You may think it’s still early days, but have you thought about what you are going to do after you have completed your vocational training? Here are some opportunities you may want
- Working for a company: Many German companies are currently looking for qualified professionals. This means that your chances of being offered a job at your company after you have completed your training are good. If your company does not offer you a job or if you prefer to gain some new experience elsewhere, you will find useful tips for job-hunting in the Working in Germany section. Are you from a non-EU country and have completed vocational training in Germany? You may be granted a residence permit for a period of 12 months for the purpose of seeking employment in Germany (in accordance with Section 20 para. 3 No. 3 of the German Residence Act [AufenthG]). You can search for vacancies in the job listings of this portal.
- Continuing education and training: If you feel that you still have potential to make progress and would like to take on more responsibility, you should consider continuing with further training in order to obtain additional qualifications. This will give you the chance to specialise, to advance in your career or to start your own business. The type of continuing education and training that is available and most suitable for you depends on the industry and occupation you work in.
- Engineering: If you work in construction or mechanical engineering, you can pursue further training to become a certified engineer (staatlich geprüfter Techniker). Full-time training takes at least two years and involves classes at a higher vocational school (called Fachschule). At the end of your training, you will take a state examination.
- Crafts: If you have trained as a craftsperson, you have the option of training to become a master craftsperson. This will lead to the German title of “Meister” which is an officially recognised qualification. Many people who have completed a continuing training course as a master craftsperson work in leading positions or set up their own business. Moreover, as a Meister you will be allowed to take on apprentices yourself.
In addition, you have the opportunity to specialise in specific fields of your occupation. More detailed information on specialisations in your area of occupation is available at BERUFENET (website only available in German).
When you pursue continuing training to become a master craftsperson or certified engineer, for example, you may be entitled to a form of financial support called Aufstiegs-BAföG. You can find out if you are eligible at www.aufstiegs-bafoeg.de (website only available in German).
- Studying: After completing your vocational training you may also start a degree course at a higher education institution. For this purpose, you are usually required to hold a higher education entrance qualification – a school-leaving certificate that allows you to study at a higher education institution in your country of origin. However, there are exceptions: the German Meister qualification also entitles you to study any subject you like at German universities. If you do not hold the title of Meister, but have worked in your occupation for several years, you may be allowed to study certain subjects that are closely related to the vocation you trained for. The best thing to do is to enquire the specific admission requirements from the university you want to apply to.
Do you want to study, but also work at the same time? In Germany, you can work and either pursue a degree in your spare time, study part-time or get a degree via distance learning. Further information on this topic is available here.
If you need more information on studying in Germany, please visit our Studying in Germany section.