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Level of Japanese language proficiency required for a dream job in Japan

The career scope of learning Japanese language is quite vast. “Why,” you ask? Well, Japan has been experiencing a chronic labour shortage for a while now because of its ageing population. To rectify this, the government has taken measures. In November 2018, the Japanese government passed a new regulation to ease strict immigration laws and foreign labour policies so that foreign workers who want to work in Japan are able to obtain necessary documents without much hassle.

Moreover, as the world’s third-largest economy (as of Feb-2021) and one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world, Japan has 53 Japanese companies in the Fortune Global 500 (as of 2020). These companies have expanded globally and are always looking for talent to work at their various branches.

With all the positives about Japanese economy, one fact to be acknowledged about Japan is that it has a very high dependency on its native language. It’s people have very limited understanding of universal languages like English.

Why Learning Japanese Language is a good idea?

In order to address the issue of its ageing population and fulfill the demands of its growing economy, Japan needs young manpower who must be proficient in the native Japanese language. So, you can see how big the career scope of learning the Japanese language is. Moreover, Japanese companies provide their employees with good pays and benefits.

So, if you are planning to learn a new language to further your career, Japanese can be the best choice for you.

In this article, we are going to explain each level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and which one will provide you with the best jobs.

What is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)?

“The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) under joint organization of the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (previously Association of International Education, Japan) started in 1984 as a test to measure and certify the Japanese-language proficiency of those whose native language is not Japanese.” says its official website.

Different levels of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

N5 – Basic Level:

N5 certificate holders can read some simple phrases written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji. They can listen to and understand everyday conversations. They can also comprehend the meaning of other conversations when spoken slowly.

Career options for JLPT N5 certificate holders:

N5 certificate holders can find good-paying blue-collar jobs in industries such as Automobile, Food Processing, Large Scale Farming, Manufacturing, Construction, etc.

N4 – Elementary Level:

Those with N4 certificates can read simple sentences written in basic vocabulary and kanji. They are also able to listen to and understand everyday conversations and generally grasp their contents as long as the speaker is speaking slowly to them.

Career options for JLPT N4 certificate holders:

People who fall under this category can also find good employment in industries such as Automobile, Food Processing, Large Scale Farming, Manufacturing, Construction, etc.

N3 – Intermediate Level:

The reading level of an N3 certificate holder is higher than N4 and N5 certificate holders, as N3 certified people can read moderately difficult writings, specific contents about everyday topics as well as newspaper headlines. They can speak at a mediocre speed, can usually follow the content topics and understand the relationships among the people involved.

Career options for JLPT N3 certificate holders (Notable mentions):

  • B2B Sales
  • ASP.Net Developer
  • Java Developer
  • IT Help Desk
  • IT Programmer, SE
  • Test Engineer, Manager
  • Character Modeler
  • Designer_3D_Effects
  • Mechanical Design & Development
  • Linux Developer.

N2 – Pre-Advanced Level:

N2 certificate holders can read and understand materials such as newspapers and magazines’ articles, commentaries as well as critiques. They can grasp conversations and news reports spoken at a natural speed.

Career options for JLPT N2 certificate holders (Notable mentions):

  • IT Engineer
  • Sales- International Business
  • Customer Success Manager
  • Information Security Officer
  • Network Engineer
  • IT Solution Architect
  • Game Designer/Developer_VR
  • Sales Manager
  • Design Project Lead
  • Translator/Interpreter
  • Customer Quality Engineering, Manager.

N1 – Advanced Level:

N1 certificate holders read and understand complex writings on different topics such as the critique and editorial columns of a newspaper. They can understand conversations, news reports as well as lectures.

Career options for JLPT N1 certificate holders (Notable mentions):

  • Translator/Interpreter
  • Doctor
  • Embedded Developer
  • Technology Consultant
  • Mechanical Assembly
  • Officer Incharge (Interpretation & Translation).

Japanese is a very beautiful language, proficiency in which can open many rewarding career opportunities for you. Hope the information shared in this blog helps you in choosing the right proficiency level in Japanese for your career growth.

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