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2020/06/30 Update

What IT jobs that foreigners should consider in Japan?

Overview of Japan's IT job market

As the IT industry continues to blossom in our technology-forward world, the well of available workers continues to dry out and even in a severe situation just like Japan. Statistics show that by 2030, Japan could have a shortage of as many as nearly 800,000 people in this industry and we have seen that more and more Japanese IT companies are hiring foreign nationals engineers to fill vacancies that probably will face an endless shortage in a long long time.

Hmm, isn’t it a fortunate chance for foreign engineers in Japan as well as those who have a dream of working and living in Japan? Since we have a large spectrum of IT jobs, ranging from software engineers, web developers to data scientists to security specialists and so many others; if you are aiming for a career change in IT, it’s also recommended that you aim for a job that is expected to have a talent scarcity in the future.

So, let’s find out what jobs in the IT area are in the biggest demand in Japan so that you can take advantage of it to make your career path.

1. Cybersecurity

It is believed that security-related jobs that require a high level of skills will be one of the positions that will face a severe shortage of talent in the future. As personal information is coming more and more important, particularly in a country where people have a high awareness of privacy like Japan, companies and even governmental organizations will need to strengthen their data security to prevent users from unwanted actions such as a cyber attack or a data breach.

Some security job titles that job seekers should know about:
・Security engineer/developer
・Security analyst
・Security architect
・Security administrator
・Data privacy officer
・Virus technician
・Cyber threat hunter
and many others.

2. Artificial intelligence (AI) and Big data

We all acknowledge that AI will replace jobs from blue-collar jobs (delivery man, warehouse workers etc.) to office jobs (secretaries, bank tellers etc.) but it goes without saying that we need IT engineers to make use of AI in the first place in which analysing large amounts of data is an essential part of the process for AI and Machine learning and other sectors.

Since AI is a promising field, it’s also a role that attracts a lot of attention for its potential for high income whose average salary for an AI engineer in Japan is expected to be from 6 million yen to 12 million yen annually ($55k to $110k).

Here are some AI-related job titles:
・Data scientist
・Machine learning scientist
・Algorithm engineer/developer
・Product manager
・Robotics process analyst
・Business intelligence engineer

Get a job in Japan as an AI engineer? You don’t need a PhD degree to become an engineer working in the AI field but a Master or PhD is absolutely a selling point when it comes to a job search. And a good thing is that while higher education is popular in Western and some other Asian countries, not the number of postgraduates in Japan is relatively low, let alone in the AI field. Therefore, it is undoubtedly beneficial to your career development if you have a higher education degree in this field to make you stand out of the crowd in Japan.

Typical employers for security and AI engineers

Typical employers of security and AI engineers according to The George Washington University:

・Technology and Internet companies
・Security software companies
・Government departments and defense/intelligence agencies
・E-commerce sector
・Banks, financial institutions

Bear in mind that beyond technical skills, the top trait employers are looking for is an innate curiosity and love of AI-related tech and exploring all the options it can provide.

Source: Agency-star