IT work for foreigner with experience but no IT-related degree

After college I spent a few years teaching English in Taiwan, then returned to the US and found work as a tech support and QA person for an web application at a small software company. I have been working in this field for 4 years and am currently an escalation resource for our customer-facing technicians, which means that most server-side work and any issues that cannot be easily resolved by following a script are escalated to me. I am mostly self-taught in IT and have been very successful professionally despite having no IT or CS-related degree.

So, everything’s great, except that I’m about to marry my Taiwanese girlfriend and while she is willing to live in the US she would like me to at least try to find a job in Taiwan so she can be near her family. There’s no way on Earth that I will consider teaching again. Although I am very good at my job the only way I keep up with my formally-trained colleagues is by constantly researching and studying on my own time, so I wonder whether my skills are enough to compensate for the language barrier-- My Chinese is pretty terrible.

I have a degree in a liberal art, but not in anything IT related

So, two questions:

  1. Do I have any hope without further professional development, degrees or credentials?
  2. If not, what path should I take? Bachelor’s in IT, CompTia, Microsoft certs? Would they be of any use in Taiwan?


if you are gonna teach a degree is needed for a Visa. If no degree no visa. The type of degree doesn’t matter. There is practically nothing else you can do here apart from teaching. There are exceptions, I suspect you will not be one of them. If you want to work in IT I guess you might as well set up your own business, web-based of course. Be prepared not to have any control over money/taxes/etc and have everything in your wife’s name.

Getting a degree is a VERY expensive career move.

I have a degree, just not in IT.

He does NOT need a degree for a marriage visa.

This visa comes with open work rights, so he can get a job in any field he likes.
Whether an IT co will hire him is another question.

Thanks. I guess what I’m asking is, can a run of the mill IT guy get a job in Taiwan without good Chinese skills, or should I pursue further degrees/credentials, and if so, what kind are respected in taiwan?

Surely you can work remotely with this type of job, the pay will be much better that way anyway. You will have no work restrictions if you are married.

run of the mill IT guy? I really hope that’s not on your CV :slight_smile:

From my experience there is alot of IT work here but you will up against degree educated (very possibly masters educated) Taiwanese who will probably have a vocational degree. Plus they can speak Chinese. Plus they’ve been coding since they can crawl. Plus they may well work for less than you would consider a decent salary especially for their first job.

So, it could be tough. However, all is not lost.

If you get a JFRV (marriage visa) after you get married you have the advantage of not needing a work visa so that at least levels the playing field a little (otherwise a company must sponsor your visa which costs them extra money)

I would suggest you get really good at something in short supply here and work that angle. Anything web-related and/or iOS/Android would be a good place to start I reckon but maybe you can find something a little more niche. I cannot be any more specific as I was looking myself for more generic project management, rather than specifically technical, work.

Microsoft and other professional certs would be better than more college degrees IMO.

Other things you could look at would be self-study through stuff like coursera if money is an issue.

Nope you dont need an IT Degree to get an IT job in Taiwan. It’s all experience they’re looking for.

I agree with HH. You’d be better off getting an online job and continuing to work for a Western company. You won’t be able to compete with locals at that work level, and if you could, you wouldn’t like the salary or the working conditions.

I would try to convince her to stay in the US. I can’t stress this enough.

My fiancé doesn’t have a degree, he works for an IT company here (Trend Micro). They take on people who have experience over qualifications.
They regularly have job updates on their website, Google “Trend Micro Taipei Jobs” as I’m unsure about posting URL’s on here. Good luck!

Software developers make much more than others here, though I do not know if you are one. A foreigner will usually ask for 100.000+ which is why I am not interested in hiring foreigners. A Taiwan guy will present me with a CSC master from California, giggle in the interview and knows hardly anything I ask him or her, even if the CV states this as the field of expertise. Meaning you will have a disadvantage when applying without IT credentials as the locals have shitloads of credential papers but hardly know what they are about.
Had this Novell-certified Linux administrator who thought the cat command made an animal-like sound (he ticked that in my test :smiley: ).

Edit: Sorry, did not see the orig. posting is so old.