Plan for an International Job in Asia

Asia offers diverse employment opportunities for professionals and "slow travelers" alike, and you can find out most of what you need on the Internet, from overseas jobs in Asia to advice on how to live abroad.

Asia Employment Outlook

There are over fifty countries in Asia each with very diverse economies, industries and labor markets. Unemployment rates currently range from 5.7% in Japan to 60% in Tajikistan.

Many countries in Asia are welcoming to foreign workers. For example, Japan often has opportunities in education and business. The Japanese also look for export opportunities, so they are also interested in export entrepreneurs. Other countries, due to instability and corruption, are not as welcoming to foreign workers.

Though teaching English as a Foreign Language is a great career option to start making international contacts, there are more professional opportunities than that in Asia. Singapore is a hotbed for biotech; China is interested in business and marketing and post-secondary education opportunities; India would accept telecommunications workers and programmers; and engineers, scientists and agronomists are in style all over Asia.

Overseas Jobs

If you are about to graduate or are a recent graduate, take advantage of government programs like the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) or English Program in Korea (EPIK). Government programs are usually well-established and have good reputations, even amongst employers in the US who will recognize the more well-known organizations. When researching government programs, begin your search at your campus career center or on the government website. You can often get a great deal of free information from the program, as well as assistance with work permits and setting up a bank account if you are hired. Some of these programs can be extended beyond the initial first year and will allow you to explore different parts of the country.

You can use an international vertical search engine like Careerjet. A vertical search engine harvests jobs from local employers, job boards and newspapers and focuses them in one location. You can usually click on the links and access the job posting directly, which will simplify your search. These search engines will also sometimes offer maps and salary information to assist in your research. If you already speak the local language, you can also try the multilingual search in Careerjet and turn up more job postings than with an English only search.


You will need a passport for all travel to Asia, as well as a traveler/ work visa depending on the country that you are traveling to. If you are applying through a government program or have found an American company with offices overseas, they will usually help you with getting your work permits, setting up a back account, housing and language lessons.


If your employer doesn't supply housing, you can find an apartment before going overseas. You can begin by looking for referrals on your alumni association website. AsiaXPat has real estate listings for fifteen Asian countries. ExpatExchange has some limited listings for international housing. If you own your own home, you may consider a home exchange with another professional from Asia. Temporary housing in an international hostel is always an option while you scan the local resources for an apartment or room to rent.

If you don't know where to work and live in Asia, it is a good idea to look for connections amongst friends that have traveled overseas or within your alumni network.