Occasionally, people ask whether it is possible to work in Japan without a 4-year university diploma. I won't beat around the bush: The answer, in 90% of cases, is "no."

The reason for this is not an industry requirement so much as an immigration requirement.
Japanese immigration does not grant working visas to individuals without at least a bachelor's degree. Only rare exceptions exist, and they usually involve proving five to ten years' work experience in a technical field, with the help of a lawyer who specializes in immigration, at great time and expense.

I have not personally heard examples of individuals obtaining work visas with 2-year associate's degrees.

Aside from working visas, there are other options that each come at their own cost.

However, keep in mind that without a degree, it will be difficult for your resume to compete with other candidates', especially if you are trying to find work in a field where most others have completed a degree. In that case, even if you find a way around the working visa requirement, you may find that only a small number of companies are willing to employ you without university credentials, and they may not offer the most desirable salaries or working conditions.

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