*(J) Written in Japanese

Professional training colleges

Basic Knowledge of Professional Training Colleges 03


MEXT divides the departments of professional training colleges into eight fields based on their educational content.

Note: Many departments have educational content that covers multiple fields. In some cases, departments with the same name may be in different fields depending on the schools.

Breakdown of Professional Training Colleges Enrollment Numbers by Field


Number of Departments By Course Length


1 / 2. Industry and Agriculture Field

In the industrial field, professional training colleges develop the individuals who support the core industries of Japan, including programmers and system engineers in the computer and IT industries, web designers and game software creators, engineers in the electronics, electrical, mechanical and robotics fields, architects, civil engineers, automotive technicians, and so on. Departments in the agriculture field cover subjects like biotechnology, which continues to advance at a tremendous pace, as well as gardening and the flower industry. These fields not only maintain the inherent value of “Made in Japan” as globalization advances, but are also expected to help create new industries.


3. Medical Field

Professional training colleges train a wide range of medical staff members, excluding doctors and dentists. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare designate many departments as training institutions. These departments offer curriculums that grant graduates the right to take exams for national qualifications. Since the majority of medical-related careers require a qualification, these careers provide higher lifelong employment stability than other career fields. Departments in which students can acquire qualifications for nursing (a field with chronic shortages) and rehabilitation (a job related to maintaining and improving the bodily functions of patients) continue to be especially popular.


4-1. Health and Hygiene Field
(Nutrition, Cooking, Confectionery)

Courses in this field develop the professionals of the food world. Nutritionists plan menus in the food industry and at facilities with food services, such as companies, hospitals and schools. Students can gain the qualifications they need to work as nutritionists by graduating from a two-year course. While it is possible to earn a qualification as a licensed cook or confectionery hygiene master in a one-year course, most courses are two years long. This allows students to master the fundamentals of the job through practical hands-on classes before going to work. Licensed cooks can work in the restaurant industry in a wide range of cuisines, including Japanese, Chinese, French and Italian. Those graduating from confectionary courses can work as pastry chefs making Japanese and Western sweets, as bakers or even as chocolatiers, who specialize in chocolate.


4-1. Health and Hygiene Field
(Hairdressing and Barbering)

These departments are primarily two-year courses that train nationally qualified hairdressers and barbers. In these programs, students gain a total understanding of beauty, including hair styling and makeup, nail and salon treatments, and much more. As demand in the beauty industry grows across all age groups and genders, the number of qualifications relevant to the beauty industry other than licensed hairdresser has increased. After graduation, students can work at barbershops, beauty parlors, hotels, wedding venues and more. You can become a full-fledged technician and gain a few years of experience as an assistant. Many people in this industry inherit their businesses from their parents. They often choose to attend professional training colleges to learn the managerial skills they will need.


5. Education and Social Welfare Field

Many departments prepare students for careers as kindergarten and nursery school teachers who work with children, as caregivers who care for the elderly and the disabled, as social workers who work in the welfare field and have broad knowledge and specialized skills, as psychiatric social workers who care for people with mental health problems, and so on. More assisted-living facilities and childcare facilities are being built to help alleviate waiting lists, so there is great demand for skilled specialists.


6. Commercial Practice Field

These departments provide students with a practical education that makes them immediate assets in a wide range of business fields. They offer a truly astounding range of curricula. In accounting and bookkeeping departments aimed at developing accounting specialists, students prepare to pass licensing exams like the tax accountant qualification exams and the bookkeeping test. In travel, tourism and other hotel industry-related departments, students master Japanese-style hospitality and service. In business departments, students gain a broad knowledge of business practices, including the use of IT and computers. Medical administration, trade affairs and transportation-related departments develop the professionals who lead these fields. There are also departments for students who wish to learn every aspect of a specific field, such as fashion, sundries, flowers or pets, from product development to sales.


7. Clothing and Homemaking Field

Professional training colleges have developed many designers who create some of the world’s top collections. In recent years, Tokyo street fashion trends have spread like wildfire through the Internet and captured the attention of people around the world. Japanese designers have received high praise for their precise, accurate skills as well as for their creative designs that know no cultural barriers. Professional training colleges offer departments covering the diverse range of fashion-related careers, from the designers, pattern makers and stylists who create the clothes to the merchandisers who handle the logistics. These departments allow students to gain a strong technical foundation and an unfettered sense of design.


8. Culture and Liberal Arts Field

The culture and liberal arts field covers all of the diverse departments that do not fit into other fields. These include art-related departments on design, art, photography, animation and manga; entertainment-related departments on video, broadcasting, music, acting, voice acting and dance; foreign-language departments such as English, Chinese and Korean; sports-related departments that focus on developing sports instructors; departments for pet-related careers that develop trimmers and veterinary nurses; and legal departments for individuals looking to take the public service exam. Art and entertainment-related departments at professional training colleges in Tokyo in particular have attracted students from around the country due to the high number of employment opportunities in the area.