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Japan bucks global trend toward highly-educated societies

China and South Korea experience surge in people receiving doctoral degrees

Possession of a master's degree or doctorate is the basic requirement for employment as an engineer in cutting-edge fields at Google and other big information technology groups in the US.

TOKYO -- The world is entering an era of the "academic career-based society", with the requirement for advanced knowledge and skills in the management and digital fields fueling demand for master's and doctor's degrees.

However, while the number of students acquiring doctoral degrees globally has increased sharply over the past decade, in Japan there has been a drop of more than 10%. Indeed, the country risks falling behind in terms of global skills competitiveness if it sticks to its conventional hiring practices, which place more weight on applicants' character than their expertise.

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