RandomSelect
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Hi. Assuming the best-case scenario: Upon graduation I achieve native-level fluency in the language and graduate with first class honours, is it possible that I could be making £40-50k a year? I ask this question because although nothing would make me happier than learning Japanese, I don't want to end up wasting my years doing the degree only to end up making minimum wage. Of course if money was no object, I would absolutely choose to do a Japanese degree in a heartbeat.

Any advice on this please? Thanks.
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MadameRazz
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what job are you talking about? you won’t just get paid to speak japanese.
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(Original post by MadameRazz)
what job are you talking about? you won’t just get paid to speak japanese.
Any job involving Japanese that would pay me the most.
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(Original post by RandomSelect)
Any job involving Japanese that would pay me the most.
well that isn’t helpful so i dont know how to answer your question.
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You could go into banking / tech business and easily earn that much. Companies such as deloitte have departments that need people with language skills. The jobs are competitive though.
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(Original post by MadameRazz)
well that isn’t helpful so i dont know how to answer your question.
Ok, how about anything that involves speaking/writing/reading Japanese?
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(Original post by RandomSelect)
Ok, how about anything that involves speaking/writing/reading Japanese?
i think you should do much more research on job prospects....
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(Original post by RandomSelect)
Ok, how about anything that involves speaking/writing/reading Japanese?
A lot of the time it's useful to do joint honours with a language - there is already a country full of native Japanese speakers, so you need an extra skill too to stand out.
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Very few graduate jobs start at this salary, you have to work your way up to it. I think Japanese is a useful and interesting degree to have. I doubt you will be at full native fluency, speaking, listening and writing, at the end of it
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(Original post by Zarek)
Very few graduate jobs start at this salary, you have to work your way up to it. I think Japanese is a useful and interesting degree to have. I doubt you will be at full native fluency, speaking, listening and writing, at the end of it
I plan on going all out during the degree. I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can so even if I don't achieve native-level fluency, I want to get as close as I possibly can during the 4 years.

My other choice for university was to do a computer science degree apprenticeship, which would pay about £20k a year while doing a degree, so it'd be very good for me financially. The only problem is that I wouldn't have much time to study Japanese in my spare time, whereas with a Japanese language degree I can just focus completely on learning the language.
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(Original post by jzdzm)
You could go into banking / tech business and easily earn that much. Companies such as deloitte have departments that need people with language skills. The jobs are competitive though.
Thanks. That's encouraging to know.
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(Original post by RandomSelect)
I plan on going all out during the degree. I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can so even if I don't achieve native-level fluency, I want to get as close as I possibly can during the 4 years.

My other choice for university was to do a computer science degree apprenticeship, which would pay about £20k a year while doing a degree, so it'd be very good for me financially. The only problem is that I wouldn't have much time to study Japanese in my spare time, whereas with a Japanese language degree I can just focus completely on learning the language.
Financially speaking a degree apprenticeship is the way to go. However it would be quite a different degree experience. If you can afford it I would do Japanese as it is clearly a dream and will,I imagine, open up many interesting pathways
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(Original post by Zarek)
Financially speaking a degree apprenticeship is the way to go. However it would be quite a different degree experience. If you can afford it I would do Japanese as it is clearly a dream and will,I imagine, open up many interesting pathways
Yeah, the Japanese language degree is what I really want to do. The only thing holding me back is the concern over how much money it could make me, especially considering that I want to travel the world after university so with the degree apprenticeship I could do that as soon as I'm finished, whereas with the Japanese language degree I would have to spend a couple of years working to save up enough money for travelling.
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Quick-use Hope you don't mind if I tag you in
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Joint degree is the way to go here. You need to have another skill other than the language. I have a few options for you....

Maths and Modern languages (UCL)
Economics and Modern languages (Leeds) - this looks like a great course!
Economics and Modern languages (Warwick)
Business management and Modern Languages (Leeds)

Yeah, there's loads of options out there. Do your research though, seriously it's worth it.
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Also, I already sent in my UCAS application for a Digital And Technology Solutions course at Leeds almost a month ago. But the problem is that my personal statement is not relevant at all to any Japanese language degree as it was specifically aimed for the Leeds course. So with this in mind, does this mean that my application would be instantly rejected if I apply to any language degrees or is there still a chance that I could get accepted?
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(Original post by Vapordave)
Quick-use Hope you don't mind if I tag you in
I don't mind at all. :hat2:
(Original post by RandomSelect)
Hi. Assuming the best-case scenario: Upon graduation I achieve native-level fluency in the language and graduate with first class honours, is it possible that I could be making £40-50k a year? I ask this question because although nothing would make me happier than learning Japanese, I don't want to end up wasting my years doing the degree only to end up making minimum wage. Of course if money was no object, I would absolutely choose to do a Japanese degree in a heartbeat.

Any advice on this please? Thanks.
So, first things first - linguistically speaking, you won't reach native-level fluency in any language ever and as such can technically never be considered a native speaker of a language that you learn post-adolescence. That said, however, you can come extremely close to a native's level and often be mistaken for one.

Secondly, I don't know a single degree that allows you to earn £40-50k salary straight after graduation... Maybe Land Economy at Cambridge?

These days, degrees don't immediately get you jobs. It doesn't matter if you do Japanese, Digital and Technology Solutions, Business Management, History, Economics, Computer Science etc; what you need to do in order to ensure landing a job once you graduate, are any of the following:

  • Look for universities that offer industry work experience / study abroad (where you can pick up experience doing certain things).
  • Look for volunteering opportunities; join university societies and try to be elected into the committee; apply for internships or do some part-time work.
  • Learn some useful skills like maybe becoming intermediate at a foreign language, learning basic coding, or video editing etc.

Finally, the elephant in the room - is Japanese or a language degree employable?

You'd be happy to know that languages are very highly sought after and eternally rewarding! :rambo:

At university, I did French, Spanish and Japanese. After graduating, I did some freelance interpreting in Japan while working at a private firm instructing medical and business clients with English. Now, I'm back to studying a postgrad in the UK and keeping a very open mind about what type of work I'd like to go into.

My friends who did a Japanese degree have gone onto the following jobs: working in immigration offices in Japan, working in local Japanese governments such as Fukushima, Beppu and Kyoto (one such example: https://rediscoverfukushima.com/), working at the consulate general (embassy) in Edinburgh, working for the NHK (Japan's version of BBC) in both Tokyo and London, working as a QA engineer (friend learned basic coding within 2 weeks), investment banking, working in Japanese translation (environmental and video games), practicing Law in Japan, working at a local sake brewery in Okayama (https://www.originsake.com/?fbclid=I...0neClapyuUuqyY), lecturing at universities in Japan and the UK and so on and so forth.

My university friends who studied French and Spanish have gone onto working at the European Parliament, investment banking, tourism and so on.

When you study a languages degree, you don't just study the language. For example, during my undergraduate degree I took various modules on Japan-China foreign policy, international relations, politics, French immigration laws, Spanish journalism writing etc. What's more, regarding the language component of our degrees, there were modules consisting of translations of dense political dossiers, medical documents, historical religious sources, both classical and contemporary literary texts as well as journalistic articles among many others.

If you'd like to do single Japanese, go for it. If you'd like to do Japanese + something like Business/Law/Economics/IR/whatever, go for that too. No matter what you do, as long as you do any of the three bullet points I listed above, you will be employable. I will admit though that it can't hurt doing a joint degree as it could give you more options; but, only even consider this if you're genuinely interested in another subject. Do not underestimate how difficult university studies are. You will not be able to do well if you dislike 1/2 of your degree. In fact, you'll most likely end up with a poor grade and an unsatisfactory university experience.

Regardless of what you choose to do, you need skills outside of your degree because your degree itself (like everyone else's degree) will do little to prepare you for the world of work. This is the reason why so many graduates can't get well-paying jobs; because they expect employers to just hand them jobs once they complete a university degree. It's imperative that you develop practical experiences and skills outside of your academic studies.

I repeat - your degree subject is basically a tick-box on job applications once you graduate. It's absolutely essential you pick up practical skills and experience.

What experience did I personally pick up during my undergraduate degree?

  • I was part of the Japanese Studies Peer Support Committee. In my 2nd year, I was both the Treasurer and the Vice Chairperson. In my final year, I was the Treasurer and Chairperson. I handled all the accounting/bookkeeping, I arranged weekly meetings with all committee members + Japanese Studies staff, I chaired the meetings (was in charge), I contacted and negotiated with local businesses to secure funding for events, I organised and hosted large events like pub quizzes or essay writing seminars for the entire department.
  • In my second year of university, I taught French to 3 classes at a local Primary School. This was an opportunity that was emailed to all students which I applied for.
  • I also worked for 3 summers at Edinburgh University as the Course Mentor for international exchange students.

From the above, it's clear that I have leadership, teamworking and problem solving skills among others. I've also picked up technical skills like fluency in languages, video editing, bookkeeping and basic coding.

(Original post by MadameRazz)
i think you should do much more research on job prospects....
100% this. There is absolutely no job that you can do by just knowing Japanese. There are loads of jobs out there but you just don't know of them yet. Just look up 'graduate schemes' or 'graduate jobs', RandomSelect.

Here are links to other threads I've commented on (some have similar content but there's some extra stuff too):

Last edited by Quick-use; 1 month ago
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(Original post by Quick-use)
I don't mind at all. :hat2:

So, first things first - linguistically speaking, you won't reach native-level fluency in any language ever and as such can technically never be considered a native speaker of a language that you learn post-adolescence. That said, however, you can come extremely close to a native's level and often be mistaken for one.

Secondly, I don't know a single degree that allows you to earn £40-50k salary straight after graduation... Maybe Land Economy at Cambridge?

These days, degrees don't immediately get you jobs. It doesn't matter if you do Japanese, Digital and Technology Solutions, Business Management, History, Economics, Computer Science etc; what you need to do in order to ensure landing a job once you graduate, are any of the following:

  • Look for universities that offer industry work experience / study abroad (where you can pick up experience doing certain things).
  • Look for volunteering opportunities; join university societies and try to be elected into the committee; apply for internships or do some part-time work.
  • Learn some useful skills like maybe becoming intermediate at a foreign language, learning basic coding, or video editing etc.

Finally, the elephant in the room - is Japanese or a language degree employable?

You'd be happy to know that languages are very highly sought after and eternally rewarding! :rambo:

At university, I did French, Spanish and Japanese. After graduating, I did some freelance interpreting in Japan while working at a private firm instructing medical and business clients with English. Now, I'm back to studying a postgrad in the UK and keeping a very open mind about what type of work I'd like to go into.

My friends who did a Japanese degree have gone onto the following jobs: working in immigration offices in Japan, working in local Japanese governments such as Fukushima, Beppu and Kyoto (one such example: https://rediscoverfukushima.com/), working at the consulate general (embassy) in Edinburgh, working for the NHK (Japan's version of BBC) in both Tokyo and London, working as a QA engineer (friend learned basic coding within 2 weeks), investment banking, working in Japanese translation (environmental and video games), practicing Law in Japan, working at a local sake brewery in Okayama (https://www.originsake.com/?fbclid=I...0neClapyuUuqyY), lecturing at universities in Japan and the UK and so on and so forth.

My university friends who studied French and Spanish have gone onto working at the European Parliament, investment banking, tourism and so on.

When you study a languages degree, you don't just study the language. For example, during my undergraduate degree I took various modules on Japan-China foreign policy, international relations, politics, French immigration laws, Spanish journalism writing etc. What's more, regarding the language component of our degrees, there were modules consisting of translations of dense political dossiers, medical documents, historical religious sources, both classical and contemporary literary texts as well as journalistic articles among many others.

If you'd like to do single Japanese, go for it. If you'd like to do Japanese + something like Business/Law/Economics/IR/whatever, go for that too. No matter what you do, as long as you do any of the three bullet points I listed above, you will be employable. I will admit though that it can't hurt doing a joint degree as it could give you more options; but, only even consider this if you're genuinely interested in another subject. Do not underestimate how difficult university studies are. You will not be able to do well if you dislike 1/2 of your degree. In fact, you'll most likely end up with a poor grade and an unsatisfactory university experience.

Regardless of what you choose to do, you need skills outside of your degree because your degree itself (like everyone else's degree) will do little to prepare you for the world of work. This is the reason why so many graduates can't get well-paying jobs; because they expect employers to just hand them jobs once they complete a university degree. It's imperative that you develop practical experiences and skills outside of your academic studies.

I repeat - your degree subject is basically a tick-box on job applications once you graduate. It's absolutely essential you pick up practical skills and experience.

What experience did I personally pick up during my undergraduate degree?

  • I was part of the Japanese Studies Peer Support Committee. In my 2nd year, I was both the Treasurer and the Vice Chairperson. In my final year, I was the Treasurer and Chairperson. I handled all the accounting/bookkeeping, I arranged weekly meetings with all committee members + Japanese Studies staff, I chaired the meetings (was in charge), I contacted and negotiated with local businesses to secure funding for events, I organised and hosted large events like pub quizzes or essay writing seminars for the entire department.
  • In my second year of university, I taught French to 3 classes at a local Primary School. This was an opportunity that was emailed to all students which I applied for.
  • I also worked for 3 summers at Edinburgh University as the Course Mentor for international exchange students.

From the above, it's clear that I have leadership, teamworking and problem solving skills among others. I've also picked up technical skills like fluency in languages, video editing, bookkeeping and basic coding.


100% this. There is absolutely no job that you can do by just knowing Japanese. There are loads of jobs out there but you just don't know of them yet. Just look up 'graduate schemes' or 'graduate jobs', RandomSelect.

Here are links to other threads I've commented on (some have similar content but there's some extra stuff too):

Wow, thank you so much for the very informative answer. I really appreciate it. If you don't mind me asking, how much did you earn on average after finishing your degree? And what was your highest paying job? Also, it's interesting to note that Edinburgh is the only university that has Seikei University listed as one of their partner universities out of all the Universities you mentioned (in the other threads that you posted on), which is great news for me because it now means that for Japanese, Edinburgh will be the only one that I consider.

Just a couple more questions. How fluent are you now in Japanese? If someone was to work as hard as possible during the degree with an aim to become as fluent as possible, what level of fluency do you think could be reached?
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(Original post by RandomSelect)
Wow, thank you so much for the very informative answer. I really appreciate it. If you don't mind me asking, how much did you earn on average after finishing your degree? And what was your highest paying job? Also, it's interesting to note that Edinburgh is the only university that has Seikei University listed as one of their partner universities out of all the Universities you mentioned (in the other threads that you posted on), which is great news for me because it now means that for Japanese, Edinburgh will be the only one that I consider.

Just a couple more questions. How fluent are you now in Japanese? If someone was to work as hard as possible during the degree with an aim to become as fluent as possible, what level of fluency do you think could be reached?
1. Average wage after graduation?
Average wage for my friends and myself and most languages graduates straight after graduation is about £23k - 30k. After 3 years, it should generally be £28k - 40k upwards.

2. Highest paying job?
I only graduated like 3 years ago and I'm now back to doing a postgraduate degree, so I've only done 1 graduate job so far. :lol: That said, I suppose my highest paying job was around £15 an hour. It was seasonal part-time work. I was an exam proctor for the JLPT.

3. Edinburgh and Seikei
If you don't mind me asking, why are you only considering only Edinburgh and Seikei? Edinburgh is great but certainly not perfect. As for the year abroad, Seikei is exceptional for improving your Japanese but it isn't without its cons either (located at the eastern edge of Tokyo, slightly lower domestic rankings than others and small university). There are some other universities which are equally amazing like the one I went to.

4. Japanese fluency
You can judge my level of Japanese by the fact that I was taking regular courses taught in Japanese with Japanese students in my second semester at Sophia University. I took a 4th year course on American Victorian society, literature and philosophy as well as a more broad course in Modern Japanese Literature. For both of these, I was the only foreign student. I also somehow ended up with the highest mark for one of them...

That said, I'm still improving. My level of Japanese utterly catapulted during my year abroad, but I've been able to continually refine and build upon it ever since. For example, I use a lot of '80s and '90s references when I speak Japanese (ageing population = a lot of older acquaintances and friends); I naturally weave in idioms, puns and gag jokes; and, I have a very noticeable Tokyo accent with a lot of influences from Hokkaido (specifically Sapporo) due to my time working there.
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(Original post by Quick-use)
1. Average wage after graduation?
Average wage for my friends and myself and most languages graduates straight after graduation is about £23k - 30k. After 3 years, it should generally be £28k - 40k upwards.

2. Highest paying job?
I only graduated like 3 years ago and I'm now back to doing a postgraduate degree, so I've only done 1 graduate job so far. :lol: That said, I suppose my highest paying job was around £15 an hour. It was seasonal part-time work. I was an exam proctor for the JLPT.

3. Edinburgh and Seikei
If you don't mind me asking, why are you only considering only Edinburgh and Seikei? Edinburgh is great but certainly not perfect. As for the year abroad, Seikei is exceptional for improving your Japanese but it isn't without its cons either (located at the eastern edge of Tokyo, slightly lower domestic rankings than others and small university). There are some other universities which are equally amazing like the one I went to.

4. Japanese fluency
You can judge my level of Japanese by the fact that I was taking regular courses taught in Japanese with Japanese students in my second semester at Sophia University. I took a 4th year course on American Victorian society, literature and philosophy as well as a more broad course in Modern Japanese Literature. For both of these, I was the only foreign student. I also somehow ended up with the highest mark for one of them...

That said, I'm still improving. My level of Japanese utterly catapulted during my year abroad, but I've been able to continually refine and build upon it ever since. For example, I use a lot of '80s and '90s references when I speak Japanese (ageing population = a lot of older acquaintances and friends); I naturally weave in idioms, puns and gag jokes; and, I have a very noticeable Tokyo accent with a lot of influences from Hokkaido (specifically Sapporo) due to my time working there.
Wow, seems like you've a very high level of Japanese. Well done. That'll serve as extra motivation for me! And about your level of Japanese when it comes to reading, can you pretty much read anything now or do you still struggle with certain stuff?

Regarding your question about why I'm only considering Edinburgh for Japanese, it's all because of Seikei University, because you did say that it was the best choice for improving your Japanese the most. But I was also considering Manchester, Durham and Sheffield (I was also considering Leeds before but decided against it because they have their year abroad in the 2nd year instead of the 3rd). However, I'll probably still end up applying for them anyway, but it definitely would have been much easier for me to decide if we still had on campus open days instead of virtual ones. Anyway, I'm assuming you know so much about Seikei because some of your friend(s) went there and told you about it?

Thanks again.
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