What are my job prospects in Taiwan?

Hi. I’m new here. I need help in assessing what my job prospect is in Taiwan because I want to pursue moving there in the near future.

Here are some details about me:

  1. 22 years old;
  2. Born in Taiwan; raised in the Philippines; Taiwanese citizen with household registration;
  3. Took up accountancy in the 2nd best university in the Philippines (though its ranking isn’t anywhere near NTU’s);
  4. Almost 1 year of experience working in Ernst & Young Philippines (Accounting firm); The service line I chose was tax though, so I’m assuming this will be practically useless in my job hunt in Taiwan.
  5. My Mandarin is not good but I’m trying to improve on it. My English is good but it’s not great enough for me to teach it.

How will I fare against the locals in Taiwan in terms of job-hunting, salary, etc.? Any ideas as to around how much my salary would be?

I’m interested in anything related to business/finance. It would also be great if it’s a tech company or a multinational company. I’m guessing getting a master’s degree there would improve my chances but I’m reluctant to spend another 2 years studying, unless it’s /that/ much value-adding. Is it better to get more experiences here in the Philippines, maybe in a multinational company, before moving there or would they think less of my experiences if I come from the Philippines? What do you guys think? Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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How’s your written Chinese and command of classical Chinese literature?

I have the same problem too, my Chinese is not as good as locals, even locals who dropped out of high school. Problem is a lot of big tech companies like TSMC requires civil service type exams to get in, unless you have special skills they’re looking for. Those exams are hard, have lots of classical Chinese literature stuff in it, and is challenging for most Taiwanese college graduates.

Your other option is SME’s, though be prepared to have low starting salary…

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My mandarin overall is just bad. I don’t think I can sustain a conversation. Just the very basic though I can understand more than speaking or writing. But I’m assuming this would greatly improve after moving there which is why I’m considering to go straight to Taiwan and start my career there than spending more years here in the Philippines.

I see… how low would that be? Do you also have any idea as to the career progression there? Like how long does it usually/more or less take to get promoted, etc.?

TSMC tests you on classical Chinese literature. That’s gotta be really interesting.

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Why such high standards for employment at these tech companies? I mean obviously they need good candidates for the roles but I have noticed some irrelevant and seemingly ridiculous requirements on their job forms lol

to be honest, your chances are not great but also not terrible. you just need to prepare carefully.
your strong points:

  1. citizenship : no need for employers to worry abt visa and permits, you can start immediately. being a citizen, you will get salary like a local, meaning they will try to squeeze as much as possible from you :slight_smile:
    2 . professional background : you have a degree in a field that every business needs and background in tax, work for one of the big 3 firms, it’s not bad.
    weak points : no Chinese, and this is your major drawback. work hard on this, if you can afford it, invest 6 months or more in mandarin studies, it will give you a boost.

planning : there are many tw companies expanding to the PH, I suggest to focus on those first. your background will be a good fir for them.

  1. go on 104 job bank and see which companies are recruiting for positions that deal with the PH market, it should give you a feeling if you might he a good fit or not.

  2. e&y have huge office here, your are not senior enough to get a transfer here, but maybe one of your seniors knows someone here and can recommend you? say your family is moving to be close to grandparents or something and you want to continue with the company in TW, if they can help etc.


except tax laws are different in taiwan. that would mean if he wanted to continue in this career path as a tax accountant, he would need to spend time studying all of taiwan’s tax laws. and then pass an exam (probably in chinese) to get certified as a tax accountant.


I meant his PH tax background. we do a lot of overseas business and pay huge amounts on tax consultations (we use a global accounting firm that has branches overseas and can provide this service ).
if you are a TW company with substantial operations in the PH, might be worth it for you to get someone with that background, or if you are a TW accounting firm that provides services to other TW companies with operations in the PH.


except it’s cheaper to outsource to an accounting firm in the philippines than to hire a full time taiwan employee.

not always, in addition accounting is a building block for any business operation. even if OP doesnt work in tax accounting, this background is useful in business planning. we dont deal with the PH, mostly VN, but i can see how people with accounting background are needed in planning expansion to a new market.

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like forecasting?

Ask your parents to start speaking to you only in Chinese to immerse you in the language. If you really want to work in Taiwan as an accountant, chances are you’ll need to be comfortable doing everything in Chinese.


not just forecasting for the next sales quarter, accounting is used also in cost analysis, pricing , evaluating new business opportunities.

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yea, but for that it would be be easier for a company here to deal with someone who can speak and write in Chinese.

yes, and I already recommended that he invests at least 6 months in studying Chinese to be able to do the job.


It’s just that the whole civil service exam has been in Chinese society for 800 years, so they see things like that. Anything good or stable and they require that kind of test as a mark of success. Especially when almost everyone and their dog wants to get in, the test is meant to exclude the dregs. This is why sometimes it seems things are easier for foreigners since they don’t make them take this test.

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Well foreigners are shut out of 99% of those government roles even if they get ID then.

I’ve lived here for 10 years, and i have never heard of tests to get into a private company (not gov owned). it’s your qualifications and interview that matter.
my current employer (a MNC) doesnt have any test, and none of the other MNCs I’ve worked with (or interviewed at) have one.
though my experience doesnt cover all companies in TW, I believe it is possible to find a job without an entrance exam.

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Here’s what I think: you have the basic foundations you need to succeed here but you haven’t mastered either of them (English and Mandarin). And you lack professional experience so you have little room for negotiation.

Do you speak Tagalog? If yes, I would advise you to stay in the Philippines for now and be fluent in Mandarin while there. Climb up the ladder there, then ask to be transferred to Taiwan if there’s a chance. Or after getting at least 5 years of solid experience there, revisit those Taiwan plans.

IMO, work culture in the Philippines is better especially in the private sector. It’s more diverse, dynamic, and results oriented. It’s also flatter, not top down as is often the case here. In Taiwan, it’s about 80% building relationships. Unless you have solid tech skills, then you can get away with that alone.


Yeah I’m trying to improve on this myself but the long hours at work is just making it impossible for me to find time for it. I’ve thought of going to Taiwan just to study Mandarin but it didn’t really push through, though now I’m starting to think that it’ll be necessary for me to really improve my Mandarin.

I see… I’ll look out for these…

I haven’t really heard of anyone being sent to Taiwan. Most seniors, in our department at least, were seconded to Malaysia since it’s where EY’s regional headquarter is. But I’ll look into this as well. Thanks!