Careers for Japanese Majors/Diploma of Languages in Japanese

There are a great many career fields which relate to studies in Japanese. In choosing your career path, it is important to reflect on the skills you have learned through your major, the ones you prefer using and the careers which are most strongly related.

Skills, knowledge and abilities acquired in the Japanese major

  • Skills to communicate effectively in Japanese in various social and professional contexts
  • Asia literacy - a sound understanding of cultural and social practices in Japan, one of the major trading partners of Australia
  • Skills to communicate appropriately with people with various cultural backgrounds which enable balanced interpretation of various social and professional practices in the global scene

Career fields which build on the skills and knowledge acquired through a Japanese major

The table below lists a range of careers which make use of studies in Japanese. The list is not definitive; language skills can complement almost any occupational field and create specific opportunities.

More information on many of these career fields is available on the Exploring your options web page.  (Career Research - Career Links - Arts)

The table also provides some information about ‘next steps’ ie what you might need to do to start a career in the particular field, specifically whether the career field can be entered directly following Bachelor studies, or whether graduate study is required.

A word about post-Bachelor employment

There are two employment types for post-Bachelor graduates:
* General employment positions suitable for new graduates
* Graduate Employment Programs
Graduate Employment Programs are offered by some employers – generally large commercial organisations and government. Graduate Employment Program positions are jobs that include a substantial component of training and development. Recruitment for these programs takes place early in the year (around March-May). Final year tertiary students and recent grads can apply. For some of the career areas discussed, Graduate Employment programs are available. Where this is the case, graduate study may not be required.

For more information on Graduate Employment Programs please see the Student Careers website.

Career options generally fall into two categories – those where language is the core activity, and those where language skill is paired with another skill.
‘A knowledge of one or more foreign languages can be useful in a wide range of careers. For some jobs, such as translating, interpreting and language teaching, language skills are the main requirement. For other jobs a combination of languages and other qualifications, knowledge or skills may be needed. For example, people with languages plus IT, law, finance or sales skills are much sought-after.’ For more information please see the Omniglot - Language Learning website.

Language as ‘core business’ – specialist language occupations

These options would be available to advanced stream students.

RoleEmployers Next Steps
Translating Business/multinational
Companies
Media
Freelance
Government
NGO/NPO
MA in Translation
Training in programs provided by private institutions
Interpreting Business/multinational
Companies
Media
Freelance
Government
NGO/NPO
MA in Translation
Training in programs provided by private institutions
Teaching Japanese/Japanese studies Private institutions
Primary/Secondary schools
Higher Education
No specific requirements, through qualifications assist
Graduate Diploma in Japanese as a second/Foreign language or
Master of Teaching
MA Applied Linguistics; MA or PhD Japanese Studies

Careers which make use of language in conjunction with another skill

Note that language skill can used to complement almost any other skill to suggest career possibilities. Below are some examples only.

Role Companion studies Employers Next Steps

lomacy/international relations

Beginners to advanced

Politics and International studies/Asian Studies

Government

Intergovernmental bodies

NGO/NPO

Business/multinational

companies

Graduate Employment Programs (mainly Australian Government)

OR

Graduate Studies - International Relations

Academia/research

Advanced

Any field

University

Research Centres

Honours

Masters by research

PhD

Librarian – Japanese collection librarian

Advanced

Arts

Japanese Studies

Libraries

Graduate Diploma/Masters (Information Management/Library Studies)

International business, in-country business, import-export in Australia

Beginners to advanced

Business

Marketing

Commerce Economics

Commercial businesses (e.g. fashion, food,

manufacturing, agriculture)

Trading companies

Graduate employment

OR

Graduate Studies-International Business

Translation software, language engineering

Advanced

IT/Computer Science

Linguistics

Software companies

IT Venture business

Degree in Computational Linguistics

or Computer Science

Tourism  – in Australia, in Japan

Intermediate to Advanced

Arts

Commerce

Tourism operators

Hotel

Restaurants

Transport (eg. Airline industry)

Graduate employment

OR

Graduate Studies eg Business, Tourism Management

TESOL

English

App Linguistics

Education

Teaching in Japan

JET program, private colleges

Teaching in Japan - Schools

Universities

Teaching in Australia

Universities, Colleges and language schools

Some may require CELTA

MA in TESOL

Master of Education in TESOL (generally required but some private colleges may not require)

Cultural exchange

(project and program management roles)

Beginners to advanced

Arts

Cultural exchange associations, industry groups eg

Graduate study in various areas may be appropriate eg Marketing, Arts Management

Law

Proficiency advanced

Law

Law firms

Companies

Graduate studies in Law – JD

OR

Graduate entry to undergraduate Law courses

Policy and Public sector Administration

Beginners to advanced

Law

Political Science

Consulate and embassy

Government

Consultant

Graduate Employment Programs (mainly Australian Government)

OR

Graduate Studies – Public Policy, EMA, Law

Defence and

National Security

Advanced

 

Defence force

Defence Academy