After a slow year in recruitment across IT jobs in Japan due to the impact of Covid-19, 2021 was quite the opposite where recruitment activity has picked up exponentially. In particular, the IT sector has seen a huge increase in demand as jobs in Japan started to open up. As a technology and IT recruitment company in Japan, 2021 was the year Computer Futures has helped its highest number of candidates since it established its Japan presence in 2012.

As specialists in IT recruitment and support, we have strong relationships with leading companies in the IT industry and those looking for the best IT talent. In this article, we look at our most popular job areas and the most popular (i.e. most applied for) jobs, based on our performance in 2021.


Most in-demand IT jobs in Japan by companies

Within IT jobs in Japan, the five main areas with the highest number of jobs were:


1. Sales

From companies developing B2B software and services to B2C online platforms and apps, there were a number of sales force jobs across a wide range of companies. Some of the specific jobs in Japan where we saw an extremely high number of vacancies included:

  • Account Executive
  • Channel Sales
  • Inside Sales
  • Enterprise Sales


 2. Software Engineers

As with sales, we have seen active recruitment of software engineers across a wide range of company types. However, in comparison to the sales sector, which has seen an increase in the number of vacancies compared to 2020, the demand for software engineers has remained constantly high over the last two years.

The following are some of the most popular job types within the recruitment for software engineers:

  • Front-end engineers
  • Back-end engineers
  • Full Stack Engineers
  • Web Application Engineer
  • iOS/Android Engineer

Some of the industries that were particularly active in hiring software engineers included FinTech, where competition is intensifying due to the cashless movement, and the rise of e-commerce, which have grown significantly due to Covid-19. As a result, jobs in Japan related to UI/UX design have also been increasing.


3. Digital Marketing

As business platforms continue to move online, we saw a number of opportunities within digital marketing. This includes digital marketing executives, digital marketing managers and SEO managers. We also saw a demand for upstream roles such as marketing strategists and planners who can help businesses adapt their strategies to these changing times. Applicants to these digital marketing jobs mainly included those with experience across both marketing and consulting.


4. Consultants

In addition to marketing strategists and planners, the stimulation of Digital Transformation (DX) has led to the introduction of new systems and the migration of existing frameworks to cloud environments. These have resulted in an increase of requirements, implementations, and operational support work alongside other related projects. In essence, this led to an increase in the number of IT jobs in Japan relating to consulting – including those in consulting companies as well as customer success jobs in product development vendors.

The increase in demand for customer success jobs is largely due to the proliferation of subscription-based service delivery models, where customer engagement is more important than ever.


5. Project Managers

As with DX, the migration to cloud environments and many similar IT projects in Japan, this led to a higher demand for project managers to oversee these IT related projects. This was across a variety of industries including life sciences, retail, and IT. In many cases, software engineers have also evolved and took on the job of a project manager as an option to widen their prospects for career progression.

These trends were not only prevalent within permanent recruitment, but also contract recruitment where a large number of companies were looking to hire quickly and on a project basis. This included both temporary and outsourced recruitment as companies had to deal with a high number of projects, some of which require specialised knowledge which only freelancers or contractors had.


Most popular IT jobs in Japan by candidates

With a high level of recruitment activity in 2021, below is a selection of some of the most popular jobs in Japan which we recruited for last year, i.e. those that were the most popular with candidates.


1. Front End Engineers

Front-end engineers were in high demand across a range of sectors including fintech, e-commerce, IoT, image analytics and smartphone app development. Many of these sectors are also expected to see significant growth in the coming years, making them highly popular with jobseekers.


2. Machine Learning Engineers

As more and more people are learning Python, a language that is well suited to machine learning and AI development, there were also an increase of applications for machine learning engineers who can take advantage of those skills they have.


3. Infrastructure Engineers and Manager

In addition to DX, the increased demand for building and operating internal infrastructure to enable remote working meant that companies recognise the importance of investing within their IT infrastructure, making it even more attractive to jobseekers. As with project managers as discussed in the previous section, there was a notable increase in hiring for infrastructure engineers within the IT sector, as well as life sciences and supply chain.


4. Pre-sales engineers

Apart from project managers, pre-sales engineers have become an increasingly popular career choice for software engineers, as they are expected to possess technical skills as well as product knowledge. Although the role has a strong engineering element, you'll also need to use your external knowledge and communication skills. If you're eligible for incentives, you can expect a significant increase in your annual salary.


5. Digital Marketing Specialists and Managers

Within the digital marketing sector, specialist roles such as influencer marketing and social media marketing are particularly popular. This is due to a shift in online usage as compared to previous years. This is an area which allows you to use your expertise whilst gaining new knowledge in the relevant field you work for.


6. Data Scientists

The popularity of data scientists, including those who have moved on from other professions, has increased due to their future potential and the fact that it is possible to start with no experience if you have the knowledge.


Are you looking for a new job in Japan?

Listed above are some of the most popular jobs in Japan for 2021 but are expected to remain in 2022. If you are looking to change jobs, this could be a good time to look at available jobs in the market. You may also want to reach out to us via the form below so that a dedicated consultant can advise you on your career options, with no obligation.

Our consultants have deep expertise and knowledge about the recruitment market in Japan and can advise you on confidential roles not listed on our website. Alternatively, feel free to visit other articles within our site to get other IT related insights.

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Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled talent, the team at Computer Futures are here for you. By combining our local expertise and specialist market knowledge, we can provide expert recruitment and employment solutions across a range of IT markets.