tokyodev forum

Starting a career in Japan as a foreign new grad


I am currently a few months away from graduating from a B.S. of Software Engineering in Spain and l would hope to eventually find a job in Japan.

After reading blogs, posts and so on here and there I am considering diferent courses of action, but I would appreciate some feedback to help me decide which could be the best approach.

Considering I have no experience (besides internships) I am sure it’ll be rather unlikely to get a job offer while outside of Japan.

My main idea would be moving to Japan under a Working Holiday Visa and attempting to find a Job while in there (if you could recommend any recruitment agencies in Tokyo it’d be of great help)

But as far as I understand, from what I’ve read, and from the job offers I have been seeing lately, knowing Japanese would vastly increasing my options when looking for a job.

Right now I am self-studying, and I will sign up for JLPT later this year, but I will probably do so for N5 level, as I don’t think i’ll be able to reach N4 before december (JLPT test date). Either way I don’t believe N5 or N4 would be of much help, so I have been thinking of a couple of alternatives.

First would be to remain in Spain and self-study or look for Japanese classes while working here, though this is my less ideal plan.

And my second alternative would be to join a language school in Japan, such as Akamonkai or similar, and study Japanese for 1~2 years to get me to at least N2 before I start looking for jobs. In this case, I worry if it would be frowned upon by Japanese companies to spend that much time away from the IT industry after graduation.

Also, it might not be relevant, but i’ll be 29 at the time of graduation. Generally speaking, would it be a handicap when looking for a job in Japan?

Thank you for reading, any feedback is welcome!

With COVID, any sort of planning for the near future challenging. Currently, there are restrictions on foreign residents holding existing visas from re-entering the country. While those may be relaxed next month, I’d guess the Japanese government will probably hold off on issuing new visas, especially for something like the working holiday visa program.

Strong, demonstrable, technical skills can be enough to get a job in Japan. As can fluency in Japanese. Which route you take depends on your personal desires and aptitudes.

Studying in Japan for several years takes a fair amount of financial resources, and even if you obtain N2, it doesn’t guarantee you a desirable job here. It is however a guaranteed way for you to be able to live in Japan (should the border open up again).

If you’re applying to more internationally minded companies, I don’t think your exact career path or age matters as much. When you apply using an English resume, there’s no standard format anyways, so it makes it easy to de-emphasize things that might be perceived negatively.

1 Like

Hi I’m actually in a similar situation. Though I have been interning for a Japanese company remotely, they’re willing to relocate me and sponsor my visa. My only concern was entry to Japan. My friend sent me this article today saying that Japan is lifting their restrictions mainly for those who have business in Japan as a student or worker. It’s quite a lot said, but it seems like we may be able to enter Japan by the time we graduate (I’m graduating in December).