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Excerpted from the Japan Career Guide

Manufacturing: “Engineering is the core strength on which Japan’s postwar economic miracle was built,” according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC). While manufacturing remains Japan’s largest employer, it has seen massive job shrinkage in the last few years. Much of Japan’s manufacturing will continue to move offshore, and domestic employment will continue to decline. But Japan’s increasingly automated manufacturing industry will still need people to program and service the automated machines.

Construction: Driven by the number of reconstruction projects following the earthquake and tsunami, construction is showing some of Japan’s largest job growth right now, but over the long term it is likely to shrink again. Japan’s reconstruction will stimulate both immediate industrial activity and long-term investment in housing and in commercial and industrial infrastructure, according to McKinsey.

Oil & gas: As a result of nuclear power generation losses after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Business Monitor International (BMI) predicts for the time being, Japan’s use of imported oil and natural gas will remain high. Over the long term, the role of nuclear power in Japan will be less prominent, “and, inevitably, gas will have to make up part of the shortfall,” according to BMI. By 2016, the country is expected to be using 4.46 million barrels of oil per day.

Alternative energy: The 2011 earthquake has prompted growing interest in alternative energy, and jobs growth is likely to continue in multinational alternative energy firms, as well as in automotive companies seeking fuel-efficient solutions, according to Michael Page. Alternative sources of energy including solar power are being explored, but the regulatory process is apparently difficult, according to The Economist. PWC expects “the disaster will prompt more stringent safety standards and new incident reporting and crisis management requirements.”

Skills in Demand

Sales engineers: High demand continues for sales engineers with both commercial and technical expertise, especially in multinational companies with operations in Japan, according to Hays. Sales engineers are needed with strong technical knowledge in metals, hydraulics and chemicals. Hays notes more than in other countries, engineers in Japan “tend to follow a technical career,” thus intensifying the need for sales professionals with a strong technical aptitude who can understand a company’s products.

Electronics engineers: The need for electronics engineers is also increasing as a result of exponential growth in the communications and electronics industries.

Quality engineers: Demand is also increasing for quality engineers, as the emphasis on quality standards in Japan continues to grow in the wake of the natural disasters.

Organizations and Trade Associations

Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan (IEEJ)
http://www.iee.or.jp/ (Japanese, English)
The Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan, with membership exceeding 28,000, is an engineering association of scholars and professional electrical engineers. IEEJ has participation and support from a large number of engineers, as well as students and scholars in the forefront of universities and companies.

Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan
Homat Horizon Building 8FL
6-2 Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0076, Japan
Tel: +81-3-3221 7201
Fax: +81-3-3221-3704
Email: jimkyoku@iee.or.jp, member@iee.or.jp

Publications

Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan (JCEJ)
http://www.scej.org/jcej/ (English)
The Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan (JCEJ) is the monthly English publication of the Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan. The first issue appeared in 1968. JCEJ publishes timely original research in the broad field of chemical engineering ranging from fundamental principles to practical applications. JCEJ is an international research journal and invites contributions and subscriptions. The editorial board annually awards authors of outstanding papers published in the JCEJ. All articles from the very first issue are available on-line, and accessible free of charge for the first three months.

The Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan
Email: journal@scej.org

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Japan Guide.



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