HACHIOJI, Japan — Every year, about 1 percent of Japanese 15-year-olds turn away from high school. Then they turn into full-time nerds-in-training, enrolling in colleges where they make robots and write software, test diodes and study English, dirty their hands on factory floors and wait for job offers to come flooding in.
Flood in they do, even though Japan’s economy is stagnant and its population is shrinking. Graduates of the standard five-year course at Japan’s 57 national colleges of technology, collectively known as Kosen, can each expect about 20 job offers, school officials say. Students who stay on for two years of advanced study receive about 30 offers.