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Any job opportunity for foreign new graduate students from Japan's university?


I am an international student in Tokyo since early 2015. It’s time for me finding a job as developer in Japan, one year before I get my Master degree.

Though I can speak & read Japanese, I cannot do it as fluent as native Japanese, even in foreseeable future.

I notice that many companies require some kind of “initial screening”(SCOA, TG-WEB, CAB, SPI, etc.), which include difficult Japanese reading. I originally thought that is particular true with traditional Japanese companies. But I astonished to find even Microsoft Japan requires that kind of testing after I submitted my resume.

I’m not quite comfortable with that initial screening, just like most foreign students. Maybe, just maybe, after few month’s hard preparation, I might barely get through it. But it is really worth it? Do I really have to prepare for that? After all, I don’t think those initial screening can evaluate my talent as a software developer. If I do not have to do it, maybe it is best for me practicing programming & algorithms & interview techniques.

My question is, are there any companies in Tokyo can hire foreign new graduates as programmers, without that kind of initial screening?

Salary is not my concern in the first year, so long as I could land my first job “correctly” as software developer. I had internship as a web developer in Tokyo half year ago, but beside from that, I’m not quite experienced in this industry.

Any suggestion or recommendation is appreciated. Please forgive me if I had said something stupid.


If you’re going through the traditional Japanese job hunting experience, where you’re getting hired by a company before you graduate, you’re going into a process set up with Japanese students in mind. As an exceptional case, you’re going to run into the barriers like the one you mentioned.

A company like Microsoft gets 1000s, if not 10,000s of students a year applying, so it doesn’t surprise me that they have a screening procedure like you describe. For companies like them, they are trying to filter out bad people, not find good ones, so even if their procedure isn’t a good one, they can get away with in.

One option would be to go after smaller companies, where they’re look to hire a couple students instead of a couple hundred, and have at most a couple hundred people applying to them. I think companies like this are more likely to be flexible around their hiring procedures.

If you’re not already, I’d also start going to developer events, and making connections with other professional developers here. If you can get an introduction from someone already working at the company, you’re more likely to be able to skip the standard testing, and go straight to an interview.

I’d also work on marketing yourself as a developer, as building up a public presence is going to have the biggest return on investment over the long term. It also has the benefit of having a good impact on your career no matter what happens (say you need to go back to your own country).


Yes Paul has said that right. Go for small companies or startups, many of them don’t require Japanese skill at all, but would love it if you speak English. But,

Most company seeking developers (even from graduate students) would expect you to be able to at least develop better than beginners. This is my own opinion though.