A mid-career change within the same industry is not an easy felt, not to talk of a lateral change into a completely new industry. A few factors will affect your ability to succeed in a new industry, irrespective of where you end up. Some of the common questions we get, specific to mid-career changes in Japan, are questions relating to age, Japanese language ability, and previous career and academic background. We will address these questions below. You can also find more information from a 2021 survey conducted by Tokyo Dev on International Developers in Japan.
If you're not familiar with the employment or job-hunting scene in Japan, companies can be particular about the age of new hires, and university degree, among other factors. This mainly applies to fresh university graduates and entry-level with no working experience who apply to traditional Japanese companies. For people with experiences that are non-technical, whether they can be of an advantage depends on the extent to which the experience can be transferred into your next job.
Although it’s true that age in the Japanese corporate world is a factor in an employer’s decision to hire, this is not only changing, but is mostly applicable to traditional Japanese companies. Many multinational and international companies put less emphasis on the candidate’s age and more so on their technical skills…which leads to the next most frequently asked question “Is it important to have technical background before coming to the bootcamp?”.
Your technical background and current career can impact your ability to get a job...but not in the way you might think.
If you don’t have technical background prior to taking the coding bootcamp, it will not automatically hinder from you getting a job after graduation. Having some kind of technical background before participating in the bootcamp gives you an additional value add, a potential advantage over others who do not...depending on how relevant it is to the job you will be applying for. For example, someone with a few years in the financial industry, applying for a software engineer role at a FinTech company, might have an advantage over a person who doesn`t. Regardless, companies generally have a technical assessment included in their hiring process that each applicant needs to pass before moving to the next stage. How to deal with these technical assessments is one of the subjects we cover in the Career Support portion of our Immersive and Immersive Part-time Curriculum.
The infamous CS degree! We understand why this can be a source of nightmares for many people looking to make the career transition. In simple terms, no, you do not need a CS degree to get a job as a software engineer. Some companies require this of their applicants, but a vast majority of them do not. In the 2021 TokyoDev survey, “whether someone had a formal education (such as a computer science degree), an unrelated degree, or had attended a coding bootcamp didn’t have an obvious correlation with their salary after accounting for experience.” nor does it impact the ability of securing a job. Keep in mind that companies that have a CS degree as a requirement on their job description, this, not the only way, can sometimes be bypassed when you are referred into the company by a current employee… which is why we preach the benefits of networking.
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