Careers for Japanese Majors and Career Readiness: Case Study Topics for First- and Second-year Students

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Tasanee Methapisit
Yumiko Yamamoto

Abstract

The present study has two objectives 1) to survey the current situation and trend of careers for Japanese majors; and 2) to survey the career readiness of students studying Japanese. The research methods adopted in this study were documentary research for the first objective; and observation, questionnaires, and interviews regarding two experimental workshops, “My life from now on” and “CV for a career development plan.” These workshops were organized for first- and second-year students majoring in the Japanese language at a national university. The participants of this study were seventy-four students studying Japanese. The results of the study showed that the demand for Japanese majors is expanding in Japan, according to Japan’s labor shortage and the new policy to accept foreign workers. The top-3 careers for graduates who know Japanese were, translator and interpreter, sales and marketing staff, and international coordinator. The top-3 essential skills for graduates in the humanities and social sciences were communication skills, Japanese language skills, and cooperativeness. The results of the first workshop, “My life from now on,” indicated that the participants expected to work in order to be able to enjoy their personal interests but no action plans to accomplish their goals were stated. The results of the second workshop, “CV for a career development plan,” showed that the students understood their own career needs but very few could identify the strengths that would lead to their success. In order to help the students improve their self-awareness and growth mindset, an environment that promotes the sharing of ideas with others via dialogue, and developing strategic action plans that are aligned with their goals, should be encouraged by instructors continually so that education can respond to labor market needs.

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