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back to index backGLOBALtalk June,  2016


The Conveyor Belt of Talent in Japan

Japan is a nation at war. But there are no signs of DPRK missiles flying overhead. It’s a different, more insidious kind of war called the Global War for Talent, and it begins on the university campus.

QS, a publisher of university rankings, has just placed Tokyo third in its 2016 list of the world’s best student cities, up from 14th two years ago. The reason? It’s mostly down to employer activity,” the feeding frenzy for graduate talent, for which QS now ranks Tokyo first in the world. A bilingual or especially trilingual (Japanese-English-Chinese) graduate of a Japanese university can hardly fail to get hired, as long as he or she is willing to endure the hiring process I described in a previous article.

Even agency recruitment extends right down to the new graduate level in Japan. MyNavi specializes in guiding students through the entire employer selection process. Disco was the first agency to offer recruitment services for Japanese bilinguals, most famously with its Career Forum event which began in Boston and has since spread to seven cities worldwide.

Although a Career Forum also takes place in Tokyo, it’s not uncommon for Japanese who have recently studied abroad to catch the 13-hour flight to Boston, where the perception is that Japanese firms are more likely to extend job offers. Japanese students nearing graduation at U.S. universities are the ultimate prize.

Japanese students overseas are not the only ones targeted, however. Firms such as Panasonic, Brother and Sumitomo are casting the net wider, even trawling neighboring Asian countries for local graduates who have never studied in Japan. It’s all part of a general acceptance that there just aren’t enough high-level graduates back home to replenish Japan’s ageing workforce. With educational standards at Japanese universities on an historical 20-year slide, the conveyer belt of talent is at risk of grinding to a halt.

The response from Japanese universities

The days have long gone when reputable universities in Japan were massively oversubscribed and could make eye-watering profits from entrance fees alone. Demographic change has already begun to hit the sector hard, and universities are recently more responsive to calls from government, industry, and students themselves for more relevant courses with an international dimension.

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: Japan Industry News
- GAI






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