Hi all, I’m Kevin and I’ve been lurking around TokyoDev here and there over the years.
A little on my background:
I am an American computer science undergraduate student and I have studied Japanese for about 9 years now. I would say I’m around N3 in JLPT if I were to try to test for it.
I’m planning on graduating in a month with a B.S. in Computer Science from a university in California, USA. Despite COVID-19 affecting the job market (especially abroad), I managed to get an internship and a full time offer that I accepted as a Machine Learning Engineer for a small company in Tokyo. Though they gave me such a small offer of 220,000 yen/month, I felt that the work seems exciting. To top that off it’s very close to the university I did an exchange semester, so I would be able to return to that area in Tokyo.
However, I took this job seeing it as a foot in the door to a visa and experience with ML. I was thinking that this was quite an opportunity considering that most ML engineers have an M.S. or PhD. Though my goal is to eventually live comfortably to own a home outside of Tokyo someday (seems more realistic than owning a home in California). This does seem to be quite a traditional company in terms of how one would progress in a company though. I accepted the offer intending to leave within 2 years, is that a reasonable timeframe to progress in my career for higher opportunities at a bigger company like LINE or Google? I’m worried being at this company for that long might stunt my growth since the development seems a little different from the scrum methodology I’m used to. Also, would trying to achieve JLPT N2 in that first year in Japan be that much of an edge for jobs? I do intend on trying for N2, but I’m just curious.
Somewhat of a lengthy post, but I appreciate any input!