People start their careers after graduation

Your Chances after Graduation

You've worked hard and received your diploma. Now what? In this guide, we will inform you of your options after graduation. From your graduation ceremony to extending your permit to stay in Germany and searching for a job, we will take a look at what is likely to happen after you finish your studies.

The good news: for students who would like to remain in Germany after graduating, the outlook is positive!

Read on to learn more about working after life as a student.

Graduation ceremony

Your graduation ceremony at a German university may be a little more understated than those held in other countries

You will be presented with your diploma and celebrated, however, it is often not a huge event.

Sometimes, students wear the traditional graduation caps and capes, and, of course, throw them into the air at the end of the ceremony. Most people choose to celebrate with friends or family afterwards. Be proud of your hard work and achievements, even if there is no grand ceremony held at your university.

Can I stay in Germany when I complete my studies?

Yes. After you have completed your studies you can stay in Germany while you are looking for a job. Students from non-EU and non-EEA countries who hold a residence permit can apply to have it extended for another 18 months while they search for a job in Germany. During this time you are permitted to work at another job while you are searching for a permanent position.

What do I do after graduation in Germany?

Germany has the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, making it the ideal place to start your career. After graduation, you should prepare yourself to enter the world of work. Make sure to have all of your certificates available, as well as any other paperwork you may need, such as your residence permit.

You should prepare a resume which highlights your education, any work experience you have and details of any work placements you undertook. Indicate your language and computer skills, as well as any other relevant information.

When you secure a job with a minimum of a one-year contract you can apply for a settlement permit and EU Blue Card, which allow you to live and work in Germany.

Job market for graduates in Germany

How do I find a job in Germany after graduating?

As Germany has a strong and stable economy, job prospects are good for recent graduates. Companies across the country are looking to employ those who have a degree from a German university.

Job openings are advertised on university notice boards, so you can keep track of available positions while you are still studying. By the time you graduate you will have a better idea of which types of jobs are available and be able to apply for those that you are interested in.

There are various websites that advertise jobs. Search from thousands of jobs in Germany on the Europa job portal EURES. You can find jobs that will match your education level, experience and interests.

Jobs are also posted in both local and national newspapers, as well as in popular student hangouts, such as cafes and on campus.

Even if you are unable to find a job in your field right away after graduating, you can work a part-time or temporary job while you keep searching.

How long does it take to find a job after graduation?

The average time to get a job after graduation will depend on your field and qualifications. The most in-demand jobs include health care practitioners, engineers and IT specialists. If you are looking for work in one of these sectors, you may find a job quicker than in others.

In general, there are plenty of jobs available and as Germany has an aging population, highly-qualified recent graduates are in high demand.

Start your Career

Volunteering or work placements are a great way to get started on the work ladder. You can still search for your dream job while gaining important experience in other areas.

Five things to know when entering the job market as a graduate

Here are five things you should know when entering the job market as a recent graduate

When it comes to finding a job after graduation, your chances of success will depend on several factors, including the university that you attended, the courses you took, and your language abilities.

  • Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Heidelberg University are considered some of the best universities to have attended in order to get a job after graduation. Where you choose to study is the result of various considerations, so getting a job afterwards may or may not have been one of them. Still, a degree from any German university is useful when searching for a job. 
  • Entry level jobs will give you the start you need to move up in your career. Don't be disheartened if your first job is not as grand as you had hoped it would be. The most important point is to start working and build experience in your field.
  • Some jobs for recent graduates allow you to study for a doctorate as you work. Just because you have started working doesn't mean that your studies or opportunities for further development have to end.
  • Job candidates who can speak German may be given priority over those who can't. So now is the time to either start learning the language or brush up on your skills. German is spoken in several countries in Europe, so having the ability to speak the language is a great advantage.
  • You can apply for a settlement permit once you have been working in Germany for two years after graduation. During this time you must also have been paying into the statutory pension insurance scheme. 

The system is set up to support graduates from German universities and encourage them to stay and work in the country. Once you have secured an employment contract you will be eligible for an EU Blue Card, which allows you to live and work in most EU countries.

You will need to hold health insurance coverage throughout your time in Germany. Expatrio works with one of the top providers in the country, Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), to find you the most suitable coverage.

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