The Japanese language is essential to any liberal arts degree program with a major in Asian or East Asian Studies for some schools while in other educational institutions, Japanese Studies is an undergraduate degree by itself. This combines the study of the Japanese language with several components such as Japanese literature, politics, culture, history, religion, economics, and art.
How a Japanese Studies Degree is Relevant
You may want to know why a degree in Japanese Studies is relevant in this day and age. Studying a non-Western country that has the third largest economy globally can open doors for a graduate to work in prominent companies owned by Japanese stakeholders and investors such as Sony, Toyota, and Mitsubishi. A proficiency in the Japanese language can definitely be an advantage in employment.
Graduates of Japanese Studies have good prospects to land overseas jobs. Additionally, the Japanese language degree holder has a better chance of being sent abroad by the company who has interests or holdings for expansion in Asia. International careers are almost certain for a person who speaks a second or third foreign language. The Japanese degree holder is a perfect fit for the diplomatic service, for instance.
Employment Opportunities for Japanese Studies Graduates
Tourism, financial institutions, translation, marketing, and trade are only some of the employment opportunities available. Consider this scenario: you are an American who works for a Japanese-owned multinational firm that would like to acquire more clients in the U.S. The first person your boss will think of managing that account would be you, the holder of a Japanese Studies degree.
International organizations like the United Nations (UN) and foreign-funded nonprofits are especially on the lookout for people who can speak Japanese for their relief missions and fundraisers. The Japanese language is challenging to learn because the writing system does not make use of any alphabet but uses three types of scripts instead (kanji, hiragana, and katakana).
If you have always wanted to work in Asia, a proficiency in the Japanese language is your passport to increase job prospects and get a generous salary package. Being a bi-lingual in Japan can earn you substantial income. An American who speaks, writes, and understands Japanese can work as a private tutor of English, work as a document translator in the embassy or write for a Japanese newspaper.
Schools that Offer Japanese Studies
There are several academic institutions in the U.S. that offer Japanese Studies both as a major and a minor in their liberal arts programs like the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. Other schools offer Japanese language and culture as minors in Asian or East Asian Studies like Duke University, Spelman College in Atlanta, and Alabama’s Birmingham Southern College.
In geographical locations with large Japanese populations, educational institutions like the University of San Francisco, the University of Hawaii, Portland State University, the University of Washington-Seattle, and the University of California school system – Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, and Santa Cruz – offer Japanese Studies to all who want to learn not only the language but the culture as well.