IT jobs in Japan

Guide to IT Jobs in Japan in 2024

Japan’s IT Jobs in Japan are burgeoning, presenting myriad opportunities for skilled professionals from around the globe. From aspiring software developer to confirmed video game developer setting your career for success is a tenuous journey.

This guide aims to prepare IT professionals for the journey ahead, culminating in actionable insights and resources, including access to dedicated pivotal resources for finding IT jobs in Japan.

5 Reasons Japan will interest You in your IT jobs Journey

A Booming IT Landscape

Japan’s technology sector is experiencing a renaissance, driven by advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence, and software development. This resurgence has led to an increase in software engineering vacancies and IT jobs in Japan for Americans and other foreigners. Companies are actively seeking talents who can contribute to innovation, making it a ripe time for foreign IT professionals to explore opportunities.

Key IT Skills in High Demand

The demand for IT skills in Japan encompasses a wide array of specializations. Particularly sought after are expertise in software development, cybersecurity, data analysis, and AI. For those looking into niche areas, video game developer jobs also hold significant appeal, given Japan’s illustrious history in the gaming industry.

How do I overcome cultural and language barriers in Japan?

Embracing the Work Ethic in Japan

Japan’s work culture is unique, with a strong emphasis on dedication, precision, respect and hierarchy. Foreigners keen on securing jobs in Tokyo or elsewhere in Japan must adapt to this culture, which values harmony, punctuality, and collective effort.

Overcoming Language Challenges

While there are jobs in Japan for English speakers, mastering the Japanese language can vastly improve your job prospects and integration into the workplace. 

However, for IT professionals the language barrier, aside from the daily life struggle, shouldn’t be a barrier. 

But some English-speaking jobs in Japan often require some level of Japanese proficiency to go through daily tasks and foster relationships with colleagues. And, it is a must-have for professionals looking to further their career into the highest level possible. Tools such as Duolingo, can help further your daily speech in Japanese and apps like Kanji! available on app store and google play, can help further with your writing aiming for a certification such as the JLPT N2 would be a good goal for starters then improving further later on.

Top 5 Certifications for IT Jobs in Japan

Entering the IT job market in Japan requires not only skill and determination but also the right certifications to stand out. Below, we will introduce 5 key certifications highly valued in the Japanese IT industry, providing an outline for each and links to relevant resources for your reference. 

Firms that specialize in recruitment can offer you details on what type of certifications would be the most accurate to obtain depending on your career goals, However here are some must-haves for your IT career in Japan:

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The PMP certification, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), is recognized globally and demonstrates expertise in project leadership, including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects.

  • How to get certified: Candidates must have a combination of education and project management experience and pass a rigorous exam. Preparation involves studying the PMBOK® Guide and other resources.
  • Relevant website: Project Management Institute – PMP

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

CCNA certification validates the holder’s ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot routed and switched networks. It covers network fundamentals, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability.

  • How to get certified: Applicants must pass one exam that covers a wide range of fundamentals for IT careers, based on the latest networking technologies, software development skills, and job roles.
  • Relevant website: Cisco – CCNA

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

CISSP is an advanced-level certification for IT pros serious about careers in information security. Offered by ISC², it certifies skills in designing, implementing, and managing a best-in-class cybersecurity program.

  • How to get certified: Candidates must have at least five years of cumulative, paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains of the CISSP CBK. Passing the exam is also required.
  • Relevant website: ISC² – CISSP

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

This certification is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect role and have one or more years of hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.

  • How to get certified: To earn this certification, you must pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam. It is recommended to have hands-on experience with AWS services.
  • Relevant website: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

This certification demonstrates an understanding of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure. It is suitable for IT personnel looking to validate foundational level knowledge of cloud services and Azure.

  • How to get certified: Pass the AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam. This exam is designed to validate foundational level knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Azure.
  • Relevant website: Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

These certifications can enhance your qualifications for IT jobs in Japan, from Tokyo’s tech hubs to the burgeoning IT markets in Osaka and beyond. Be sure to visit the provided links for detailed information on the certification processes, prerequisites, and study materials. 

Preparing and obtaining these certifications not only bolsters your resume but also equips you with the latest industry knowledge and skills crucial for a successful IT career in Japan.

Visa Requirements for IT Jobs in Japan

How many types of work Visas are there?

The Japanese government offers various types of visas for IT professionals, including the Highly Skilled Professional Visa, which is tailored for individuals with specialized skills. Understanding the specific requirements and categories of work visas is crucial for planning your move.

Depending on your professional situation at the moment different visas might be applied to an individual. If you already have a company sponsoring your visa, applying will be much more simple, with the corresponding application form.

If you are in the situation of a non-paid internship, you will be offered a cultural activities Visa, in which you will be required to prove that you can sustain yourself economically for the global duration of the internship.

For further cases please refer yourself to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s website.

Application Process and Requirements

The visa application process typically involves securing a job offer from a Japanese company, which then sponsors your visa. Essential documents include a valid passport, completed application form, and proof of professional qualifications and experience. It takes roughly 10-15 business days to get issued your visa however it is something to prepare in advance not to get unnecessarily inconvenienced by the delays for the visa. 

Resources and Tips for Job Searching

Utilizing Job Portals and Databases

Myriads of websites serve as valuable resources for IT professionals seeking employment in Japan. These platforms offer listings for a wide range of IT jobs, from software engineering vacancies to positions for IT jobs in Japan for English speakers.

However, there are multiple other resources to find an IT job in Japan, as the tech-hub of Asia, the metropolis of Tokyo but also Osaka has nothing to envy Silicon Valley in terms of start-up opportunities and careers. Here are a sample of other resources that might help you secure a job in the country:

Here are other types of job boards and company lists to help you research and find the perfect fit for specialized positions in the IT sector in Japan.

Finally, Japan being one of the Techhub of the world with the metropolis of Tokyo has attracted particularly startups that have at their disposal specific lists to guide you through the opportunities they might offer such as Angel List, Start Up Jobs, and Justa.

Please keep in mind that the traditional way of going on their website in their “career” or “work with us” category is still a highly effective manner of securing a position in their company providing that you possess the correct qualification for the position you are hoping to acquire.

Recruitment Consultants in IT

Another way of securing an IT job in Japan can be by going through recruitment agencies as we mentioned before. These types of agencies connect individuals with opportunities that fit their interests and abilities, some of them are specialized in a domain, others are more broad and connect multiple types of opportunities to the right talents. We can find for example  Michael Page, Robert Walters, and Hays

As for the specialized recruitment agencies for the field of IT, we can find GTalent, Coto Work, WeXpats Agent, going for the right kind of agency depending on your qualifications will allow you to have faster and better quality opportunities.

Finding IT Freelancer Jobs in Japan

Working as a Freelancer remains an extremely efficient way of finding jobs in Japan, however, it comes with both pros and cons regarding its efficiency. However, you will have to sponsor your visa and there will be no company sponsoring it for you. 

On the one hand, you gain higher income and better quality jobs as you are the person who chooses the work you want to accomplish. 

However on the other hand you have to find your clients and it is riskier. 

To find the said Freelancer jobs you have two possibilities first, rely on the websites of companies that you want to work for and look for their job offers if they have any for freelance, second you could connect through LinkedIn and other platforms dedicated to networking and find your freelance jobs through networking or finally you could use specialized websites such as IT kyujin Nabi (being the number one in the domain) or one among this list: 

Make sure to research your price tags according to the Japanese standards to explain your competency and make sure to fill your tax according to the government standard. 

In Japan, freelancers are faced with a standard consumption tax of 10% and a withholding tax of 10.21%. With your consumption tax being on a good or service based and the withholding tax being taken out of your monthly freelance income, please note that in Japan some benefits are applied to freelancers such as The Blue Return system.

Networking and Community Engagement

We can’t stress enough the importance of networking in Japan, both online and in-person, that can provide insider insights and opportunities. Joining forums, attending industry meetups, and connecting with fellow IT professionals on platforms like LinkedIn which will open opportunities and career-defining deals to professionals across the board. 

Salary Guides: What to Expect from Your Software Dev Roles

Competitive Salary Structures

The salaries for software development roles in Japan vary widely depending on experience, skills, and location. For instance, entry-level software developers can expect salaries starting from ¥3,000,000 per year, while experienced professionals can earn upwards of ¥8,000,000 annually. Tokyo, being the tech hub, often offers higher salaries compared to other cities.

Depending on the experience that you have, Executive positions and managerial positions in IT can be particularly lucrative. From our interviews with professionals in recruitment and IT experts going for managerial and executive positions we could witness that, In the realm of tech salaries in Japan, the figures can vary significantly depending on the level of seniority and the type of company.

  • Highest seen: The pinnacle of earnings can reach an impressive 200 million JPY for a Vice President position at a prominent company (e.g., X).
  • Directors to VPs at major tech firms: Those occupying leadership roles at big tech companies like Google, Apple, or Netflix typically earn between 50 to 100 million JPY. It’s noteworthy that cash compensation usually peaks at around 50 million JPY, and the number of individuals in this category is relatively limited, estimated at around 50.
  • Partners at Major Consulting Firms: Professionals holding partner positions at significant consulting firms such as Accenture, EY, or Deloitte typically earn between 25 to 40 million JPY.
  • Country Manager for a Prominent Startup: Taking on the role of a Country Manager for a well-known startup entering the Japanese market can yield a cash compensation ranging from 30 to 40 million JPY, with an additional 10 to 15 million JPY in equity.
  • C-Suite Executives at Japanese Mega Corporations: Executives at the C-suite level within Japanese mega corporations can expect to earn between 25 to 40 million JPY, along with numerous benefits.
  • C-Suite Executives at Japanese Startups: Executives in the C-suite of Japanese startups typically receive cash compensation in the range of 15 to 20 million JPY, supplemented by stock options (SO).
  • Senior Software Engineers (Sr. SWE): Senior software engineers can anticipate earning between 12 to 25 million JPY. However, it’s important to note that exact salary ranges can be challenging to pinpoint due to the significant portion of compensation packages being equity at senior levels.

Of course, for those executive-level positions, getting an accurate level of salary is extremely challenging because it is often about equity.

And for regular employee positions here are 281 individual reports for the average and salary range of the most popular positions in IT Jobs in Japan.

Job TitleRange Average
Software Engineer¥2m – ¥8m¥4,568,091
Senior Software Engineer¥4m – ¥16m¥7,000,000
Project Manager, (Unspecified Type / General)¥6m – ¥9m¥7,000,000
Systems Engineer, IT¥2m – ¥5m¥3,473,359
Software Developer¥1m – ¥7m¥4,559,211
Network Engineer¥2m – ¥7m¥3,800,000
Data ScientistNon specified¥4,250,000

Source: Payscale 

Software coding in an IT jobs in japan

How to Negotiate Your Salary in your IT Jobs in Japan?

Negotiating your salary is crucial in ensuring that you receive competitive compensation for your role. 

Research the standard salary range for your position and experience level in Japan. Be prepared to articulate your value and how it aligns with the company’s goals, emphasizing any unique skills or experiences that set you apart. Be extremely mindful of the age culture in Japan, older employees tend to be paid more about their experience, which is often not necessarily an indicator of qualities especially in IT jobs.

Please note that in Japan the gender pay gap is still significantly present with 73% of employees with the same education level presenting signs of a different pay depending on their gender, However, companies are implementing performance-increasing salary grids. It remains one of the most controversial challenges that the Japanese industry faces and IT Jobs in japan will face in the years to come.

Woman In IT jobs in Japan

Job Application Strategies: Making Your Mark as a Foreign IT Professional

Crafting a Winning Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter are your first opportunities to make an impression on potential employers. Depending on the type of company you are applying to, you might need to create a Rirekisho (履歴書) which can easily be done online nowadays from this editor. Please note that you will need to file it in Japanese and relying on tools such as Google Translate, and even Reverso might not be the best Idea because of how intricate the Japanese language is. 

However, places such as Hellowork and other recruitment agencies can offer help for you to complete your Rirekisho accurately and tailor it to specific IT jobs in Japan positions.

Tailor your resume to highlight experiences and skills that are most relevant to the job description. Use specific examples of past work achievements, and if applicable, mention any familiarity with Japanese work culture or language proficiency, tests such as the JLPT are one of the most recognized achievements in language proficiency.

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Preparing for Interviews: Dos and Don’ts


  • Research the company and the role thoroughly.
  • Prepare to explain your technical skills and how you’ve applied them in past projects.
  • Be ready to discuss how you can contribute to the team and the company.
  • Carefully read and research the job offer
  • Imagine what type of question an employer might ask
  • Prepare and review the skills mentioned in the job offer
  • Self-reflect on what went wrong if it goes wrong


  • Underestimate the importance of soft skills and cultural fits.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of learning the language especially if it is a long-term goal for your career to stay in Japan.
  • Ignore the company’s values and how they align with your career goals.
  • Forget to prepare questions for the interviewer about the role, team, and company culture.
  • Don’t give up, receiving negative answers to interviews does not mean that you won’t find a place to work.
Meeting in an It job

Continuous Learning and Professional Development in IT

Upgrading Skills to Remain Competitive

The IT industry is fast-evolving, and staying competitive requires continuous learning and skill development. Focus on emerging technologies relevant to your field, such as AI, machine learning, and cloud computing. Participating in hackathons and contributing to open-source projects can also enhance your skills and visibility.

Emergent technologies might require new certificates and competency to perfectly highlight your CV and to be able to provide you with higher quality offers and a better career. 

Professional Development Resources for IT Jobs in Japan and IT Professionals

There are numerous resources available for IT professionals looking to advance their skills and knowledge. Online platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Pluralsight offer courses on a wide range of IT topics. Additionally, professional certifications, as discussed earlier, can significantly bolster your qualifications and keep your education up to date with the ever-changing landscape of technologies.

Here are some examples of online learning platforms:

Armed with these insights into the lucrative landscape of IT jobs in Japan, you now hold the keys to unlocking exciting career opportunities in this dynamic field. Whether you’re aspiring to lead at the forefront of technology giants, drive innovation in burgeoning startups, or make your mark as a seasoned software engineer, Japan offers a wealth of possibilities.

If you want to create a company in Japan make sure to check out our guide about Japan tech startups!

So, why wait? Seize the moment and embark on your journey to success in Japan’s thriving tech industry, Find your IT jobs in Japan by exploring job openings, network with industry professionals, and take advantage of resources like online platforms and recruitment agencies to kickstart your IT career in Japan today.


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