Are you looking into furthering your education in Japan and advance your career afterward? Then obtaining an MBA in Japan could be an exciting option for you, not in the least because of the extraordinary ROI. In addition to developing your leadership skills, you will gain Japan-specific insights, regional expertise in Asia, and cross-cultural communication abilities to manage virtual teams. Furthermore, the lifelong network you will build at Business School might help enhance your post MBA career and throughout your professional life.
What are the requirements for getting an MBA in Japan, for getting admitted, and graduate?
Entry Requirements for an MBA in Japan
As an MBA degree is a Master’s Degree, the minimum requirement all applicants need to meet is finishing at least 16 years of education. In most cases, this means that you need to hold a Bachelor’s Degree. Let’s have a look at the additional entry requirements for admittance to an MBA program in Japan:
- A sound academic record: while there are no hard numbers for what constitutes a good academic record, admissions officers will generally look at your GPA and the amount of time it took you to finish your degree. Typically, having a GPA of more than 3 and graduating within the allotted time for your degree will be received favorably. If your academic record has slight issues, if you have a good story to back up your numbers, this doesn’t lead to rejection necessarily.
- At least 2 years of work experience: as you will be studying complex business issues from a managerial point of view, having at least a few years of professional full-time work experience is required. Providing context to the Business Cases that you will be reading is indispensable. Future work experiences up until the start of your studies also count toward the 2-year minimum. This work experience can come from working at companies that range from famous large corporations to small startups.
- Proof of a general aptitude for business studies: most business schools require standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE) as evidence that you have what it takes academically to finish the degree successfully.
- Strong motivation: It takes dedication and effort to finish any MBA program. It would be best if you showed what will motivate you to see it through to the end. You can show what motivates you personally with a well-written application essay and CV and express your motivation with substantiated answers during the individual application interview.
- Personal qualities: doing business and managing people requires strong interpersonal skills, so you might be assessed on these skills during the admissions interview. This can be further supported by good personal references from, generally from a former or current employer.
- English proficiency: if English is not your native language, you will also need to take a standardized English Language test, like TOEFL or IELTS.
Furthermore, it is always a good idea to apply on time and early, preferably as soon as possible after the application period opens. This way, if anything needs to be fixed during your application, you would have time to do so. Moreover, applying early shows your dedication and good planning skills. You should also make sure to pay the application fee within the admissions deadline. Lastly, it is good to look at scholarships options if you’d require financial assistance, as many schools and other institutions offer this possibility.
MBA Degree Requirements for Graduation
You can choose to apply for either the 1-year program or the 2-year program. The 1-year program is geared toward those who are company-sponsored or come through the Young Leaders’ Program, and this program is for students who are not necessarily planning a career change. The recommendation is for aspiring students interested in looking for a job in Japan after graduation to go for the 2-year program. If you are looking to change your career, the 2-year program will also give you more options. The second year is fully customizable. You can exchange with a partner university, do a double degree, experiencing work life in Japan during an internship, and get support in your job search. Doing extra independent research is also a knowledge-broadening
To graduate from the program, you will need to obtain satisfactory grades for all required courses. The second half of the first year will also include optional independent research projects that must be concluded with a passing grade to be eligible for graduation. While there are many elective courses that will deepen and broaden your knowledge, they are not required to get your degree. It is, however, strongly recommended to make use of the opportunity to take a few extra (virtual) courses organized by partner universities that are freely available to Hitotsubashi ICS students.
What Happens After MBA Graduation in Japan
There is a significant need for internationally-minded innovative minds in Japan’s business world, and Japanese companies and international companies’ branches in Japan understand the need to attract foreign talent more and more. Many MBA students intend to stay in Japan for a few years after graduation to make use of career opportunities in one of the world’s largest economies. These intentions often grow even stronger during the program, leading to a large percentage of MBA graduates finding employment in Japan. The Majority of Hitotsubashi ICS MBA graduates have found a job in Japan, most with international companies but a significant portion with Japanese companies.
Especially during difficult times like the COVID-19 crisis, relying on a solid network is paramount. If you obtain an MBA from a reputable university in Japan, you can often use their network to land a job in Japan. Moreover, some companies partner with universities offering MBA degree programs to source international talent. For example, in 2020, all the Hitotsubashi ICS’ 2-year program graduates who intended to work in Japan upon graduation received at least one job offer. In addition, internships done during the MBA program can also directly lead to a job offer.