If you enjoy watching Japanese anime or listening to J-pop, you might be interested in learning the Japanese language as well. Furthermore, if you intend to use Japanese in business or engineering, you may also consider a double major. To get an idea about the labor-market demand and wages for the different careers you might pursue with a degree in Japanese, access the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Websites such as degreedirectory.org can help you search Japanese degree programs and colleges. When you research online programs, check if the school offers adequate online language lab resources. Other aspects to consider include the accreditation of the program and the possibility to study abroad through the online program. For example, you can study in Japan through university exchange programs or through intensive courses of Japanese-government funded programs -- embassy or university recommended.
As an undergraduate student, your focus will be on developing your reading, writing and conversation skills in Japanese. You also may choose electives such as Japanese literature, art, philosophy, history or classic film. This degree seeks to provide a high level of language comprehension and understanding of the Japanese culture. Some bachelor's programs require a basic understanding of the language, while others start from scratch.
If you decide to further your education in Japanese, you may choose to enroll for a master’s online degree program. This degree may be particularly useful if you prefer a professional career in business or engineering technology. For example, the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a distance education Master of Engineering in Technical Japanese. Students learn the technical jargon in Japanese to be able to communicate and cooperate with Japanese-speaking engineers.
A doctorate in Japanese requires an even higher level of specialization, such as sociolinguistics, contemporary literature or East Asian art. These programs entail research, completion of a dissertation on the chosen topic and a final examination. Admission requirements usually include a master’s degree in Japanese and passing a Japanese language proficiency test. Some programs also entail the study of another East Asian language.
Depending on the degree you pursue, you may be able to find employment in fields as varied as teaching, business, tourism/hospitality, translation/interpreting or government jobs in customs or immigration. For example, if you achieve a bachelor's in Japanese, you can teach students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Postsecondary teaching positions entail a master's or a Ph.D. Also, a bachelor’s graduate can work as a customs inspector, while a master’s graduate can become a consular officer.