Many international job seekers consider positions at Japanese IT companies as these companies are proactively hiring foreigners. In this article, we will introduce the jobs within and the characteristics of the IT industry. If you are interested in this industry, please feel free to use this article as a reference.
What is the IT industry
IT is shorthand for information technology, which deals with technologies that acquire, process, store, and transmit information. More simply put, the IT industry handles internet services such as online shopping, online gaming, and social media.
Jobs in the IT industry
Within the IT industry, a large variety of jobs exist. These jobs can be roughly divided into development, design, management, sales, and back-office. In the following section, we introduce jobs unique to the IT industry.
Developers create programs for IT service platforms such as websites, applications, and games. While there are front-end or infrastructure engineers responsible solely for development, there are also positions such as bridge engineers that additionally oversee communication between development teams in Japan and abroad. Overall, development jobs are the first type of position that comes to mind when one mentions the IT industry. Companies seek developers with strong technical skills but do not require equally high Japanese language ability. Thus, foreign job seekers find employment in development positions more easily.
The designing and programming of entire websites and website/web advertisement graphics fall under the tasks of a web designer. This job handles the appearance of websites, buttons on apps, and illustrations on webpages.
All industries have management jobs. However, an IT industry manager is responsible for overseeing development projects so that they run smoothly. In most cases, managers advance to their position after gaining experience as a developer.
A salesperson in the IT industry is a sales engineer who pitches the company’s services by providing customers detailed explanations of the service from a technical perspective. This type of sales is also called technical sales. It is a job that requires both abilities in sales communication and knowledge of IT skills.
IT back-office job duties are similar to those in other industries. These responsibilities entail human resources, general affairs, and accounting tasks that support other departments.
Characteristics of the IT industry
A growing industry
The IT industry has a promising future in all countries, including Japan. In particular, the Japanese IT industry is a growing field as it is in the midst of incorporating methods from abroad. Along with this growth of the IT industry, your career will also likely experience great development, should you choose to make a career change. Many IT companies seek new technologies and knowledge from abroad. Thus, international job seekers can more easily transfer to jobs that fit their conditions if they have relevant technical skills.
However, as a growing field, the Japanese IT industry is also often behind IT industries abroad in some respects. For instance, some Japanese IT companies use old programming languages that are no longer used as frequently overseas. Many who worked in IT industries abroad may face difficulty in acclimating to the IT industry in Japan.
That being said, not all Japanese IT companies are behind overseas IT companies. Therefore, it is best to choose a company that fits your experience and career plan.
Easy for foreigners to get accustomed to
According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the demand for workers in the Japanese IT industry will rise above 450,000 employees by 2030. The Japanese IT industry is proactively hiring IT engineers from abroad to accommodate staffing shortages. For this reason, many companies are used to hiring foreign workers and prepare a working environment for these workers. These companies also hire other positions to IT engineers, so it is an easy industry to be active in for foreigners.
In addition to incorporating new overseas technologies, many IT companies are also putting effort into creating a company culture that is similar to those abroad. For instance, some companies offer flextime and teleworking. In terms of organizational structure, many companies are incorporating flat rather than hierarchical structures or performance-based rather than seniority-based promotions. For this reason, the IT industry may offer more benefits that are familiar to foreign job seekers.
The IT industry offers a large variety of jobs and is incorporating new technologies/company cultures. As such, the industry overall may be a better fit for foreign job seekers. However, all companies differ in the size and services provided, so it is best to also consider other factors when deciding to change careers into the IT industry.