About 40 per cent of the job cuts will be in Japan and the rest overseas, NEC president Kaoru Yano told a press conference.
"We are aiming for 20,000 or more," he said, adding that about half would be full-time regular workers.
The job cuts, which will be made by March 2010, were announced soon after the group said it expects a net loss of 290 billion yen (USD 3.2 billion)
in the current financial year to March due to slumping sales.
"It is regrettable that we have to announce such a big downgrade," Yano said. "We must cut waste."
NEC said net losses soared 13-fold in the nine months to December from a year earlier to 129.0 billion yen, up from 9.98 billion yen a year earlier.
Japan's high-tech giants have been badly affected by the global economic slowdown, which has pushed down demand for their products and sent the yen soaring, eroding export earnings.