Careers

Study Japanese. Do Anything.

What can I do with a Japanese major?

The world is more interconnected now than it ever has been before. Knowledge of the diverse languages and cultures of East Asia is vital to our engagement with the global community at large. The study of East Asian languages and cultures is indispensable for many sectors, including business, humanities, social sciences, communications, technology, and the arts. Japanese majors find full-time employment in a variety of positions, enroll in graduate school, service programs, join the military, or launch independent projects after graduation.

Skills you'll learn

  • Effective oral communication
  • Strong writing
  • Team Work
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
  • Ability to apply knowledge to real-world settings
  • Ethical judgement and decision making
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems with people from different backgrounds
  • Research and Data Analysis
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Social Adaptability

Beth Gee

Foreign service officer, Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State

"The Japanese program at Notre Dame has an excellent faculty and course selection, as well as wonderful study abroad opportunities. Because it's a small program, you have excellent access to your professors and build a close-knit community with other students in the major." said Beth Gee, Japanese and political science major. "I use what I learned about Japan's history, culture, and politics on a daily basis in my work advancing U.S. - Japan bilateral relations. Additionally, I use my Japanese language ability when I interact with Japanese government officials, business representatives, civil society, and private citizens."

 

  • Beth Gee

    Foreign service officer, Office of Japanese Affairs, U.S. Department of State

    "The Japanese program at Notre Dame has an excellent faculty and course selection, as well as wonderful study abroad opportunities. Because it's a small program, you have excellent access to your professors and build a close-knit community with other students in the major." said Beth Gee, Japanese and political science major. "I use what I learned about Japan's history, culture, and politics on a daily basis in my work advancing U.S. - Japan bilateral relations. Additionally, I use my Japanese language ability when I interact with Japanese government officials, business representatives, civil society, and private citizens."

     

  • Joshua Kuiper '18

    Assistant Language Teacher, JET Program

    Johnua Kuiper studied Japanese and English. “The relationships I made in Kanazawa—such as with my host family, local university students, and Shinto priests—reminded me of why I began to study Japanese: to connect with the ideas and emotions of a country I have found fascinating since I was a child. On reflection, I find that my studies helped me examine my goals, encouraging me to ask myself, ‘What do I care about? What do I want to do?’”

  • James Moynihan '73

    Director of Intellectual Property, Louis Vuitton Japan

    “English is the spoken tongue throughout the world, but it pays great dividends for you if you make a sincere effort to study and use the language.” said James Moynihan, history major and Japanese minor. “It was most beneficial (to me) and I highly recommend it, and obviously it’s had a very, very positive effect upon my career.”

    Moynihan is the director of Louis Vuitton Japan’s intellectual property department, based in the company’s Tokyo offices. He formerly served as a legal attache for the FBI at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. At Notre Dame, Moynihan majored in history with a minor in Japanese and studied in Japan during his junior year. Watch his video.

  • Christopher Broughton '14

    Business Intelligence Engineer, Amazon Japan

    "The experience of the summer study abroad was great for me. I learned so much and got to be a part of a completely different culture for quite a long time. I brought back an excitement towards learning more of the language as well as a desire to once again become part of that culture," said Christopher Broughton, who majored in Japanese and physics at Notre Dame.

    He went on to earn a master's in East Asian studies–Japanese History at Columbia University and worked for Amazon in Seattle before taking a job in the company's Tokyo office in 2019. 

     

  • Il-Jee Kam '13

    Intercultural Ambassador

    "Learning Japanese has given me an opportunity to engage in a culture with a new perspective– a more mature and intellectual one. It has given me the ability to reflect on how I have developed in terms of my cultural identity, ability to acculturate and engage in a foreign environment. It's also made me realize the importance of global awareness, of study abroad, and of living the experiences you discover." Il-Jee Kam majored in sociology and psychology and minored in Japanese.

100% of recent Notre Dame Japanese majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, joined the military, or launched independent projects within six months of graduation.

47.5% find full-time jobs

  • Associate, PwC
  • Assurance staff, Ernst & Young
  • Auditor, KPMG
  • Business management associate, General Mills
  • Campaign manager, Virginia state delegate
  • Consulting assistant, Chicago Tokyo Group
  • Data editor, Netprospex
  • Economic analyst, China Policy
  • English teacher, Shimon Private School, Japan
  • Intelligence officer, U.S. Air Force
  • Japan Exchange and Teaching Program
  • Legal assistant, Milstein Adelman
  • Production assistant, Leviathan Design
  • Software development engineer, Amazon
  • Sourcing analyst, Target
  • Specifications coordinator, McMaster-Carr
  • Tax associated, Deloitte
  • Yield management analyst, US Airways

34.5% go to graduate or professional school

  • Accountancy: New York University
  • Asian studies: UCLA
  • International relations: Johns Hopkins University
  • Japanese: Inter-University Center, Japan; University of Massachusetts
  • Japanese literature: Columbia University
  • Law: Washington and Lee University
  • Library science: Indiana University

8% enter service programs

  • Dominican Volunteers, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Match Education, Boston, Massachusetts

5% join the miliary

5% launch independent projects

Note: Outcomes data comes from First Destination reports, a survey of recent graduates conducted by the Notre Dame Center for Career Development and Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Status is known for more than 90% of each graduating class. 

Further Reading

Printable version