived a N3-2 level proficiency, pretty confident to get N1 in a year). After 2-3 years of working I source for job offers in Japan, either online from overseas or offline after acquiring a working holiday visa. Or maybe I could directly go to Japan upon graduation but that seems risky.

Problems with this option are: A, that there seems to be only some demands for data/business analysts (less technical and more business-oriented than data scientists) or even data scientists in Japan ; B, I personally think becoming a software developer is way easier than becoming a data scientist, many top companies only hire DS with a PhD degree.

  1. I stay in Australia and study IT for 2 years, land an intern in first year, and study Japanese part-time (again, pretty confident with a N1-2 certifcate two years later). Then I either work in Australia for 2-3 years or just directly go to Japan with a working holiday visa, hoping to find a full-time job. The latter is preferred but I don’t know about the chance of getting hired.

Problems with this option is that it’s way more expensive to study in Australia as an international student (I am from China)

Finally I am a bit worried about my age: I will be 26 after graduation from my master, is it too old for a freshman in Japan?

Could you give me some advice? Thanks for all feedbacks!

You mentioned you’re in Australia as an international student (i.e. not a citizen), and that you’re from China. China doesn’t have a working holiday programme with Japan, so do you have another citizenship that would allow you to do it?

There are definitely more positions for developers in Japan than data scientists. But there are also a lot more candidates, so they’re more competitive. In the end, I’m not sure one is optimal over the other in the general case. Your own talents are probably more suited to one role or another though. I’d try to figure out which one you’ll be better at (and enjoy more), and focus on that.

Age isn’t something I’d worry about so much. While age discrimination is a thing here, for the companies that do do it, 40 seems to be the cutoff. I doubt if you’re 26 with a masters degree you’ll have any problems with this, especially as a non-Japanese.

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Thank you so much for a prompt reply! Unfortunately I don’t have another citizenship so maybe I could only source job from overseas.

In this case I think I might just focus on my career in Australia/Germany and source for Japanese jobs from overseas after I have at least 3 years of experience.

But there is still a question I want to ask: you mentioned that data sciencists and software developers could both have good prospect in Japan. But what about business/data analysts? I found only one DA job post on your website: Data Analyst - CTW | TokyoDev


Data Analyst positions are generally outside the scope of my site. My impression though is that it’s less common for such positions to be recruiting international talent. For instance, that position requires conversational Japanese abilities, whereas the rest of CTW’s positions don’t have any Japanese requirement.

Sure, thank you for your feedback and I wish you all the best in Tokyo!