Yesterday, I took the second of two exams for a computing qualification called Comptia A+. Each of the tests cost ¥20,000 to take, but I passed first time so I won’t be paying for a re-test. More to the point, I consider it an investment in my future. I’m hoping that these qualifications, along with my half-decent Japanese skills will launch me into a real job in Japan, rather than continuing to be an English speaking monkey (tm).
I encourage you too to get some additional qualifications and make yourself more marketable in these harsh economic times. Next on my list is a bunch more computing tests, and maybe even JLPT 1. If you plan on staying in the English teaching career, you’re going to need a masters degree in TEFL or language, but the cost is rather more prohibitive. An online TEFL course would be a good start, and the JLPT is always going to be useful in Japan. How about you, do plan on taking any qualifications in the near future? Let us know in the comments…
Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.
Did you do all the stuyding and test-taking in English? If so, can you provide a bit more info. about how you went about it?
p/s – Just found your site today via the Japan Blog Matsuri. I really enjoy it.
Glad you're interested John. I'll gather my resources together and put together a post now with lots of info. Expect tmrw-ish publish? Be sure to subscribe!
I have a great many skills in desktop publishing and am an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Photoshop. However, I don’t think this is or will lead me anywhere in Japan (though it may have value back home).
In my experience, connections are necessary on top of qualifications to get better jobs. People in English language teaching jobs aren’t unskilled, despite the low regard with which many foreigners hold them. They are either satisfied with the status quo for various reasons or they don’t have the connections to move into other types of work.
It’s also important to keep in mind that foreigners, unless they have a particular type of visa (e.g.,spouse, permanent residence) are not permitted to do any job that a Japanese person is capable of doing. Jobs get redefined in areas where qualified people are in short supply, but you can’t get a work visa for just any job in Japan.
Orchid64’s latest blog post is…Variety Friday: Tastes Change
You’re right about contacts being important there Orchid – certainly 95% of all jobs are gained through contacts rather than internet sites, but I’d have to disagree with you on the other points.
Foreigners can get any type of visa, so long as the company shows a need for them, or sufficiently explain the applicants unique abilities. This sounds pretty harsh, but in reality it really isn’t – if the company wants you, you *will* be able to get a visa. Any company that says you MUST have a visa beforehand is simply too lazy to do the paperwork. This is common practice though, I know, but if I see that in a job advertisement it will instantly tell me that isn’t the kind of company I want to work for.
Secondly, I think you need more confidence in those qualifications. Agreed, with those alone you wouldn’t be able to get a job in a design company in Japan, since most business and daily activity will no doubt be conducted in Japanese – however if you do have a conversational or better level of Japanese I think you would be more than capable of getting that kind of work here.
May I ask if you’ve looked, or tried to find work in the publishing /design industry? Is your Japanese a reasonable level? Do you have a portfolio of work?
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