Jobs In Japan For Indian Engineers – From Bengaluru to Tokyo: Indian IT Engineer Builds Career in Japan Economic Association Lifestyle Work Technology
Young Indian IT engineer Steven Bantz talks about how he came to work in Japan, his experiences with language learning and his life now that he’s settled.
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Since October 2019, 23-year-old Indian IT engineer Steven Bantz has been working in the Shinjuku office of IBJ, a Japanese matchmaking company. Our interview is in Japanese, which he has no problem communicating. When I comment on his abilities, he replies with a smile: “I don’t know how to use it yet
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Banz is from Bengaluru, a hub for India’s high-tech industry and the capital of the southwestern state of Karnataka. He studied IT at the New Horizon City College of Engineering.
He says he chose to study computer technology during the two years Indian students start studying before entering university. “I was an avid gamer, so it sounded interesting, and then I won a prize in a programming competition which drew me in even more. I decided I wanted to continue with IT at university level.’
He ended up in his current position because he couldn’t find a good job locally. Equally important, he says, “I became an anime fan in college, which inspired me to want to go to Japan.”
Most of the 400 or so graduates in Bantz’s year got jobs in India, but some were appointed to work abroad. However, there was a tendency to look for opportunities in English-speaking countries such as the United States and Australia, and he says it was very rare for them to target Japan.
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His main concern was learning Japanese. Although he liked anime, he did not study the language. He started in December 2018 after being accepted by IBJ as a future employee and entering a course determined by his future workplace.
“Every day I studied with my notes on the bus between my home and university. Since it took two hours each way, it was a good time to study,” he says. Although there were only about 10 kilometers between the two places, the heavy traffic in the city caused him to commute for a long time, but he made good use of it.
Although Japanese is considered by many to be a difficult language, when I ask Bantz, he immediately tells me that it is easy to master. He says it has grammatical similarities with Indian languages that make it easy to understand. There is also the fact that Indians are quite used to multilingualism.
“I used three languages in India: Hindi, the language of the federal government; Kannada, the official language of the state; and my mother tongue which is only spoken by Christians. And I studied English from the first year of primary school, so I also speak it fluently.”
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What he found difficult was the kanji, and he says the only way to learn it was to look it up in a dictionary. Trying to read came with a steep learning curve.
“Some time after I arrived in Japan, I walked into a bookstore while waiting for a friend at Shinagawa Station in Tokyo. I bought a novel about learning Japanese called[Summer in Megumin]. I hadn’t heard of the book or the author, but there was a boy on the cover, so I bought it thinking it was probably for children. But when I started reading it, I found it wasn’t for children and there were about 20 kanji on each page that I didn’t know.”
Incidentally, the book tells the story of Ryōhei, an 11-year-old boy abandoned by his parents who spends the summer of 1950 in an orphanage called Megumien. It is based on the life of the writer Takasugi Ryo. Although it is not an easy children’s book to read, Bantz says that after he bought it, he still read it gradually. He first skips the kanji he doesn’t know and gets the general outline of the story, and later re-reads while checking the characters.
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Bantz says his work life is also going smoothly. “When I make mistakes in my Japanese, my colleagues struggle to understand what I mean.” He says that if there is something they don’t understand, people explain it to him when he asks them, whereas in India they are more likely to get angry and tell him to look for himself.
When he was initially reluctant to ask questions, he says, “If they see me confused, the Japanese colleagues will come and help me.”
Now he alone takes responsibility for some important tasks. For example, integrating IBJ’s core system with that used in its affiliated marriage counseling offices may require sweeping changes in software specifications; he is responsible for one of these integration projects. Just one year after joining the company, he is an effective member of the team and is looking to the future.
“I want to work hard as a server engineer for five years and then do some AI work that the company has just started working with. I talk about it with my boss and I started to learn little by little.
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When he first came to Japan, he lived in a shared house opened by his company, but he recently moved into his own residence.
“I was looking for somewhere close to the company’s office in Shinjuku, but the rent was high, so I chose somewhere further away, in the western Tama district of Tokyo – I liked being closer to nature. I want to invite my friends for a barbecue. I did all the house hunting myself using the internet.
Bantz says he is happy with his salary, and the competition for good pay in India is tough. “Many of my friends who have found work in India seem to change jobs every month.” He continues, “I was saving, but moving and buying a new computer didn’t leave much. I still managed to send ¥400,000 to my family in India.”
Since Japanese curry is not suitable for him, he brought many spices with him when he came to the country and cooks himself. He says he also took some of his home-made curry to the office to share with colleagues. His favorite Japanese food is oyakodon (chicken and egg on rice). He said, “It’s easy to make, but rich in flavor.”
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When Banz tells Indian friends about his work and life now, he says, “Some of them want to come to Japan and have started learning Japanese.”
As Japan faces a shortage of IT engineers, will greater efforts be made to connect Indian job seekers in the country with potential employers?
(Originally published in Japanese on March 4, 2021. Reporting and writing by Maeya Tsuyoshi of Power News. Photos by Ikazaki Shinobu. Banner photo: Steven Bantz at his workplace in Shinjuku, Tokyo.) As mentioned, there are many opportunities for Indian engineers in Japan these days. If you have the necessary qualifications, you can start by contacting potential employers on platforms such as the Incoming Technology job board, Gaijinpot Jobs or LinkedIn.
Are you from India and want to start a new life in the land of the rising sun? This article will tell you how to get engineering jobs in Japan for Indians including:
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Japan’s aging population has created a significant labor shortage in the world’s third-largest economy. There is a growing demand for engineers and many Japanese companies are actively recruiting from abroad. India in particular is considered an engineering and IT hotspot, so there has never been a better time for Indians to find work in Japan.
Most companies are looking for software, systems and network engineers, and Java, C and PHP are currently the most popular programming languages in Japan.
There are basically two ways to prepare for an engineering career in Japan – a diploma or a certificate. Qualifications are not only important for employers, they are also mandatory for obtaining a Japanese work visa.
As mentioned, you will need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field to get a work visa in Japan.
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If you don’t have a degree yet, there is also the option to start as a student and study Japanese, engineering or both. Note that you are eligible to work part-time on a student visa. It’s a great way to adjust to life in the country, hone your skills and build the connections you need for a successful future career.
If you don’t have a formal degree, you can still work in Japan if you have 10 or more years of experience. Another option is to take the ITPEC exam, which is based on the Information Technology Engineering exam (
You can also take the JLPT, although you don’t have to work in Japan. Many modern Japanese startups are globally minded and bilingual.
As mentioned, there are many opportunities for Indian engineers in Japan these days. About 45% of Japanese companies said they were open to hiring foreigners, especially in the IT industry.