Updated February 5, 2024
Top Companies Offering Skill Development Support in Japan [2024 Guide]
Finding a good company to work for can be challenging.
The perils of job hunting aside, there’s so much to consider. Sometimes, you don’t know if you’re getting a good deal or setting yourself up for disaster (see my post on "black companies" in Japan).
Skill support can come in many forms, such as covering the cost of books and learning materials, organizing events, or supporting employees to attend external job-related events. Some companies even go as far as to support employees getting Ph.D. degrees.
Without further ado, here are some of the best companies in Japan that have top-tier skill development programs and support systems.
An Artificial Intelligence-based startup, ExaWizards focuses on issues across a wide variety of industries, including HR, finance, and medicine. The company offers original, tailor-made projects created from scratch, or builds upon existing systems and delivers solutions as SaaS products.
ExaWizards provides a fairly well-rounded employee skill support program. This includes supporting employees who are Ph.D. students to attend classes once a week during the weekdays, as well as providing financial support of up to 2,000,000 yen until graduation.
The company also covers the costs of all books and independent learning materials as long as they’re related to the job.
In addition, ExaWizards provides an in-house training program more than once a week during work hours where a recently published relevant research paper is analyzed or a guest expert speaks.
GLOBIS is a company with a wide range of activities that include education, venture capital, and even corporate training. The company also owns and operates the GLOBIS University, which is the largest business school in Japan.
The company supports the development of its employees and offers support for participating in seminars and conferences. In fact, the company covers all of the costs of external training programs taken for the purpose of developing skills related to the job. The e-learning service by GLOBIS is also open to employees wanting to learn more about business.
Needless to say, the company also partially covers the tuition fees of employees enrolled in programs at GLOBIS University.
Lastly, GLOBIS provides employees with skill development training of its own called Technovate, where employees are trained on the concept of problem-solving using computers.
Cybozu develops software solutions that promote and assist teamwork. The company’s products, which include office software and mail service, are used by over 115,000 companies worldwide.
The company cares deeply about the development of its employees and offers support accordingly. Cybozu Academia is Cybozu’s dedicated learning platform where employees can access study sessions, related material, as well as documentation regarding past events and sessions.
What’s more, the company also covers the language learning costs of foreign employees. This includes buying Japanese books and educational material, as well as attending online language courses and exams, which are all covered under the company’s skill support program.
In addition to these, Cybozu also covers the cost of job-related books and other educational materials.
Tailor is a tech startup founded in 2021 that provides backend platforms for the operations of large companies. Their products allow companies to build internal tools tailored to their specific needs much faster than their competitors.
This is another company that values the skill development of its employees and provides them with a great skill development package.
For one, the company actively supports learning and provides subsidies for attending paid seminars. Technical or business-related books that support the development of employees are also fully covered by the company.
The company doesn’t just cover the costs, but actively encourages employees to continue learning, so they even allow attending seminars and conferences on workdays.
Lastly, in-house study sessions are also available for employees wanting to develop their knowledge and skills further.
Established in 2017, Flatt Security develops digital security services and products. The startup aims to provide a safety net for developers by allowing them to program freely without safety concerns that come with running long lines of code on networks that run on multiple, sometimes unreliable devices.
The skill support provided by Flatt Security is unique, as employees get access to the company’s Secure Coding Learning Support, a platform that includes vital material about programming security.
Employees can also choose to get relevant qualifications that will help their jobs. The company provides up to two hours of study time daily during work hours and covers the costs necessary to obtain the qualification.
What’s more, the company supports employees in learning foreign languages that may be helpful for their job, and allows up to two hours of language study time daily during work hours.
On top of all that, Flatt Security covers the costs of all books that are related to work and employees have access to all books that are already purchased by other employees as well.
Synspective is a space-focused startup that was founded in 2018. The company produces its very own synthetic aperture radar satellite and provides satellite data-based solutions to businesses.
The company wants their employees to be able to develop their skills freely and provides support for attending conferences and seminars that are relevant to their jobs.
What’s more, Synspective also holds SynsForum for the development of its employees. This is an internal conference where representatives from each team present the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned in a certain project.
This regularly held event is aimed at accelerating the learning process of all employees by spreading the wisdom and experience of individuals to the whole company.
Rakuten is a multimedia giant that needs no introduction. With over 70 subsidiaries spanning multiple industries, the conglomerate is a global powerhouse.
In order to live up to its legacy, the company puts employee development first and has a career development department of its own. With multiple programs like global leadership training and grade-based training, the company offers plenty of options for employees to develop their skills and strengthen their roles at the company.
In addition to these skill-based training programs, the company also offers language learning support in the form of language courses.
Established in 2018, Accredify is a Singapore-based company that focuses on solutions regarding the verifiability of data and documents in the digital age. The company’s cloud-based system allows document verification by utilizing blockchain technology.
Accredify wants its employees to continue learning and obtain relevant skills that will help their career development. For this purpose, the company regularly holds workshops for a hands-on learning experience, which not only helps employees learn new skills but keeps their previously obtained skills fresh as well.
In addition, Accredify also has an internal mentorship system that allows each member of a project’s team to be equally as involved, with quarterly check-ins to ensure all employees are benefiting from the mentorship in the best way possible.
Founded in San Francisco, Autify is a startup that offers an AI-based software test automation platform with the same name. Over 300 companies have used Autify’s platform since its launch in 2019 to expedite their software development processes.
The company supports their employees in continuing to develop their skills further, and even provides 10,000 yen monthly to all employees who want to improve themselves.
This support includes books purchased by employees who want to improve their work-related skills independently, as well as attending conferences that may be useful for the employer’s role at the company.
Nanameue is a startup that was established in 2013 as a Tokyo and Thailand-based company. Today, with a big presence in Japan and a large Tokyo office, the company provides the country’s most popular chat applications.
Nanameue wants its employees to improve themselves and develop new skills, so they cover the costs of books and learning materials that will contribute to their career development.
What’s more, the company also supports their employees in learning new languages and covers their language learning costs partially, which includes both courses and all learning materials.
Mercari is Japan’s first unicorn startup that’s also the creator of Japan’s biggest second-hand marketplace. Through the popular platform, users are able to sell their used items, as well as shop for other second-hand items.
Mercari doesn’t just support the career development of its employees but actually encourages them to become experts in their field. For this, the company has a special program called “Mercari R4D PhD Support Program” which supports employees obtaining doctorate degrees.
In addition, the company also provides books and learning materials for all employees wanting to improve their skills or adopt new ones they can use to branch out and become multifaceted professionals.
The company also actively supports language learning by providing language courses and covering the costs of learning materials.
Finally, other skill development opportunities at Mercari include the coverage of external training costs, as well as club activities for casual learning.
As it’s a subsidiary of Mercari, I should also note that Merpay, the finTech startup of the company, also offers the same benefits as its parent firm.
Established in 2012, Freee is a software company that delivers accounting solutions. Today, with over a million users, the company’s accounting software is by far the most used in Japan.
Free also values its employees’ professional growth and provides skill development support in various ways. For one, the company offers to cover up to 50,000 yen for each employee who wants to get external classes or qualifications to move closer toward their career goals.
In addition to this, Free also offers to cover the expenses of up to three books a month. What’s more, once an employer is done with a book, it goes to a common library at the company where all employees have access to it.
Lastly, the company’s growth support initiatives also allow employees to have one-on-one meetings with managers about their career development, which can be described as an open mentorship system.
Launched in 2017, NearMe is a ride-sharing service that offers daily commute and drop-off options, as well as airport transfers. The company also provides pick-ups or drop-offs for unique cases such as golf course commuting.
NearMe’s employee growth support comes mainly in the form of book support, as the company offers to cover the expenses of all books in the field you want to study. What’s more, the company also provides the participation fees of seminars employees want to attend.
Founded in 2022, Carnot is a software company that focuses on increasing productivity. Their products utilize the capabilities of large language models, or LLMs, to make carrying out daily tasks more efficient.
Carnot prioritizes its employee’s career development and offers support for attending conferences to improve themselves in their fields. In addition to this, the company also covers the book purchases of employees who want to study relevant topics that may be useful for their jobs.
Rapyuta Robotics is a startup that creates cloud-based robotics solutions. Established in 2014, the company is operational in Japan and India. Their platform, which is their main product, makes deploying robotics solutions a breeze, even without the expertise that’s usually needed.
The company approaches the issue of employee skill development from all fronts and provides support for employees wanting to attend conferences and seminars to improve their skills or learn new ones.
In addition, the company also provides book support and covers the cost of books purchased by employees. This not only includes books related to work but also those related to employee development in new fields that may help them reach their personal career goals.
Shippio is Japan’s first digital forwarding company and it was established in 2016. The company’s business focuses on digitalizing international trading, and its platform helps international trade processes go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Shippio is also among companies that value the growth of its employees and thus offers career growth opportunities in the form of seminar and conference participation support. What’s more, the company also covers the book expenses of employees developing new skills, or improving upon ones that are relevant for their jobs.
Shippio supports employees on their language learning journeys too, as the company provides support for online or in-class Japanese lessons.
A startup founded in 2017, Socious aims to utilize the power of communities to inspire social change. Through its community-based app, the company allows individuals to become part of social projects easily and effortlessly.
The company, while being the last on the list, tackles the employee development issue from all sides by taking a more open approach. Socious wants their employees to decide the level of resources they need to improve, and provides support accordingly without a limited budget.
In addition, the company also provides language learning support as it’s a vital skill to develop that can broaden employees’ horizons.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is up-to-date at the time the job openings were posted to Japan Dev by the featured companies. That said, please keep in mind that the merits of skill support provided by each company are subject to change over time.
To learn about the details of skills support provided by each of the companies presented, it’s recommended to ask the company directly during your interview process.
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