Education and career.

If you are planning to get a university degree, or just studying a course to improve your skills, this guide is going to help you. In this guide, you will get a general overview of the German education system and an overview of how to validate your career in Germany.

Check list:

Education system / Bildungssystem:
In Germany, the elementary school is obligatory for each kid, homeschooling is not allowed and each kid has to visit the school. At the age of 9 or 10, the kids are usually separated and go to 3 different types of schools: Gymnasium, Realschule, and Hauptschule. It is however not the case that this is the same in all of Germany. In Germany, Education is “Ländersache”, which means that each state (Bundesland) has its own educational system. Of course, they are pretty similar. But an important difference is that not in each state, the kids are separated that early. In many regions, there exist “Gesamtschulen”, where kids will study together until they are 12, or sometimes even until they are 16. Read more here.

Educate in Germany / Ausbildung in Germany:
Besides the university, there is another way to get studies, and it is the so called “Ausbildung”, which is a dual system based on two to three years, where you are an employee at a company, and at the same time, you visit a school, called “Berufsschule” (professional school). Here is a text, so you can read how this system works, and what are the pros and cons vs the university system. Read more here.

Studienkolleg, University and Hochschule: If you finished your high school studies outside of Germany, and you want to start university studies here, sometimes you will need to pass the Studienkolleg, which is one year of revalidations and classes. This holds only for some countries, but if you come from the European Union, the US, Canada, Japan, Australia or New Zealand, you won’t have to pass the Studienkolleg. Which countries will enter Studienkolleg is complex, since it depends basically on the revalidation system and communication between the German and the respective foreign educational system.

Validating your university degree in Germany: “Zeugnisanerkennung”.
If you already have a bachelor degree and want to get into the labor market in Germany, you will have to find out if you need to revalidate your foreign degree, in order to do that there is a special office, called the “Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle für den Freistaat Bayern” (revalidation of certificates office for the state of Bavaria) here is the website. This office is the one who says what is the equivalent in Germany of your degree. Sometimes you won’t need to make anything, and you won’t have to initiate a revalidation process, just go on with your future employer, it depends on the field of study you’re from. Usually, the process is quite efficient and implies only few bureaucracy, such as translating your documents and proving the official validity of them. You can get an official stamp called “Apostille” in your home country, the place where your original documents originate from. Once you have your documents translated and validated with an “Apostille” accordingly, the revalidation of your studies should be quick. Read more here.

Keep studying with courses / the “Weiterbildung”:
There are several options if you want to keep on studying and learning, something like continuous education for adults:

Now how can I find a job in Munich?
Besides looking for job offers on web portals, a good way to find a job that fits to you, with your skills and a good orientation in the local market, is with a personal career coaching. You should be aware of the strength and advantages you bring to the local market, for the simple fact of bringing foreign culture and skills with you. Don’t be scared of not dominating German on a C2-level ;-) Be confident of your skills and your own capacities. As a foreign professional, by definition, you are a huge enrichment for the local labor market, especially in times of a lack of professionals in Germany, as well as in other European countries. In German, this phenomenon is called “Fachkräftemangel”, and according to recent inquiries, in Germany, only in the IT-sector, there are currently more than 40 000 open positions. Read more here.

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