How Will Japan's Job Market Change in the Latter Half of 2021?


How Will Japan's Job Market Change in the Latter Half of 2021?

What are the trends in the job market after COVID-19  and what qualifications do job-seekers need to focus on in 2021?

In the second half of 2021 (July-December), the job market is expected to see an increase in the number of job openings in the manufacturing, financial, medical, chemical and materials industries, led by IT and web. Job types include IT engineers, web creatives, manufacturing engineers, construction and civil engineers, chemical engineers, medical and financial professionals, sales, administration (HR, accounting, legal), planning, and marketing.

explaining the job vacancy in different industries in japan

Source: Report on Job seekers, vacancies and the job market (Doda)

The increase in the number of jobs is due to the digital transformation (DX) of companies. Even before the spread of the new coronavirus, there was a great deal of interest in DX, but since coronavirus, there has been an urgent need for companies to transform their business by using data and digital technology, and to move their business to an impersonal and online environment. But after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need for more data- and digital-driven business transformation, and for business to become more impersonal and online. The urgency with which the success or failure of these initiatives could affect business performance has led to a recovery in the need for talent.

There is a strong need for immediate talent as a result of the pandemic, but there is also a recovery in jobs for people with no experience.

Against a backdrop of business rethink driven by IT and DX, the majority of vacancies are for experienced people who can be expected to work immediately. In many cases, this is because there is a need for people who are able to solve problems quickly and who have no in-house knowledge.

For the inexperienced, there is a need for positions in engineering, finance, and healthcare. Sales, service, and administrative jobs hit hard by the pandemic may also have vacancies, so be sure to gather information and be prepared to organize your experience.

The key to a successful career change is to take stock of yourself and find out what you have in common with the company you are applying to.

The need for immediate employment may make you reluctant to change jobs, but there's no need to be shy. There's no need to feel intimidated by the idea that you've done something that anyone else can do when from a third party's point of view you have plenty of strengths and experience. It is easy for people to think that they have done things that anyone else can do and that they are not 'experienced' enough.

Look back at your work history and ask yourself, "What do I have in common with someone from a different industry?” 

Don't underestimate your experience and take the first step towards a successful career change.

The ratio of job offers to job seekers increased by 0.01 ppt to 1.86. The increase in the number of vacancies was greater, resulting in an increase in the job-to-job ratio. The job-to-job ratio is a measure of the number of jobs available for each job seeker; the higher the ratio (above 1.00), the more jobs are available.

a graph explaining the ratio between the job seekers and job vacancies  in japan

Source: Report on Job seekers, vacancies and the job market (Doda)

Let’s take a look at the changing trends that are specific to the IT/ engineer industry! 

The number of jobs for both experienced and inexperienced IT engineers is expected to increase. System integrators and outsourcers have resumed mid-career hires. In addition, the recruitment market for IT consultants remains active. These trends are common to both infrastructure and application engineers.

Companies that are assessing the situation in the wake of the coronavirus should also increase their hiring of experienced staff in the second half of 2021. The need for "immediate hiring/selective hiring" by companies, which arose as a result of the pandemic, continues to grow.

a graph explaining job vacancies in different job categories in japan

Source: Report on Job seekers, vacancies and the job market (Doda)

For inexperienced and early career professionals, there will be increased demand for System Engineering Services (SES) and second-tier SIers. On the other hand, the number of vacancies will remain unchanged as companies continue to look for the right person for the job.

“DX”  and “Fully Remote" are the hottest trends for IT engineers

As in the first half of the year, demand for "DX" continues to grow. There has always been a trend towards IT investment in Japan, regardless of industry. The pandemic has accelerated the shift to remote and impersonal business, and many companies are hiring more DX professionals.

In addition, "fully remote" has become a keyword, and both supply and demand are increasing. The pandemic has forced companies to hire remotely, and many of them have found that they can still run their business and are now hiring engineers remotely. Demand for fully remote jobs and U-turn jobs is also on the rise, which is a positive trend for both companies and talented engineers in the region.

Talk to a career advisor about DX-related, remote and other jobs that interest you.

Taking stock of your achievements and accomplishments, and demonstrating a proactive attitude will lead to recognition.

Looking at the trend of successful job changes, there is a high demand for people with experience in upstream processes such as management and requirements definition if they want to become in-house SEs, IT consultants, or prime contractors. If you are an outsourcer or a second-tier SIer, you will be more likely to be evaluated if you have skills from design to coding, plus the ability to negotiate with clients and define requirements. Communication skills are important in all sectors.

In your application, make sure you are specific about the projects you have worked on and the results you have achieved. For example, if you are writing about a particular project, try to include not only an overview of what the system is but also a list of achievements and results, such as how the system has improved things. Furthermore, if you have a good grasp of the budget and scale of the project as a whole, not just the part you are in charge of, it will show that you are proactive and will be highly regarded.

IT engineers tend to place more importance on practical experience than qualifications, and many companies value the attitude of self-improvement, so we recommend using Qiita and GitHub to make your case.

With COVID-19, some of you may be struggling with the timing of your career change. The IT recruitment market is constantly changing, so you never know what your options will be a year from now. If you are concerned about your age, experience, and where you want to be in the future, you should consider seeking career counseling. At JELLYFISH, we will be able to advise you on the latest developments and guide you along every step of your journey into a successful career change!