TokyoDev forum

How easy is it to find a job as a Machine Learning Engineer in Japan?

I am asking this to get an idea how abundant these types of job roles are in Japan, and if you need pure MLE experience to land these jobs, or if experience in related work + relevant education is enough? Also, I’m talking more along the lines of “applied machine learning” as opposed to research positions.

From job searches, they do seem fairly abundant although they often have a lot of applicants going for them, and to my relief I have seen some that are a bit more vague around required work experience, i.e. that don’t ask specifically for professional experience in machine learning, but do ask for “expertise” in machine learning and a certain amount of software development in related fields.

As an example, how do you think I would do under the following circumstances? :

  • 3 years experience in aviation as a 3rd line support engineer; half software development (Java and a bit of C), half support & infrastructure work
  • 2.5 years experience at a global investment bank as a (Windows :nauseated_face:) infrastructure engineer with some AWS and a bit of DevOps
  • 2yrs 3 months at a FinTech/TradeTech startup as a Data Engineer (all Linux :slight_smile: and Python)
  • MSc in Artificial Intelligence at a fairly decent UK university
  • JLPT N3 (or N2)

:arrow_up: All London based companies in case it means anything.

Those last two points are yet to be attained, so its worth noting that after I have the MSc, I will have been out of work for 1 year+ while applying for jobs in Japan.

How does this look?

So my only experience after my undergrad has been at a deep learning company in Tokyo remotely. I was planning on moving when the borders opened, but it just wasn’t reasonable after waiting for over a year getting paid in yen and living in California. That being said, it seems like companies are a little more willing to hiring from overseas now. Seeing that you’ll have a degree in AI that’s probably quite enough to get past that visa hurdle. I had a lot of trouble in getting my visa processed because immigration wanted documentation for my diploma that my university was refusing to provide even though I had already paid for a digital copy. Definitely consider how your documents will be submitted through an employer.

Based on what recruiters have been telling me recently, AI/ML talent is so scarce that companies seem a little more flexible on experience compared to positions like frontend, backend, or full stack. Maybe if you add some technologies you’ve used on your resume recruiters will find you. They’ve been finding me on LinkedIn lately, it’s probably because my location is up as Tokyo. Although I need to explain my situation with recruiters, they’re usually more understanding after a call. Saying your location is Tokyo didn’t necessarily say you already have a visa to work in Japan.