Vocational schools are counted as institutions of higher education in Japan, just like universities. However, vocational schools in Japan are institutions that teach specific skills and abilities that are directly needed in the professional world.
In addition, students are usually admitted to vocational schools after graduating from junior high school in order to train them to become budding engineers or professionals at their young age..
Most vocational schools in Japan offer training programs for 2, 3 or 4 years, depending on the characteristics of the field you want to work in.
Upon completion of each program, each graduate receives a diploma or associate degree for a study period of 2-3 years and an advanced vocational degree if the study period extends beyond that.
Each graduate with a diploma also has the option to continue their education in the 3rd year of study in Universities or to pursue postgraduate education if they have completed a course of study equivalent to the undergraduate degree at their vocational school, such as by passing an advanced course and acquire bachelor degree (this recognition or equalization usually held by NIAD・QE, you need to pass the exam to get this bachelor degree from the vocational school or college).
In addition, each graduate who want to pursue Master degree, must comply with the enrollment and admission requirements that apply to graduates of that vocational school (usually more specific like you need to show your bachelor degree certificate released by NIAD・QE) at any institution of higher education that he or she wishes to attend.
Vocational schools in Japan currently offer 8 different specialties, including industry, agriculture, medicine, hygiene, education or social work, commerce, clothing or home economics, and even culture.
In addition, if you want to extend your research regarding vocational schools in Japan, please click the following button and read our articles about other vocational schools in held by big company as well as corporation in Japan.
Now, we are super happy to help you choose a vocational school that suits your interests, talents or future career.
Therefore, in this article, as the first overview, we would like to introduce you to the 10 Most Famous Vocational Schools we have selected throughout Japan. They all specialize in specific career fields and are known for their high average hiring rates. This means that the reception of graduates in industry or similar fields is very good.
And do not worry, all the schools we selected are very helpful and accept foreign students. However, if you want your learning process to be smoother, then learning Japanese is a must and will surely be a great plus point for you.
If you want to study, work and make a career in Japan, consider graduating from one of the following most popular vocational schools in Japan!
Below are the lists you need! Do not forget to leave your questions, feedback, or suggestions about our article in the comment column below! Okay, let’s get started!
- 1. Tokyo Metropolitan College of Industrial Technology
- 2. Tokyo Design Technology Center
- 3. Hokkaido High-Technology College
- 4. Yokohama System Engineering
- 5. Osaka Institute of Tourism
- 6. Osaka Designer’s College
- 7. The Academy of Hospitality
- 8. Mode Gakuen Nagoya
- 9. Fukuoka College of Design and Technology
- 10. IT College Okinawa
1. Tokyo Metropolitan College of Industrial Technology
Since its establishment in 1962, Tokyo Metropolitan College of Industrial Technology (TMCIT) or 東京都立産業技術高等専門学校 has played a prominent role in preparing and training engineers who have outstanding skills for Japanese industry in the fields of science, engineering and technology.
TMCIT focuses on training manufacturing professionals, contributing to the development of industry and providing solutions to problems in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Generally, there are 2 types of courses offered by this public campus; Regular Course and Advanced Course.
1.1 Regular Courses
The regular degree programs offer a special curriculum “Monozukuri Engineering (ものづくり工学科 – 本科)” or manufacturing specialist for a period of 5 years. In the first year you will be taught the basics of manufacturing techniques.
Choosing this course, you will have the opportunity to explore various fundamentals in machinery, electricity and information to support the scientific development of technology. This regular department offer various specialized programs, as follows:
|Shinagawa Campus||Arakawa Campus|
|1. Mechanical Systems Engineering||1. Information and Telecommunication Engineering|
|2. Production Systems Engineering||2. Robotics|
|3. AI and Smart Engineering Program||3. Aerospace Engineering|
|4. Electrical and Electronics Engineering||4. Medical and Welfare Engineering|
|5. Electronics and Information Engineering|
|6. Information Systems Engineering|
These specialized programs are offered in the 2nd through 5th years of study. Graduates of this 5-year program receive a diploma or associate degree. In addition to the regular degree programs, there is also cooperative education in mechanical medicine and various research projects in aviation and medicine.
1.2 Advanced Course
After completion of the regular 5-year program, there is also a 2-year advanced course engineering program whose graduates earn a bachelor’s degree. The focus of this advanced course program is Creative Engineering. Graduates of this program can work or pursue graduate school studies at university. Specifically for this advanced course, there are 4 programs as follows:
|Advanced Course Program||Details|
|1. Mechanical Engineering||Learn structure material science, aerodynamics, applied mechanics, etc.|
|2. Electrical and Electronics Engineering||Learn modern control engineering, Integrated circuitry, sensor, etc.|
|3. Computer Science||Learn information mathematics, data structure, AI, etc.|
|4. Aerospace Engineering (Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering)||Learn the dynamics of viscous fluid, space science, aviation promotion, aerospace apparatus, etc.|
In addition, if you continue your studies in the advanced course, you will get the precious opportunity to do internships in various prestigious companies in Tokyo for 2 weeks during the summer vacation.
For those of you who really want to make a career and work directly in technology companies, information and even healthcare sectors in Tokyo and various other cities in Japan, choosing this advanced course program can be your path.
2. Tokyo Design Technology Center
Due to the massive development of technology in the fields of AI, IT, anime and even games, here I need to rank the Tokyo Design Technology Center (TECH.C.Tokyo) or 東京デザインテクノロジーセンター専門学校 as the 2nd place among the other professional schools you should also consider.
If you want to be a future creator who plays a big role in today’s powerful digital industry, TECH.C Tokyo is the place you are looking for.
Certified by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, this school trains your ability to grasp technology, communication and three fundamental aspects of the critical thinking: creativity, innovation and leadership.
2.1 Timeline Study & Course
The studies you will complete when you become part of TECH.C Tokyo are divided into 4 stages:
- In the first year, you will learn basic skills as a creative or technical engineer and start to participate in solving problems of a project of a renowned company.
- Learn practical skills and concrete applications by collaborating through internship programs in companies to gain industry training and work experience.
- Deepening skills to become specialists in the chosen field, practice presentation and communication skills in the industry.
- Debut your career and win the job you have always dreamed of.
This vocational school divides its degree programs into several specialties with a study duration of 4 or 3 years. What interesting majors might you be interested in? Check out the list below:
|1. Games||1. Super Game Creator (4 years)|
2. Game Programmer (3 years)
3. Game Planning & Scenario (3 years)
4. Game CG Design (3 years)
5. Game Character Designer (3 years)
|2. esports||1. esports Professional Manager (4 years)|
2. esports Professional Gamer (3 years)
|3. AI & IT||1. Super AI Creator (4 years)|
2. Super IT Engineer (4 years)
3. Space Technology (4 years)
4. Smartcity Technology (4 years)
5. Programmer (3 years)
6. Web Creator (3 years)
|4. Robot||1. Robot & AI Engineer (4 years)|
2. Robot (3 years)
|5. Illustration & Anime||1. Scenario & Content Planning (4 years)|
2. General Animation (3 years)
3. Comic Illustration (3 years)
|6. CG & Movie||1. Super CG Creator (4 years)|
2. Super Digital Media (4 years)
3. Medical CG Illustrator (4 years)
4. CG lmage Creator (3 years)
Not only to have the opportunity to learn professionally from leading companies, experience and understand the industry first hand, further improve your Japanese language skills, even do internships and receive very intensive mentoring to find the best career, you can even choose 2 majors at once (a very rare opportunity) with no additional tuition fees.
3. Hokkaido High-Technology College
Since its establishment on September 1987 to date, Hokkaido High Technology College (北海道ハイテクノロジー専門学校) has successfully sent more than 11,000 of its best graduates to the forefront of various industries. All areas of the college – curriculum, instructional materials, faculty, staff, and college facilities – will support you from pre-registration through graduation to help you achieve your dreams.
Hokkaido High Technology College is part of the Jikei Gakuen Group (滋慶学園グループ), which includes 70 national vocational schools throughout Japan.
3.1 Educational Philosophy & Course
The 3 fundamental aspects of the college’s education are:
- Practical Education, which provides vocational schools that are directly useful in the industrial field.
- International Education, which trains attitudes and sensitivities as independent members of the global community.
- Also, Human Education, which educates students to have a broad perspective on life, mutual respect for different values and cultures.
️Currently, Hokkaido High Technology College has 15 specializations divided into 4 different fields as follows:
|Fields||Department / Major / Course|
|1. Space and Robotics||(1) Department of Space and Robotics (3 years)|
|2. AI||(1) Department of AI Smart Agriculture (3 years)|
|3. IT Media||(1) Department of AI Smart Agriculture (3 years)|
(2) esports (3 years)
(3) Game Creator (3 years)
(4) Drone (3 years)
(5) Design/CG (3 years)
(6) Programmer (3 years)
(7) AI (3 years)
(8) White hacker (3 years)
(9) Data Analyst
|4. Medical||(1) Emergency and Life Saving Sciences|
|5. Sports||(1) Judo Therapist (3 years)|
(2) Acupuncturist(3 years)
By joining this college, you can learn directly from various professors who have had illustrious careers in the world of research and academia, work in leading companies, and contribute to society – a truly glorious opportunity.
4. Yokohama System Engineering
Yokohama System Engineering (YSE) / 横浜システム工学院専門学校 was established in February 1979 and was one of the pioneers in establishing a vocational institution that provided information technology education in Kanagawa Prefecture to meet the challenges of technological development at that time.
YSE is keen on training professional, independent and highly skilled workforce. There are various collaborations with technology companies.
YSE graduates have become part of the industry and society at large, contributing fully to various information technology developments in Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo, Yokohama and many other cities in Japan.
4.1 Educational Philosophy & Course
The YSE follows three educational philosophies, namely immutability, flexibility, and autonomous education. The YSE plays an active role in offering flexible, creative education to develop independent, ethical, and qualified human resources who can respond to the challenges of the times.
Currently, YSE has 5 departments specifically designed to train young people to become professionals ready to contribute to the various fields of the information technology industry in Japan:
|1. IT/Game Software||2 years course with 100% job offers (as of March 2022), choose this if you aspire programmer, system engineer, network engineer, IT manager|
|2. AI/Data Science||2 years course with 100% job offers (as of March 2022), choose this course if you want to become an AI service or analysis engineer, AI development programmer or engineer.|
|3. Global IT Systems||2 years course, choose this if you are looking for programmer, system engineer, system engineer, etc. [For Internationals]|
|4. IT License Course (correspondence system)||2 years course|
|5. Global IT Business||2-year course, choose this one if you have the goal to be the shop or web shop or office worker. [For Internationals]|
In addition, 2 departments are available especially for international students, “Global IT Business Department” and “Global IT System Department“.
After only 2 years of study, you may already have various qualifications and skills needed in different fields. Your application to this school could be one of your opportunities!
5. Osaka Institute of Tourism
Originally, the institute was founded in 1985 under the name Osaka Business College Senmon Gakko (大阪ビジネスカレッジ専門学校) to date very well-known as the Osaka Institute of Tourism (大阪観光専門学校) with the aim of providing specialized training for professionals needed in the tourism industry.
5.1 Departments and Courses
The institute has since expanded to include various fields with at least 12 specializations. The college has been officially recognized as a vocational school in Kansai area since February 2016.
Further, this vocational school has various specialized in tourism and bridal fashion. What specialties are offered and can be studied at this prestigious institute? Please read the following list.
|Departments||Details of the Course in Osaka Institute of Tourism|
|1. Railway Service||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Railway service course
(2) Specialized course for railway employment
(3) Specialized railway employment language course
(4) Railway maintenance course
|2. Bridal||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Wedding planner course
(2) Dress stylist course
(3) Bridal flower course
(4) Bridle study abroad course
|3. Beauty||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Hair-make course
(2) Bridal stylist course
(3) Esthetic course
(4) Total beauty adviser course
|4. Hotel||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Hotel course
(2) Foreign-owned hotel course
(3) Hotel front course
(4) Resort & theme park hotel course
|5. Travel||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Travel course
(2) Tour conductor course
(3) Tour planner course
(4) Travel counter course
|6. Airline||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Cabin attendant course
(2) Ground staff course
(3) Ground handling course
|7. Global Language||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Comprehensive english course
(2) English & Chinese course
(3) English & Korean course
(4) English study abroad course (with 4 months overseas trip)
|8. Korean Language||2 years course with 3 specializations:|
(1) Korean course
(2) Korean study abroad course
(3) Korean university transfer course
|9. Funeral Director||2 years course with 2 specializations:|
(1) Funeral director course
(2) Memoriam flower course
|10. Tourism Business||2 years course where the students can freely choose the classes of the course regarding splendid services and hospitality their wish from all departments of this comprehensive tourism school.|
|11. IT Tourism||2 years course where you can study leading services and IT technology, SNS as well as movie creating skill, also the other needs for the splendid IT Tourism field.|
|12. Study Abroad||2 years course for 4 specializations:|
(1) Bridal study abroad
(2) Hotel study abroad
(3) Travel study abroad
(4) Language study abroad (Korean & Global Language)
To date has no less than 10,000 graduates working in various leading tourism industries throughout Japan under the big education institution, the Adachi Gakuen Group (Adachi 学園グループ). This institute ranks first among the top 8 vocational schools for tourism and brides in Osaka Prefecture.
Surely, If you want to do vocational training in Osaka with a focus on tourism and foreign language will immersing with the Japanese culture and language at once, you must put this school on your bucket list!
6. Osaka Designer’s College
The second vocational school, which is also part of the Adachi Gakuen Group (Adachi 学園グループ), is Osaka Designer College / 大阪デザイナー専門学校. We chose this school because it has very unique and diverse departments and specializations in design that are rarely found.
In addition, this school is also very popular with international students from various countries such as England, France, Portugal, Colombia, Singapore, several ASEAN countries and many others. Surely, you will also receive the best support from teachers to help you during your studies and determine your career during the 2 years of study.
6.1 Department and Courses
Then, what design specialties can you choose at this vocational school? Check out the list below.
|1. Animation||2 years course with 2 specializations:|
(1) Animator course
(2) Animation creating and directing course
|2. Illustration||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Illustration course
(2) Artist course
(3) Character illustration course
(4) Picture book author course
|3. Interior Coordination||2 years course with 3 specializations:|
(1) Interior coordination course
(2) Shop display course
(3) Shop adviser course
|4. Interior Design||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Interior design course
(2) Shop design course
(3) Home design course
(4) Hotel design course
|5. Graphic Design||2 years course with 7 specializations:|
(1) Graphic design course
(2) Graphic art course
(3) Advertising design course
(4) Package design course
(5) Magazine editing and book design
(6) Web design course
(7) Motion graphics design
|6. Game/CG||2 years course with 4 specializations:|
(1) Game illustration course
(2) Game modeling course
(3) Game design course
(4) CG Animation course
|7. Comic Illustration||2 years course with 3 specializations:|
(1) Comic illustration course
(2) Digital illustration course
(3) Digital artist course
|8. Special Makeup||2 years course with 2 specializations:|
(1) Special makeup course
(2) Special modeling makeup
|9. Fashion Design||2 years course with 3 specializations:|
(1) Fashion design course
(2) Costume design course
(3) Fashion miscellaneous goods design
|10. Figure Design||2 years course with 2 specializations:|
(1) Figure production course
(2) Doll production course
|11. Product Design||2 years course with 3 specializations:|
(1) Product design course
(2) Household goods design course
(3) Furniture design course
|12. Manga||2 years course with 2 specializations:|
(1) Manga production course
(2) Manga original & light novel course
|13. “Further Refines” Research||2 years research with 10 course/topics:|
(1) Graphic design course
(2) Illustration course
(3) Multimedia course: animation
(4) Multimedia course: game design
(5) Manga course: story manga
(6) Manga course: comic illustration
(7) Interior design course
(8) Product design course
(9) Fashion design course
(10) Special makeup course
Attending this school will give you the opportunity to meet more than 1000 leaders in the field of design, fully learn and practice the Japanese language, as well as various other very interesting information and cultural exchange activities.
If you’re looking for the best design professional school in Osaka, Osaka Designer College is worth considering!
7. The Academy of Hospitality
The Academy of Hospitality is an academy with a history of nearly a century and is managed by Taiwa Gakuen Education Incorporation (学校法人 大和学園), one of the leading professional schools in Kyoto. The Academy has 4 schools spread over different areas in Kyoto.
It has successfully trained and produced many professionals in the fields of nutrition, healthcare, cooking, baking, food education, hospitality, bridal fashion and even tourism. Each school offers different types of specialized programs depending on your interests, talents, and desired career path.
7.1 School Programs
In addition, the Academy has prepared special scholarships especially for international students to support you life while studying in Kyoto. See the list below for more information about the subjects offered at each school.
|1. Kyoto Culinary Art College||(1) Advanced Japanese Cuisine Program for 2 years |
(2) Advanced French/Western Cuisine Program for 2 years
(3) Advanced Italian/Western Cuisine Program for 2 years
(4) Culinary Program (1 year)
|2. Kyoto Pastry & Bakery Art College||(1) Advanced Japanese Confections Program for 2 years|
(2) Advanced Patisserie/Chocolatier Program for 2 years
(3) Advanced Café Confections Program for 2 years
(4) Advanced Bread Program for 2 years
(5) Confectionery Arts Program for 1 year
|3. Kyoto College of Hotel, Tourism & Bridal Management||(1) Hotel Program for 2 years|
(2) Travel Program for 2 years
(3) Bridal Program for 2 years
(4) Hospitality Business Program [International students only]
|4. Kyoto College of Nutritional & Medical Sciences||(1) National Registered Dietician Program for 4 years|
(2) Dietician Program for 2 years
(3) Medical Officer Administration/Medical Secretary Program for 2 years
(4) Health Information Manager Program for 3 years
Specifically for prospective international students interested in attending one of these schools, there is a hospitality business program where you will learn first-hand about domestic and international hospitality, business methods, Japanese language and culture in Kyoto, one of Japan’s leading tourist cities.
During your studies, you can participate in various multicultural activities – this is truly an opportunity you will not get anywhere else.
8. Mode Gakuen Nagoya
Under the motto “From zero to professional,” this vocational school has existed for more than half a century, in Nagoya since 1966. In addition to Nagoya, Mode Gakuen also has schools in Tokyo and Osaka and even has a school in Paris called Mode Gakuen Paris School (モード学園パリ校) and is now one of the largest vocational schools in makeup, fashion, fashion and design in Japan.
Currently, at least 4,700 students study at Mode Gakuen and explore skills in various fields such as fashion, design, business, stylists, graphics and many more.
8.1 Departments & Courses
Graduates of this school have contributed greatly to the national and international fashion and design industry and have even won various prestigious awards. To know more what courses you can take at Mode Gakuen Nagoya, please see the list below:
|1. Fashion Design Advanced Diploma Course||A four-year integrated course|
|2. Comprehensive Basic + Specialized Course|
(1) Fashion Design (3 years)
(2) Fashion Technology (3 years)
(3) Fashion Business (2 years)
(4) Stylist (2 years)
(5) Makeup and Nail (2 years)
(6) Comprehensive Basics (2 years)
|3. 3-year Integrated Course|
|4. Study Abroad Paris Course||1 year – day time|
|5. Beautician “National Qualification Pass Guarantee System” Target Course|
(1) Hair and Makeup Artist (3 years)
(2) Cosmetology (2 years)
(3) Cosmetology Correspondence Course (3 years)
|6. Night Course|
(1) Professional Direct Course (2 or 3 years)
(2) Career Advancement Course (1~3 years)
(3) Short-term skill improvement course (3~6 months)
(4) Evening course for adults and university students (4 months~3 years)
Interestingly, Mode Gakuen also offers classes that are held at night, especially for those of you who work elsewhere or even go to school during the day.
By becoming a part of this prestigious school, you can learn the latest techniques from around the world, because from fashion Gakuen come many reliable designers who play an active role in the advancement of the fashion and design industry in the world.
After you graduate, you will get a diploma or advanced diploma depending on how long you studied, and that is your ticket to easily get a job in Japan.
9. Fukuoka College of Design and Technology
If you want to study IT but in a city that is cheaper than Tokyo, then Fukuoka College of Design and Technology (TECH.C. Fukuoka) / 福岡デザイン&テクノロジー専門学校 might be the right choice.
Since stablished in 1996 to date, TECH.C.Fukuoka maintains professional partnerships with more than 1,300 companies and has produced at least 5,000 professional graduates who are actively involved in various projects in the industrial and academic fields to promote information and technology in Japan.
9.1 Programs and Majors
TECH.C.Fukuoka is also part of the Jikei Gakuen Group (滋慶学園グループ), which has contributed greatly to the establishment of professional educational institutions throughout Japan. Then, what areas can you learn about at TECH.C.Fukuoka? In this school there are 17 majors divided into 6 main programs as follows:
|Programs & Major||Details|
|1. The World of Cutting-Edge Technology|
(1) AI Engineering Major(4-year Course)
(2) AI Robotics Major(4-year Course)
|Learn various skills related to programming, AI, and IT technology.|
|2. Social Media World|
(1) Fashion and e-Commerce Major(4-year Course)
|Develop skilled personnel who can optimize product sales and track market trends.|
|3. Game World|
(1) Cloud Gaming Major(4-year Course)
(2) Super Game Creator Major (4-year Course)
(3) Game Graphic Designer Major
(4) Game Programmer Major
(5) Game Planner Major
|Create superior gaming products that can excite the whole world.|
|4. e-sports World|
(1) e-sports Management Major (4-year Course)
(2) e-sports Professional Gamer Major
(3) e-sports Event Staff Major
|Learn all the basic e-sports skills and become a professional gamer.|
|5. CG World|
(1) Super CG and Digital Image Creation Major (4-year Course)
(2) CG Creator Major
|Learn the latest VR and AR techniques to become the world’s leading animator and CG creator.|
|6. Pop Culture World|
(1) Novel and Scenario Writing Major(4-year Course)
(2) Comic Illustrator & Character Design Major
(3) Manga (Japanese Comics) Major
(4) Animation Major
|Master the basics of design, engineering, industrial knowledge and various basic preparations to become a professional.|
Attending this school will open your knowledge horizons and give you the opportunity to meet more than 130 leading companies and receive intensive help in finding the right career – what a wonderful opportunity!
10. IT College Okinawa
For those who want to live and study in Japan but prefer a subtropical climate, Okinawa may be the best choice. In addition, the cost of living in Okinawa is very affordable compared to Tokyo, with safe and comfortable facilities.
IT College Okinawa is the last choice for a professional school we recommend here because of its excellent reputation in the international community and its desire to study both Japanese and global business.
10.1 Study Programs
Then, what fields can you study at this school? Please read the list below:
|1. Cyber Security||Opt for this course if you want to become a white hat hacker, an IT expert who can work in various well-known national and international companies.|
|2. IT Specialist||Opt for this profession if you are interested in smartphones, websites, computer system designers, games and innovative products IT.|
|3. Game Creator||Choose this profession if you like games, 3D CG, character design, creating applications, music and the latest gaming products.|
|4. For Internationals|
(1) Japanese Business Course
(2) Global Business Course
|A special course for international students who want to study business in just 2 years, even with a scholarship of 48,000 JPY/month and many other supports.|
|5. IT Engineer (Night Time)||Choose this program if you want to master IT to find various prestigious jobs in the IT industry and classes you can take at night.|
In addition, choosing this school paves the way for obtaining professional qualifications to work in business, or you can also continue your education in the third year at the university you wish to attend.
Last but not least, I would like to conclude this article with some points about the 10 most famous vocational schools in Japan, as follows:
- If you are looking for the best vocational schools in Tokyo, the 2 vocational schools above: Tokyo Metropolitan College of Industrial Technology or Tokyo Design Technology Center could be your choice.
- If you are looking for a school of business, tourism and design in the Osaka, then choosing from the 2 professional schools above: Osaka Institute of Tourism or Osaka Designer’s College could be a very great choice.
- If you are looking for a vocational school in an area where the cost of living is relatively low compared to Tokyo or Osaka, then choosing a vocational school we have shared above in Kyoto, Nagoya, Yokohama or even Okinawa may be the wisest decision.
Each school has its own advantages and strengths. Please re-examine your interests and talents, your financial capabilities, and also the type of degree you want to pursue. Whether you want to work directly or pursue a higher level, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a university, or whether you want to pursue a professional career in industry directly, please choose what suits you best.
We wish you much success and that you find the best vocational school for your future! See you in the next article!