TokyoDev forum

Self taught Front-end dev with no degree?

Hey everyone,
I am a 25 year old self-taught junior Front-end developer who really wants to work in Japan. It’s been years now and I’m at a point where I want to know if I have a chance.

I don’t have any experience yet, nor any degree. And by that I mean no recognized degree. I have a title (RNCP) that is recognized in France (and Europe), but not in other countries. So, without a diploma and without experience, what are my chances to find a job, and of course get a visa?

I’ve read some stories, that it’s possible, but others that it’s not possible, so it’s really fuzzy in my mind.

Thank you!

Without a degree or ten years of working experience, it will be challenging to obtain a visa. See this guide to see your options there.

Also, while Japanese companies will hire international developers already based here, when recruiting from abroad, they’ll typically only make offers to those who have at least several years of experience (i.e. are no longer junior).

1 Like

Thanks for the quick answer, and for the guide!

Are my chances higher if I come with the travel visa which is 90 days, and then apply while I’m in Japan ?

Due to COVID border restrictions, normal visas aren’t being issued. When they do resume, you might have a slightly better chance of finding something by visiting Japan, but not such a greater one. This is because you still wouldn’t be a resident of Japan, and would carry the associated risk.

If you happen to be a French citizen, a working holiday visa is an option. Again, I don’t think these are currently being issued, but once they resume, you could theoretically come here for a year, find a job, and immediately begin working.

Sorry for the very late reply… but thank you for your honest answer!

I could indeed come to Japan on a working holiday visa and find a job then, but I can only work a certain number of hours on that visa, isn’t that a problem? and at the end of the year I would have to change my visa to a working visa either way, isn’t that also difficult / same thing in the end ?

Unless France’s arrangement has some specific restriction I’m aware of, there is no limit on the number of hours for a working holiday visa. For the visa, you have to be coming to Japan with the “intention” of taking a holiday here, supporting yourself through work. But there’s no actual limit on your employment.

Once you complete your working holiday, you would need to change to a working visa. But by that time, you’ve hopefully already demonstrated to your employer that you’re a valuable employee who can live in Japan. Convincing them to sponsor your visa at that point should be much easier than convincing a company to relocate you to Japan. You may need to temporarily leave Japan to change the visas (this is country specific), but that’s not necessarily going to be a big deal.