Your Post-Graduation Career
How Your Career Can Unfold After Attending a German University
Your career is determined by many things, such as your academic performance, personal interests, communication skills and the ability to convey convincing arguments, just to name a few. We’ve talked a lot in our blog about getting into a German university, finding part-time student jobs, and integrating into German society, but what happens post-student life?
In Germany, a post-graduation career holds high chances of being a good one. The unemployment rate among recent university graduates is less than 5%, and graduates usually earn very well. Depending on where you’re from, €40-50,000 per year for careers such as engineering, IT or accounting shortly after graduation is pretty lucrative.
What your employer expects from you
Employer expectations are built around work experience, language proficiency, and good academic results. From the employer’s perspective, engineering, economics, management, law and IT are usually highly sought-after. Competency in English is a must-have; increasing digitalization and connectedness of our global economy means that we must be able to communicate with anyone, anywhere. German, being the language spoken by your colleagues, is normally also required or at least very helpful for the jobseekers trying to pass interviews. Furthermore, knowledge of additional languages is a definite plus for any job candidate.
Internships in a German Company
The expectation around work experience is highly realized by the completion of a so-called Praktikum, or internship. These are work placements for a defined period of time (anywhere between two weeks and twelve months), designed to give you a better industry understanding and some entry-level experience. In fact, it is such a significant part of the German student-to-professional journey that it could almost be considered an essential requirement. At RWTH Aachen for instance, if you want to study Mechanical Engineering, you will be required to have completed a six-month internship before enrollment as a student. And before graduating, you are required to have completed 20-weeks of internship and a presentation thereof to a professor.
While most internships will be paid, be prepared to consider unpaid ones as well. There will be competition from other graduates looking to find the ideal position, and completing an internship of some form will work to your advantage in future job-hunting endeavors.
Acquiring a Master’s Degree
When looking for an ideal position, the other thing to consider is the completion of a Master’s degree. While in other countries it may be the norm to jump into the labor force directly after a Bachelor’s degree, many young Germans choose to continue their studies a little longer with a Master’s degree. The expectations around whether one should have a Master’s degree or not will depend largely on the industry. But in any case, old favorites such as the MBA remain popular choices for further education in Germany, and are always looked positively upon when handing in your CV to potential employers.
Life after University
The post-graduate life of a student in Germany is comfortable when considering the statistics around low unemployment, good earnings and opportunities to get into various fields. If you want to chat further about how your steps from student to employee could specifically unfold in Germany, send us an email or read about our services.