Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals
 

Prospects after graduation

As a graduate of a German university, you have excellent prospects for building a career in Germany. Here you can find out what options are possible!
 

Take up qualified employment

Germany is an attractive place for work. The economy is stable, working conditions are good and thanks to the social security system you and your family are well protected. Companies in Germany are looking for qualified professionals and need well-trained skilled workers like you!

You will soon be completing your studies and have not found a suitable job yet?

If you want to stay in Germany, you can look for a job matching your studies after you graduate. To successfully look for a job, you should put together an attractive collection of application documents to present yourself in the best way possible  to potential employers. You can find out how to write an application and other tips on job research in the "Looking for a Job" section. In our job listings you can also directly look for vacancies and apply.

If you come from a third country, you have the possibility of obtaining a residence permit valid for up to 18 months to look for a job. During these 18 months, you are allowed to take up any  type of job. Note that this form of residence permit cannot be extended. The following requirements must be met in order to obtain a residence permit for 18 months:

  • Proof of successfully completed studies
  • Proof of health insurance cover
  • Proof of being able to secure your livelihood

Before submitting your application, check which documents you need to bring with you at the Foreigners Authority responsible for your matters. Some foreigners authorities also offer relevant information on the Internet.

You have already found a suitable job?

If you come from a third country, with a job offer that matches your qualifications, you can apply either for a residence permit to take up qualified employment or an EU Blue Card. The following requirements must be met in order to obtain this residence permit or the EU Blue Card:

  • Proof of successfully completed studies
  • Proof of health insurance cover
  • Proof of being able to secure your livelihood (employment contract)
  • EU Blue Card: Gross annual salary of at least €56,800 or €44,304 in STEM professions (in 2021)

Since the choice of residence title is largely determined by your personal situation, you should seek advice from your Foreigners Authority when applying. You can also obtain a residence permit even if you have a part-time job offer. It is important that the anticipated salary is sufficient to cover your living expenses. The Foreigners Authority is the only decision-making body for this matter.

Info box

If you come from the EU, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland, you can live and work in Germany without restrictions. You can find out more about this in the "Information for EU citizens" section.

Become self-employed

There are many reasons for becoming self-employed in Germany. If you are interested, you can get in touch with a start-up advisory service.

If you come from a third country, you will need an appropriate residence permit, according to your business venture. Read more about this in the Visa for Self-Employment section
 

Do a PhD

Another option for university graduates is a doctorate. International researchers are welcome at German universities, research institutions and research-based companies – and the German doctorate is highly regarded around the world.

The Research in Germany portal offers important information on the topic of "obtaining a PhD in Germany" and presents financing and funding opportunities. In Germany, most doctoral students either work at a university or receive a scholarship for their research.

If you come from a third country and want to obtain a PhD in Germany, you will either need a residence permit for study purposes, a residence title for research purposes or an EU Blue Card  – depending on how much you work during your doctorate and how much you earn. You can apply for this residence permit at your Foreigners Authority in charge. They will provide you with information on what documents you need to submit before you apply.
 

Complete vocational training

Would you like to learn even more, but simultaneously gain more practical experience in a company? Then vocational education and training could be interesting for you. Germany has an excellent vocational training system. In dual training, you learn a specific occupation directly in a company and additionally attend vocational school. Read more about this topic in the "Vocational Training" section.

If you come from a third country, you must apply for a residence permit to complete qualified vocational training. The Foreigners Authority is the decision-making body in regard to  the application. Before submitting your application, make sure to inform yourself on which documents need to be submitted at the Foreigners Authority.

Please note: If you wish to continue living in Germany after your studies, you must apply for the corresponding residence title before your residence permit for studying expires.

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