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Chances of a decent job in Japan

 
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scots_teacher11



Joined: 10 Jun 2011
Posts: 17
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject: Chances of a decent job in Japan Reply with quote

At the moment I have 3 years full time teaching experience in Europe and I am planning to do an MA in TESOL and Applied Linguistics in the UK in September.

After the MA I want to teach in either Asia or the Middle East, specialising in Academic or Business English. My undergraduate degree combines Accountancy and Business Law and I am also doing a teaching course in these areas before the MA begins.

What I'd like advice on is what are my chances of a job teaching at university or corporate level in say Japan or Asia in general?

What do employers look for? For example a teacher who can really focus on speaking and communication? To strengthen my position, I'd like to set up a conversation class of some sort at university whilst studying the MA, or possibly an academic writing club with Asian students as there are lots at the university where I'll be studying.

What other ideas/ suggestions or advice would anyone give me to try and improve my chances of finding work after I finish my studies?
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you read the links about university jobs in the FAQ stickies, you would have the answers you seek. Bottom line, even with certification and a master's in the field and 3 years of experience in Europe, you would usually still need some publications and Japanese language skills.

If you want to get a business English job, look at those stickies and see who employs people. Then go to their links and see what requirements they have.

Quote:
My undergraduate degree combines Accountancy and Business Law and I am also doing a teaching course in these areas
Helpful, but direct work experience in those fields might be preferred.

At the corporate level, you might also get a direct hire, but you would need fairly good Japanese, and I really don't know how many companies are looking for English from their employees in accountancy or law. It's probably not a large number, certainly if they don't deal with international clients.

Quote:
What do employers look for? For example a teacher who can really focus on speaking and communication?
For those companies that do want English from their employees, yes. Reports in the literature are showing that (for the Japanese) execs are expected to know English for presentations and negotiations, but that they are seriously weak in just general conversation level, too. Other Asian countries may vary in this need. In Japan, companies are wasting money on interpreters, losing money by using Japanese-only documentation and computer OS in overseas offices, and losing trust in overseas clients at all levels (the lowly engineer to the senior exec) because of language and cultural gaps. A recent study in Japan showed that employers with >1,000 employees want the following from J students who have studied abroad:
general Japanese communicative ability first, "vitality" second (whatever that means, perhaps some enthusiasm for the job), and general English skills third. Half the employers don't even consider overseas experience from their new student workers and have said they don't plan to consider it.

Quote:
To strengthen my position, I'd like to set up a conversation class of some sort at university whilst studying the MA, or possibly an academic writing club with Asian students as there are lots at the university where I'll be studying.
In the UK, right? Your students there will be far more motivated than those in their home countries, and probably a bit higher level in English, too. Keep that in mind if you ever do land a job in Asia itself.

Other ideas? How about an internship? Or even just paying a visit to a country or two that seem to interest you right now? If you've never even set foot in one, you might be in for a shock, and although a tourist's experience doesn't compare to living/working there, it will still show you something.

As for your subject line, what would you consider a "decent job" in terms of salary and benefits?
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scots_teacher11



Joined: 10 Jun 2011
Posts: 17
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice Smile

I would like to earn more money than I do in Europe at the moment. My salary is not too bad but with an MA to pay for I'm struggling to make ends meet.

I'm considering travelling to Asia before applying for work there but obviously this depends on finances.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scots_teacher11 wrote:
I would like to earn more money than I do in Europe at the moment.
Help us understand better.

How much are you able to SAVE? That is the bottom line.
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scots_teacher11



Joined: 10 Jun 2011
Posts: 17
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can save around 300-400 euros a month but this is all for the MA. Here the bills are very expensive as is the rent.

I don't really have any cash to spend on going out or clothes or anything like that.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're that broke, reconsider coming to Japan to look for work. The setup costs could seriously put you in the red.

If there were NO setup costs, a typical salary of 220,000-250,000 yen/month would allow you to spend half of that for basic necessities, leaving roughly 125,000 yen to use/save. 300 euro is about 36,000 yen, so that leaves you with 125,000-36,000= 89,000 for everything outside of basic needs.
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qwertyu2



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski is right about the start-up costs and average starting salary. However, 125,000 JPY seems low to me. It may depend on location, but I think basic necessities (rent, food, transportation, utilities, etc.) could easily run more than 125,000 JPY per month.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an average figure, qwerty. Yes, it all depends on where one lives within Japan, and what one is satisfied renting.

What I didn't mention was that the monthly cost goes up after the first year because of health insurance.
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qwertyu2



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
It's an average figure, qwerty. Yes, it all depends on where one lives within Japan, and what one is satisfied renting.

What I didn't mention was that the monthly cost goes up after the first year because of health insurance.

I imagine 125,000 JPY after expenses probably looks pretty good to some poor TEFL teachers checking these threads from rural China. But I think it is a bit optimistic to expect to save that amount on an entry-level salary. As you note, once you include start-up costs and health insurance, saving 125,000 JPY/mo on an entry-level salary is not realistic.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

qwertyu2 wrote:
I imagine 125,000 JPY after expenses probably looks pretty good to some poor TEFL teachers checking these threads from rural China. But I think it is a bit optimistic to expect to save that amount on an entry-level salary. As you note, once you include start-up costs and health insurance, saving 125,000 JPY/mo on an entry-level salary is not realistic.
I hope nobody thought I was stating that one could save that much money. No way with just one salary, anyway. Some people have reported saving 100,000, but their descriptions of lifestyle and basic needs expenses were lower than average. Besides, I wrote that one would have 125,000 or so left over "for everything outside of basic needs". That is a key phrase, and most people will still spend part of that on other stuff:

hair care
dry cleaning
travel unrelated to work
video rentals
personal purchases for clothing, food, entertainment, gifts, etc.
and more

I pointed out having 89,000 or thereabouts after taking out the OP's loans. Drink moderately and one could be down to 39,000 easily, for example.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1005
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:31 am    Post subject: Re: Chances of a decent job in Japan Reply with quote

Short answer: if your priority is money and career prospects, I think you'd be better off in the Middle East.
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