Things you must know to work in Korea as a foreigner!

One of the most frequently asked questions from our students and alumni is “how can foreigners find non-teaching jobs in Korea, and is that even possible for people who don’t speak Korean?” If you are planning to come to Korea and build your career, here are some tips you don’t want to miss! 

Foreigner-Friendly Job Seeking Websites & Services

If you ask any Korean about job seeking websites, 90% of the chance you will receive answers like JobKorea and Saramin, which are the two most famous and largest platforms for Korean job seekers. However, as a foreigner, you may feel frustrated browsing these websites if you don’t understand Korean that well, and it is definitely a pain to complete all the application process in Korean. Also, you may find most of the job listings are asking for ‘Koreans only’ or they don’t sponsor working visas. 

Even though these websites have many job opportunities, they are designed for Koreans or Korean-speaking people who don’t need a visa sponsorship, so it can be difficult for a foreigner to find and get help from these websites.    

Fortunately, there are more and more international talents in Korea nowadays and many Korean companies or younger startups are willing to hire English-speaking talents. For example, JobBridge and JobpassKorea are both Korea-based English Job matching platforms for international job seekers, and they also provide many job training courses and visa consultation for foreigners. Also, Rocket Punch and Wanted are useful platforms where most of the companies are more international or actively looking for global talents. 

Choose the Right Ones

Many international job seekers have sent 100+ applications for jobs in Korea but receive no replies. What’s the issue? Have you thought that maybe you are aiming for the wrong industry or companies? 

Although it’s generally a good idea to send out your resume and to knock on all doors possible, sometimes, you have to filter out the jobs that don’t fit you. As a foreigner who speaks limited Korean, a good way to go about this issue is to ‘transform your weakness into your strength’. For example, if you keep finding the companies that only develop their business in the Korean Market, you probably won’t be able to compete head-to-head with Koreans. However, if you find the companies that are growing and expanding their business to overseas markets, your international background will actually become a big plus. 

It is important to combine your working skills with your international background, and choose the companies that need your specific talents. By doing some research on the hiring companies, you can save a lot of time in the job seeking process and increase your success rate as well. 

Build Your Portfolio for the ‘Right’ Visa

Visas are another important factor for foreigners when trying to get a non-teaching job in Korea. The most common visa type is an E7 specialist working visa. In most cases, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree + 1 year of working experience to apply for it. Also, there are requirements for the hosting companies as well. For example, the salary needs to be at least 80% of Korean GNI and the ratio of Korean nationals and foreign nationals in the company needs to be at least 5:1. 

Depending on your situation, you may get exempted from certain criterias.

Preferential Requirements:

ConditionEducation RequirementWorking Experience Requirement
Worked in Fortune Global 500 companyxx
Bachelor’s degree from QS world university ranking 200ox
Graduate from local community collegesox
Bachelor’s degree or higher from local universitiesThe occupation you are applying for should relate to your major studyx
Advanced science and tech sector & get recommendation from relevant ministriesxx

Once you find the right company that can sponsor your visa, you can start preparing for your E7 visa application. In this step, your sponsor (the hiring company) should help you with the applications since there are piles of documents required from the company to the immigration office. Also, the process can take up to weeks or even months, so it is recommended to apply for it as early as possible. 

If you have any questions about the visa, you can always call the Korean Immigration Contact Center (1345) for details.  

Korean Language Abilities 

Although Korean language abilities are not an absolute necessity when landing a job in Korea, knowing some Korean will definitely broaden your options of company and job positions. Even if you can’t speak fluent Korean, just by showing your employer your motivation in learning Korean can also be a good sign during the interview. 

One of the easiest ways to learn Korean is to sign up for a Korean Language Program in Korea. Most of the Korean universities provide language programs for foreigners, and they have a good teaching system for different levels of Korean learners. The tuition is around 1.2~2 million KRW per semester. Although they are slightly more expensive than other private Korean schools, the Korean universities can provide a student visa for you and most of them allow students to do part-time jobs after the second semester. Also, you can apply for a campus dormitory so you don’t have to worry about where to stay when you first arrive in Korea. 

At wcoding, we also provide Career Plus Package for people who want to learn IT and Korean at the same time.

Join Communities

If you find it difficult to get clear answers you need on the internet by yourself, why not join a community where people share their experiences and useful information together? Online communities such as Reddit (r/korea) and Facebook (Every Expat in Korea, Non-Teaching Job Seekers Korea) are good resources for any expats in Korea. 

At wcoding, we are also dedicated to building a community for foreigners, international students, and tech lovers in Korea. We also host free seminars, open classes and social events for international people in Korea, and you can find us on Meetup.

For people who are serious about launching careers in Korea, getting a non-teaching job in Korea, or interested in changing jobs into the IT industry, please feel free to contact us! We are more than happy to have a talk and give you some advice! 

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When you imagine your typical ‘programmer’, it’ll most likely be a tech dude (nerd/geek) that works all day in front of computers. The stereotype about coders has shaped them as antisocial ‘guys’ who probably only work in tech companies looking at their monitors all day. 

However, none of these images could truly reflect IT specialists anymore. Actually, there are lots of people who know how to code who don’t put their job titles as ‘programmer’ or ‘developer’. In a fast-changing and competitive world, even understanding the basics of programming can help you improve your work and benefit your career across different industries.

Here are seven reasons why learning coding will advance your career: 

1. Land a better job

This is definitely one of the biggest motivations for many people to jump into the coding world. The salary potential and career growth gives much attention to coding-related jobs and attracts many people to join a coding bootcamp to pursue a full-time career in web development or software engineering.     

2. More opportunities out there

The increasing demand for tech talents has continued in 2020 by strong industry growth,  more companies are especially looking for online business solutions as a result of the pandemic. The job listings for IT roles will continue to grow in the future.

More and more people have reinvented or changed their careers through coding education. Even last year, in the midst of the pandemic, many Wcoders successfully landed their first jobs in IT. If knowing how to code could open more doors for you, why not give it a try?       

3. Be more flexible in your work 

The current job market is so dynamic that only a few professionals are trained to do only one thing. Instead, most of the new job positions require multiple skills. The knowledge of programming not only shows you are a person who is willing to learn new things, but it also proves your ability to adapt and #overcome obstacles, which definitely helps you stand out from other candidates. 

4. Become more independent at work 

The best thing about learning how to code is that you can be more independent when you meet technical problems! No more delay on your work in waiting for the tech team’s help because now you can read the code and try to solve problems by yourself!

5. Make an impact to others

Try to incorporate what you have learned into your current career! Make yourself a valuable person to your organization and colleagues by writing simple programs or making small projects on apps or webs to increase productivity and even help your company to solve business problems.   

6. Bring your ideas into life 

The coding ability can make your brilliant ideas become reality. You are no longer struggling with finding an expensive developer to make products, because now you can build it on your own! Except for side projects, there are also many entrepreneurs who apply their coding skills to start their own company and realize their business ideas.  

7. Get more control of your life

Looking for a work-life balance? Or try to get more control of your personal schedule? Freelancing with programming projects allows you to work from everywhere around the world, and work whenever you want!

A lot of people think that the benefits about programming are limited in increasing technological knowledge, and gaining computer skills, but the truth is that you can definitely get more than that! It’s a life-changing experience and it always gets no harm in trying to learn new things. 

Ready to give programming a shot? start your first step at wcoding?