TokyoDev forum

Moving in 4 Years - Strategy Needed

Hi all,
I’m Jan, I’m 21 years old.
In the end of next year (2023) I will start studying computer science(kind of) at the no-name University in Warsaw, Poland.
I will graduate around 2026 with engineering degree.

For past few months I’ve been learning web development, and I should probably land a job till the end of the year (as a JS developer).
If everything goes as planned I should graduate with 3 years of experience - would it be enough for obtaining a visa? If that experience would count?

Another question is regarding japanese language, I was researching some online courses etc. and I’m getting really confused - there is just to much information. Can you give me any advice about that? If is possible to learn japanese by spending 5-25 min per day? (For 3-4 years)

Best regards,
Jan

Ps. Sorry for my English (It’s my second language).

An engineering degree should be sufficient for visa purposes. But you also need to find a company that’s wanting to sponsor you. Depending on how well you present yourself, three years might be sufficient.

But if you were looking to increase your chances, I’d be looking for some opportunity to demonstrate you’re an exceptional developer. This could be writing technical articles on a blog, presenting at developer conferences, open source contributions, or something else.

For studying Japanese, there’s so many different ways to approach it, and it really depends on the person. Some prefer self study, others like something more regimented like a formal classroom. One key thing is time though, and if you were to practice continuously like that, you would have some degree of useful skill with the language.

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I also studied computer science at my home university in America and I didn’t study a single class towards my major when I was an exchange student in Tokyo. It did set me back a semester, but it definitely was more attractive to companies in Japan. I think I could have probably found an internship in Japan after my exchange was over, but I had a set plan to graduate from my home university. Taking an internship immediately after that semester would have prolonged my graduation for an entire year. Though things might have been different if I had changed my plans to transfer all my credits to a university in Japan and graduated there.

I would really recommend trying to study abroad in Japan somehow, it’s much easier to get an intern visa if you’re already in Japan for study abroad (even if its an exchange program). This could really help you snowball into getting a return offer and not really worry too much about the visa process as opposed to applying from abroad. Though for you to take a full time offer they do expect you to have finished your degree by then, so do keep that in mind.

I have a similar strategy set in motion which hopefully makes me attractive enough to be sponsored a visa 2 years later. While i still dont have any result yet, your strategy definitely looks like it could work. One advise i would give you is to research on the current job description posted here to understand what are the skills in demand. Seeing you are learning JS, perhaps you would pick up React on the way.

Your experience as a developer only counts if you are officially working in a company or as a freelance. So in order to have 3 years of experience in the field, you will have to juggle between work and study.

At least for myself, i would rather focus on my skill as a developer and worry about the Japanese language later… although many people may disagree but hey, if you feel you’re up to the challenge, by all means! The reason is because some company such as Mercari or Paypay will offer you language class once you are hired or if not, you can always enroll yourself into a language class once you are there.

Oh and lastly, networking is important. Many developers i know often dont make the effort to expand their circles. Who knows, maybe you made a friend who knows a friend who can recommend you in a japanese company.