When planning a move to Germany, you should consider all of your options: work, study and various programs. You can have your diploma confirmed and find a suitable employer, or you can build a path to your goal through a European education. But are universities only available in this country? Are there alternative institutions that have fewer entry requirements? Is it possible to study and work in parallel? We will try to answer these and other questions below.

Ausbildung – secondary professional education

There is an enormous shortage of skilled labor market personnel of trade specialties in Germany. There are several reasons for this: higher education is gaining in popularity among Germans and there are clearly good career prospects for those who are qualified as workers. However, there are also a number of advantages to so-called secondary education.
Ausbildung is a dual system of professional education, where the pupil is involved in two processes simultaneously: working (practical) and learning (theoretical). That is, two days a week the apprentice learns theory in an educational institution and three days he practices in the workplace (the ratio of days may vary from course to course). In addition:

  • The apprentice receives a salary of approximately €700 per month for the whole period of training and work.
  • At the end of the apprenticeship it is very likely that the apprentice will be offered a job in the same company
  • Study time will subsequently be counted as work experience.

Secondary education in Germany is also open to foreigners. The distinguishing features thereby are as follows.
It is possible to apply for an Ausbildung both in Germany and in one’s own country:

  • There are no age restrictions for applying and training
  • Each employer sets its own criteria for the future apprentice employee
  • The required language level is usually B1 – B2.
  • It is more difficult to apply for an Ausbildung for persons who are out of the country: the employer may invite you for an interview and a one-week practical training before the start of your studies. In this case you will need to open a Schengen visa and apply for a national visa after your admission.

In general, the procedure is as follows:

  • Learn German
  • Choose a professional field and select an appropriate employer
  • Collect the package of documents you normally require for a job: CV, certificate of secondary education (diploma, language certificate, driving license, certificate of advanced training and specialization), motivational letter
  • Submit the application to a German expert for assessment.
  • Send your application package to your prospective employer. There is no limit to the number of applications you can send to employers – you can send several to different lands (Länder). You can send them by post, by e-mail (if they are enclosed in the advertisement) or in person.
  • After submitting the application, the job seeker may be given an interview (most companies do it by Skype or phone)
  • In case of successful completion of all 2 or 3 steps, a training/employment contract is concluded between the company and the student
  • After conclusion of the contract the applicant goes to the embassy to apply for a national visa. Among the standard list of documents, the apprenticeship contract should also be included. The applicant MUST also be assisted by SPECIALISTS, otherwise there is a high probability of rejection due to incorrect or missing documents.

Trainees and programs: postgraduate traineeships in Germany

In order to gain experience and practical work skills, graduates of German universities can take part in trainee programs directly after their higher education. Large German group corporations and many medium-sized companies offer what are known as Trainee-Programs. The trainee programs are characterized by the following:

  • The programs consist of theoretical training and seminars and practical work in the various departments of a company.
  • The salary (1000/1700 gross) of the trainee is lower than that of other employees
  • Programmers, engineers and economists receive the greatest number of internship offers
  • The competitive environment among job seekers is quite strong. Employers when selecting trainees look at the average grades of the diploma, the availability of experience in the field and language skills (German, English)
  • At the end of the traineeship, the graduate has a realistic chance of getting a job in the same company
  • Foreigners can also take part in the program. One option is to have your studies recognized in your home country or to have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Germany. Then you can look for an internship in your field of specialization in the corresponding companies and apply for it

There are many ways to achieve employment and to obtain a residence permit in Germany. Consider them all according to your abilities and possibilities. Our experts can answer all of your questions concerning the selection of a program or your education in Germany We can help you with your visa application, CV and motivational letter and support you in all stages of your move to Germany.