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🇯🇵 Employment Opportunities in Japan for Foreigners in 2024 – No Degree Necessary

Is working in Japan possible without a degree?

It’s a question that has crossed many minds. Perhaps a friend or relative planted this idea in you. The allure of residing and earning in Japan is undeniable.

A report from The Japan Times in October 2019 highlighted a record number of foreign employees (1,658,804) in Japan.

This increase is attributed to Japan’s aging population, prompting the government to open doors for more overseas workers. But can one really clinch a position without possessing a college degree?

What About the Work Visa – Do I Need a Degree?

Japan offers a vast array of work visa categories. A chunk of these demand specific educational qualifications, often sidelining those with just high school diplomas or similar credentials.

So, what does make you eligible?

If you bring a decade of professional experience related to the job you’re targeting, you’re in the game. For instance, consider this role for a Marketing Director:

Skills Required

  • Analytical acumen complemented by financial prowess.
  • In-depth understanding of medicine or vaccine market dynamics.
  • Ability to assimilate vital insights from consumers, healthcare providers, and insurers for shaping marketing strategies.
  • Stellar negotiation and communication skills tailored for diverse audiences, especially the higher echelons.

Read More:

Educational and Linguistic Competencies

  • Degrees in Business streams (like BA or BS).
  • Proficiency in both Japanese and English languages.
  • Valid work visa for Japan and proficiency in casual Japanese conversations.
  • Proven experience as a project manager in construction.
  • Readiness to commence work immediately.

This role places a higher weightage on experience than on educational qualifications.

If you can furnish an employment certificate, even without a degree, you might be in contention. But what if neither academic nor work experience criteria resonate with you?

2024 Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador Programme.

Let’s delve into the visa options accessible without a degree.

Types of Work Visas sans Degree Requirements

Japan proffers a myriad of work visa types, and a significant 13 out of these don’t mandate a degree.

Jobs covered by these visas span across:

  • Legal/Accounting Services
  • Healthcare Services
  • Corporate Transfers
  • Elderly Care
  • Academics
  • Artistry
  • Religious Practices
  • Tutoring
  • Global Humanities Services
  • Specialized Labor
  • Defined Skills
  • Technical Apprenticeships
  • Journalism
  • Business Management
  • Performances
  • Research

Further Reading:

Alternative Pathways to Work in Japan

  1. Specified Skilled Worker Visa: Despite its mention above, it’s crucial to underline its significance. Introduced recently, this visa has eased the path for non-degree holders. However, a new industry-specific JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) awaits applicants, requiring at least an N4 Japanese language competence. Pertinent industries comprise:
    • Healthcare
    • Aviation
    • Hospitality etc.
  2. Working Holiday Visa: An expedient avenue, especially for those between 18 to 30 years. This visa, stemming from a mutual agreement between Japan and 26 partnering countries, facilitates work during holidays. Added in 2024, the list includes countries like Canada, France, Australia, etc. However, be wary – working in establishments like bars, nightclubs, or casinos can be frowned upon.
  3. Student Visa: Tailored for those eyeing academic pursuits in Japan. It permits work for up to 28 hours weekly. This route, if treaded smartly, can transition into full-time roles, especially after successful completion of language courses or higher studies.

Spotlight Job – International Sponsorship for Registered Nurses:

Job Details: Full-time, Defined Duration. Note: Visa sponsorship available for International Nurses.

Salary: Ranges between $71,333 and $95,378, based on expertise.

Opportunities with Work Visas and a Monthly Salary of $7,650


  • A valid registration from AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Agency).
  • Demonstrable clinical proficiency, especially in emergency, medical, and aged care.
  • Strong interpersonal skills coupled with adaptability in dynamic environments.
  • Basic computer literacy.

How to Navigate the Visa Application Process:

Documents Required:

  • Comprehensive CV
  • Passport
  • Visa application form and photograph
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE) – original copy.

For those banking on a decade of experience sans degree, employment proof from all past employers becomes crucial.

And for the Specified Skilled Worker visa, passing both the skills and language tests is a pre-requisite before any employment agreement.

To Remember: Secure your original CoE post visa approval. The journey might be strewn with challenges, but once that work visa is in your hand, the rewards are manifold.


  • Is Japan accessible for non-degree holders? Indeed. You could even consider finishing your degree there while working part-time.
  • Which professions have easier access points? Fields like nursing, software development, teaching, and hospitality are generally more accommodating.

Working in Japan without a degree might seem daunting, but with the right approach and persistence, it’s achievable.

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