Four major types of career plans for engineers! Explanation of specific examples, benefits and concepts.


  • Advice for Engineers

The Importance of Career Planning for Engineers

Some people may not understand the importance of engineers thinking about career planning.First, we will explain from what perspective engineers need to think about career planning.

Career Plans for Engineers

Career planning is the process of defining your "ideal" future goal and making a plan to achieve it.You must not only define your ultimate goal, but also develop a step-by-step plan as needed.

In particular, engineering careers are more diversified, and there are more options available to engineers than in other industries. It is also easier to modify your plan as circumstances and ideas change. While it is important to have a career plan and follow it, the ability to modify it is unique to engineers.

The Importance of Career Planning

If you are acting without a career plan, your chances of reaching your ideal figure will decrease.

In order to be able to act on your own axis, a career plan plays a very important role. Without a career plan, your thinking will change at different times, making it difficult to follow a set path.

In particular, as we will discuss below, engineering careers are becoming more diverse. As the job descriptions have increased, so have the career options. Consider that there are many more than there were a decade ago.

However, it is not a matter of "once you have made a decision, you must follow it. It is important to modify it from time to time, as it is only a policy to be followed in building your career. It is also okay to have more than one career plan in order to make it easier to make decisions at critical junctures.

Diversification of career plans

The types of engineers are becoming more and more fragmented.In this situation, if an engineer does not have a career plan, he or she may be troubled by the path he or she should take. Therefore, they should have a clear career plan so that they can make decisions smoothly even in a diversified situation.

For example, the career of an engineer used to be consolidated as "infrastructure engineer," but now it is subdivided into "server engineer" and "cloud engineer," and so on. As a result, the careers of engineers have also been subdivided, and career paths have become more diverse. In a divergent situation, if you do not have a career plan, you will continue to be troubled. For example, the following career plans are possible.

Of course, it is unavoidable to worry a little, but you may waste time if you worry too much. It is important to have a career plan so that you can make a smooth decision when you are faced with a decision.

Career plans and career paths for IT engineers

We mentioned that the career plans of IT engineers are diversifying, but there are four major directions that can be considered


Specialist is a career plan in which you aim for a high position in a specific field. Basically, specialists are the typical career plan for engineers, as they are often working to improve their skills.

For example, one might work on a wide range of tasks as a systems engineer and from there choose the cloud. In this case, you would go on to become a "cloud engineer" who has mastered the cloud. Others would also aim to become "network engineers" who have mastered networking in the same environment.

In Japan, it is often seen that "engineers who can do it" move up the ladder and away from the field. However, in reality, it is not bad to become a specialist as an engineer. This is because the absence of senior engineers called specialists will create an environment where there will always be only beginners and intermediate engineers. Specialists are considered essential to lead an organization or industry in terms of technology.


A generalist is a career plan to enhance skills in multiple fields, rather than to become a specialist in one particular field. While not as highly skilled as a specialist, a generalist has a broad range of skills that will broaden the scope of his or her activities. For example, an engineer can work on both the front-end and back-end.

In the past, the engineering industry tended to require "narrow and deep skills," or specialists. However, today there is a notable shortage of engineers, and people who can work like generalists are also in demand.

In addition, generalists are involved in a variety of tasks and may be able to further improve their skills. For example, experience in both the front-end and back-end will open the door to becoming a "full-stack engineer. This is just one example, but it could lead to new career plans and career paths.


Managers are in charge of organizing the development department and managing projects. Although this is a bit removed from practical work, think of it as a career plan that focuses on management with practical experience.

Aspiring managers also need to have skills other than practical work experience. For example, you will need to hire people and manage budgets. If you do not have much experience in these areas, it may be a hurdle for you to become a manager.

Therefore, if you choose to be a manager as your career plan, you should be proactive in gaining these experiences. You should be entrusted to manage project costs and participate in vendor interviews.

Independence and Entrepreneurship

One career plan for engineers is to become independent or start their own business. In recent years, as working styles have become more diversified, more and more people are considering career plans and career paths with the goal of becoming freelance.

In addition, companies often take advantage of freelancers, creating an environment in which they can be active as long as they have the right skills. This is a very attractive career plan for engineers.

However, although it is a popular career plan, there are possible risks such as unstable income. Both advantages and disadvantages should be evaluated, although this is not limited to independence or entrepreneurship.

When starting your own business, you will need to be skilled enough to handle projects as an engineer on your own. At the same time, you also need to have the skills to manage work and sell to clients. It is important to keep this in mind, as engineering skills alone are not enough to handle the job.

Examples of career paths for engineers seeking to advance their careers

The following are examples of specific career paths for engineers who wish to advance their careers.

systems engineer

The definition of a systems engineer is broad, and the following career plans are assumed here

  • Systems Engineer (in charge of development)
  • Application Engineer
  • Embedded Engineer

Examples of career plans are as follows


Development Director

Embedded Engineer

Database Engineer

Network Engineer


IT Consultant

Security Engineers

Cloud Engineer

managerproject manager

Because systems engineers have a wide range of work, you can consider either a career plan to become a specialist or a generalist. First, consider whether you want to master a particular skill. If you want to become a generalist, you will need to enhance your skills broadly.

Web Engineer

Web engineers can be divided into two main categories, and the following career plans are assumed here.

  • Front-end engineers
  • Back-end engineers

Examples of career plans are as follows


generalistFull Stack Engineer

Project Manager

Web Director

Web engineers differ greatly in the tasks they handle between front-end and back-end engineers. Therefore, if you want to become a specialist, you must consider your plan based on your career. However, we recommend that you aim to become a generalist or manager, as many of the skills are web-specific.

infrastructure engineer

There are many positions available for infrastructure engineers, and the following career plans are assumed here

  • Server Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Database Engineer
  • Security Engineer

Examples of career plans include


Front End Engineer

Server Engineer


Full Stack Engineer

IT Consultant

manager(Project Manager)

Infrastructure engineers are often improving their skills and are recommended to have a career plan as a specialist or generalist. You could enhance your skills and work as a front-end or server-side engineer. Another possible career plan is to learn both skills and work as a generalist. Note that managers are not recommended if you do not have much experience in this type of work, as there are few opportunities to be involved in management.

project manager

Examples of career plans for project managers include

specialistProject Manager

IT Consultant



The project manager should have a wide range of knowledge at this time. As an engineer, you have generalist-level knowledge, but you also have managerial skills. Therefore, a good career plan would be to gain more experience and expand your knowledge to become an IT consultant. Another possible career plan is to become a project manager and be entrusted with very large projects or to become an executive.

IT Consultant

Examples of career plans for IT consultants include


IT Consultant




IT consulting is even sometimes set as a goal as a career plan for engineers. Therefore, it may be somewhat difficult to make further career plans. Therefore, a possible plan would be to acquire management and other skills to become a CIO or CTO, rather than an IT consultant.

Cloud Engineer

Examples of career plans for cloud engineers include。


Full Stack Engineer

IT Consultant


Cloud engineers need a wide range of knowledge, from applications to infrastructure. Therefore, a career plan may be to become a full-stack engineer who can utilize a wide range of experience. Also, since many systems and applications are built on the cloud, you can also aim to become an IT consultant, which requires a broad perspective by utilizing such experience.




Senior AI Engineer

Data Scientist

generalistIT Consultant

AI engineering is a new profession and career plans are not yet clear. Currently, there is an option to become a senior AI engineer as a specialist, as very skilled AI engineers are also in demand. Another good career plan is to become an AI IT consultant with strong data and AI skills.

Benefits of Career Planning for Engineers

The benefits of career planning for engineers include

Opportunity to understand your skills

A career plan gives you a chance to understand your own skills. If you do not have an accurate grasp of your current skills, you will not be able to plan for your future career. It is always a good opportunity to take stock of your skills because it is a prerequisite.

In order to understand your skills, it is a good idea to identify in chronological order the skills you have acquired and the projects you have participated in, as well as your position. Ideally, you should identify all of them, but if time is limited, identify the last three years or so. Since there are technologies that are not used today, take them into account and identify the skills that will become your weapon of choice.

Engineers are often so busy with their day-to-day work that they may not have a good grasp of their skills. By considering a career plan, you will be able to correctly identify your skills and recognize your strengths.

You can identify the skills you are lacking in your career development.

In order to realize your career plan, you may need to improve your skills. There may be a gap between your ideal image and your current image.

However, by being able to recognize the gap, you can recognize what skills you need to acquire. For example, in the Java programming language, skills in frameworks such as "Spring Framework," "Jakarta EE," and "Apache Struts" are necessary. If you have no skills at all in these areas, you can learn the framework skills and then move on to career advancement.

It is beneficial to have a chance to think about it, because it is hard to realize the skills you are lacking if you do not confront yourself with them.

You can expect a planned annual salary increase.

If you can clarify your career plan, you can aim for a planned increase in annual income. For example, after three years, you will realize the first goal, and after seven years, you will realize further goals. In general, as you advance in your career, your annual salary will also increase, so you can essentially think of it as a plan to increase your annual salary.

For example, if you advance your career from network engineer to full stack engineer, you can expect your annual income to change from around 4.5 million yen to over 6 million yen. Furthermore, if you advance your career from full-stack engineer to IT consultant, you can expect to earn from about 6 million yen to over 8 million yen.

Successful career change becomes easier.

By considering a career plan, engineers can take stock of their skills and understand their strengths. As a result, they are in a position to complete a self-analysis, which is beneficial for their career change. It also has the effect of clarifying the image you want to achieve in the future, thus reducing the likelihood of mismatches.

Changing jobs is not only about getting hired, but also about the job and career that will be assigned to you afterwards. If you think about your career plan before taking action, you will be better prepared in advance, making your job change more successful.

How engineers think about career planning when they are struggling with their career plans

When engineers are struggling with their career plans, they should consider the following points

Focus on self-analysis

If you are unable to decide on a career plan, first focus on self-analysis. If you do not have an accurate grasp of your current skills, you will not be able to determine what career path to pursue. A career plan that is too far removed from your current situation is undesirable, so it is important to understand your strengths through self-analysis.

In your self-analysis, list the projects you have participated in in the past, the technologies you used at those times, and any other skills you can think of at the moment. Among these, categorize your strengths and weaknesses, your confidence and lack of confidence, and so on. Let's categorize each of these as follows.

Strengths and Weaknesses


These are just a few examples, but categorizing and organizing your reasons will help you conduct your self-analysis efficiently and accurately. In particular, it is recommended that you give this much thought to your reasons, as you may be able to make use of them in interviews and interviews.

Clarify your own goals.

Although it may not be possible, it is also important to clarify your own goals once you have done so. For example, you might decide, "I want to eventually become a full-stack engineer. By clarifying your goal, you can work backwards to figure out what kind of career you want to pursue, such as "mastering front-end skills," "mastering back-end skills," and so on.

As explained above, it is acceptable to change your career plan in the middle of your career. For example, even if you aim to become a full-stack engineer, you may shift to become a project manager based on your strengths and experience. Currently, you should determine your goals in your own way, but there is no need to stick to them.

Establish a step-by-step career plan.

In addition to clearly defining your goals, it is also important to create a step-by-step career plan. If you set only distant goals, you will not be able to visualize what kind of career path you should take at this point.

For example, if you want to become a full-stack web engineer, you need to have front-end and back-end skills. Therefore, you should aim to become a front-end engineer first, and then broaden your career to acquire back-end engineering skills as well. Specifically, after becoming able to handle screen design through the use of HTML, CSS, and frameworks, they then learn back-end programming skills such as PHP and Java. By placing a front-end engineer before a full-stack engineer, the career plan becomes more concrete, and it becomes clear where one's confidence should start.

Consult with an agent.

If you are unable to envision a career plan on your own, you can consult with a recruitment agent. You can tell them about your job description and what you would like to do in the future, and they can give you advice and suggestions. You need to think independently, but if you are unable to find an answer to your question, you should proactively use this service.


Many people working as IT engineers do not have a career plan. Many people may not even try to draw a career plan in the first place because they do not understand the importance of a career plan. However, a career plan is very important and should be considered at least once, as it will affect your life plan as well.

The appropriate career plan differs from person to person, but there is a royal roadmap or career plan. Since we have introduced career plans for different types of jobs, you can find the right one for you from these. It is also important to utilize a recruitment agent if you are having trouble or want to actually take action.

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