Japan is just one of those places–your trip to the Far East turned into a long-term stay because you fell in love with the country.

But then there is that one small obstacle to staying in Japan forever: a fulfilling career. Teaching English in Japan is an avenue to that, and a rather broad one, but certainly not the only one. With the economic upturn that Abenomics brought in recent years, the job market in Japan is looking better than ever. In fact, only 2.5% of the active workforce is currently out of a job in Japan. With the right qualifications, internationals can get hired in Japan, even with less-than-perfect Japanese proficiency.

Besides English teaching, some of the most promising industries are IT, tourism and hospitality. One way to raise your profile is to acquire skills and knowledge, and maybe even certifications, that set you apart from the competition. Naturally, given the global nature of today’s world, your best bet for ensuring future portability would be to focus on training and continuing education that is recognized both in Japan and internationally.

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Continuing education courses at Temple University Japan

Photo by Temple University Japan Campus

Temple University’s Japan Campus (TUJ)—Japan’s only government-recognized, full-degree-granting foreign university—has unsurprisingly become one of the main providers of international higher education to the Tokyo community. And that community doesn’t just include your typical university students. TUJ’s Continuing Education Program has a line-up of nearly 300 courses open to anyone wanting to develop their professional skills or explore personal interests.

Although the Continuing Education Program is a non-degree program, as part of an accredited American and Japanese university, it abides by the highest standards of both countries. All its faculty members are recognized professionals in their respective fields, have years of experience both in and out of Japan, and must hold advanced degrees themselves, which sets them apart from a lot of the domestic universities. And as an American university, instruction and administration will be in English, making it easier for those of us who are not quite ready to study Java script or business law in Japanese.

TUJ’s Continuing Education courses, held mainly on evenings and weekends, range from world languages (including Japanese) to accounting and finance, computer programming, English teacher training, and many more. While the latter can improve your chances of getting hired for an English teaching position or advance to a management position in education, many of the courses in other areas are aimed at those ready to take their career in other industries to the next level.

English education offers courses like effective teaching, course design, and teaching young learners. Business courses span a broad range of areas such as business strategy and entrepreneurship; marketing and communications; and project management.

Fast-track into a business (or influencer!) career with TUJ courses

Photo by Temple University Japan Campus

TUJ’s Continuing Education course line-up is clearly aligned with the zeitgeist: One of its newest workshops is for those considering the influencer route via YouTube, which has become a viable path for those savvy enough to turn traveling or giving beauty tips into a career.

The two-day workshop will take place on December 7 and 8, 2019 and is led by one of Japan’s most popular professional YouTube influencers; their channel “Abroad in Japan” has nearly 1.3 million subscribers. More than just a lecture, participants will walk away with a content and follower strategy plan for their own channel by the end of the workshop.

For those interested in a more traditional career, TUJ Continuing Education instructors are active industry players in and around Tokyo, and often bring in guest lecturers from local and international companies. This gives students an opportunity to not just learn from those who have been successful in the sector, but to also actively network and learn about what companies are on the hunt for talent and what skills they’re looking for.

Most TUJ Continuing Education courses take about 20 hours over 10 weeks to complete. The program also offers one- and two-day workshops on more focused topics. For those interested in more extensive study, the program also offers certificates in several fields, ranging from interior design to translation and management. It usually takes students between two and four semesters to complete a certificate program, depending on their schedule and the courses chosen, so within 1–2 years, you can fast-track into a new career. Schedules are designed for those with jobs as classes take place in the evenings or on weekends.

Note, however, that Continuing Education courses are part-time and therefore can not be used to sponsor visas.

Get in early or get connected for discounted tuition

Photo by Temple University Japan Campus

Now, tuition fees can be rather steep in Japan, often around ¥600,000 per year for graduate degrees. Some local MBA programs can total up to ¥4,000,000.

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Because Continuing Education courses are non-credit, a certificate in something like Small Business Management might be a faster and more affordable option to help develop your skills. A 10-week Continuing Education course at TUJ will cost around ¥52,000, less than the cost of most cell phones these days.

And of course, there are discounts to be had. The fall semester will start on September 17, 2019. Those that sign-up by August 18 will receive a 15% early-bird discount.

And as the university will be moving to a brand new campus in Sangenjaya in Setagaya Ward, there are even more discounts available for all of you living or working in the area (looking at you, hip Shimokitazawa and Jiyugaoka folks). By presenting either a residence card or a business card with a Setagaya Ward address, you’ll receive a 10% discount, plus have the entrance fee (usually ¥10,800) waived, making your next career step even more affordable.

Missed the early-bird deadline and don’t live or work in the area? All hope is not lost. If your current employer is registered as a “Friend of TUJ”, you as an employee will be eligible for a 10% discount and entrance fee waiver when taking any of their courses.

Image of the new TUJ Setagaya Campus

Continuing Education August 2019 info session details

Photo by Temple University Japan Campus

For those interested, Temple University, Japan Campus is holding two free info sessions on continuing education this August. Taking place at their new campus, the session held in English is on Saturday, August 17, 10am-12pm, and the Japanese version the week after on August 24th. Sign up for free and view more details here.

The info session gives you a chance to check out the new campus, get an introduction to the courses on offer, and meet some of the faculty in person.

Map to the new Temple University Japan campus
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