Should I go to school to study Japanese to work in Japan?
If you are a foreigner, you need to have a Japanese language level of N2 or higher to find a job or change jobs in Japan.
This is a question from a foreigner who wants to work in Japan.
I would like to work in Japan, but I cannot speak Japanese very well, so I am thinking of studying Japanese at a school.
Would it be better to do job-hunting activities after I have a certain level of fluency in Japanese at school?
Also, if I were to study Japanese language, which school would you recommend, a language school, a vocational school, or a university?
It is best to learn Japanese at a language school first, rather than finding a job.
A study period of about three months is sufficient.
It should not be too long.
Ideally, before coming to Japan, you should study Japanese thoroughly and acquire N2 certification so that you will have an advantage in finding a job or changing jobs.
Why is 3 months enough?
Many students who attend a Japanese language school for a year or more may wish to stay for a year or more because they can improve their Japanese language skills and learn various aspects of Japanese culture and manners.
If you want to obtain N1, you should attend a Japanese language school for at least one year.
However, if you want to work in Japan, you should graduate from a Japanese language school in three months and begin job hunting activities.
This is because Japanese companies tend to hire people who have not had any blanks, with the exception of new graduates.
If you attend a Japanese language school, you will have a longer period of time (blank) during which you will not be working.
You cannot work while you are studying Japanese at a Japanese language school.
Even if you have acquired JLPT N1, if you have not worked for a period of time, your knowledge, experience, and skills about work will be reduced.
The longer the blank period, the lower the rate of job offers.
It is also good to find a job after graduating from a university or vocational school, but the current situation is that the job offer rate for foreign nationals is low even if they obtain N1.
In fact, it is very difficult nowadays for even new Japanese graduates to be hired.
Due to the recessionary conditions caused by the coronavirus and the war, not only new graduates are being hired, but also mid-career workers are being hired by fewer companies.
[Quiz] Which will be adopted?
Suppose there are two types of students.
①Japanese students who graduated from high school but did not go to university
②Foreign students who have graduated from a four-year college or university.
Which do you think the company will employ?
The answer is: Japanese people.
This is because they are Japanese, native Japanese speakers, and know business etiquette.
In the case of foreigners, even if they study Japanese at university and obtain N1, unfortunately, they cannot compete with Japanese people.
So what should we do?
What differentiates us from the Japanese is our work experience in our home country.
You should compete not in Japanese, but in experienced experience.
For foreign nationals, Japanese is not their native language, but if they have some practical work experience in their home country, they can use that experience to beat the Japanese.
Japanese new graduates are considered inexperienced, so experience in their home country is an immediate asset.
If you have experience working in your home country, make the most of it!
Do not create a blank on your own because you cannot speak Japanese, but make full use of your experience in your home country as an immediate asset.
Again, it is a good idea to learn Japanese to some extent in your home country (obtain N2 if possible), and then attend a language school after coming to Japan, but please do not make a blank period between 3 and 6 months to master Japanese and graduate.
The fastest way to improve your Japanese is not to learn it from your school teachers or from writing textbooks, but to learn it by actually using it in your work.
Advice for working in Japan
Those who will be coming to Japan in the future should study Japanese to some extent before coming to Japan.
If you are currently living in Japan and would like to change jobs in the future, please study Japanese everyday to improve your conversational skills.
And please be sure to acquire N2.
Japanese companies do not employ foreigners who cannot speak Japanese, even if they have the skills to do so.
Therefore, it is better not to change jobs until you have acquired N2.
Let’s study Japanese everyday while working at your current company.