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Some Thoughts on Visas and Degrees


Having a valid working visa is obviously one very important factor in getting a job in Japan.  Obviously there are many types of visas, but most working visas require applicants to have a bachelor's degree or higher in order to qualify.  Foreigners who get married to a Japanese citizen receive a special type of visa that has fewer restrictions on what type of job you are allowed to have.  Obviously, you don't need a four-year degree to get married, but private junior highs and high schools in Japan will almost never interview an applicant without one.


An Associate's degree or less is not enough to qualify someone to teach at a high school in Japan.  Honestly, neither is a four-year university degree.  To teach in a classroom completely alone, you are actually required to have a valid teaching license of some kind, which is why native English teachers without teaching licenses are almost always paired up with a Japanese teacher in the classroom.


If you're thinking about coming to Japan to work in the future, remember that finishing your education before you arrive is a vital first step.  Private schools also tend to give preference to people who show that their true passion is teaching, so a major in education might help out and open more doors.  Having a teaching license in America is a valuable and quite honorable place to start if you already plan on making teaching your long-term career.

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