IT work in Taipei

I have a question about obtaining techie work and hope some of you in the field can shed some light. My daughter, who only speaks English is in a computer engineering program at home. She wants to do a summer term here. I suspect she will not get to first base without being able to speak Chinese. Does anyone know if this is correct? Also, do companies hire students for short (3 month) periods so they can gain work experience in the field? She read somewhere in the Oriented website that it is possible to come over on a visitor’s visa and work as a “consultant”. Anyone know anything about that?

Her current capabilities are:
Circuit assembly
Basic circuit troubleshooting and analysis
– also Laplace and Fourier analysis
Network Administration – hardware and software
Complex Programmable Logic Devices (CPLD)
Very High-Spped Integrated Circuits (VHSIC)
VHSIC Hardware Description Language (VHDL)
C programming/assembly programming
BJT and FET transistors, Op-amps
Communications systems
Technical writing

She’s been running her own server at home for a couple of years and has built a number of websites for herself and others.

Finally, how do women “fare” in the technical field in Taiwan? I imagine it is very male dominated.

Thanks in advance for any information you may be able to provide.

Personally, I don’t think coming to Taiwan for 3 months or so will be possible for you daughter for several reasons.

It sounds like she is still in school. You can’t (legally) work in Taiwan without a work permit. In order to get a work permit, the applicant must have had 2 years of work experience prior to coming to Taiwan. Summer jobs, part-time work, and student-employment do not count.

She can get a work permit with no experience if she is coming to teach English, in which case all she needs a college degree (and she must be a native English speaker).

Sometimes, if a company is willing, you can work around the work permit thing (illegal, but not uncommon).

Next concern, your daughter’s skill set is nothing out of the ordinary here in Taiwan. She will be one among thousands of people who have identical abilities, but can speak Chinese, operate Chinese-language software and operating systems, and are willing to work for a fraction of the salary that your daughter could expect from a US company.

From the point of view of the typical Taiwanese company, there is nothing she has to offer that can’t be had locally, and without all the hassle.

The technical writing experience is the most encouraging skill she has. There are several companies that need skilled English technical writers and who may be willing to do it on a contract basis. Then it just becomes a matter of finding and contacting those companies…

If your daughter is dead set on coming to Taiwan and really wants to get work experience here prior to her college graduation, the best hope might be to find an international company doing business in Taiwan and see if they can work out an intership program.

As for you other question, I find that the technical jobs in Taiwan have a surprisingly even gender distribution. While secretarial and office work is almost exclusively the domain of women here, the mid-level executive and mid/upper-level technical workers are almost half women in every company I’ve worked in (okay, so that’s only two companies). Having worked in the IT industry in the US for 5 years prior to coming here, I find gender ratio here FAR more equal than back in the US.

Hope this helps. Good luck to your daughter. I hope something turns up for her!