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School, training and higher education in Germany

Germany is in need of skilled workers and well-trained staff. A vocational training programme or a course of higher education will pave the way for you to begin a career. Furthermore, it will improve your earning potential and protect you from potential unemployment. Here, we would like to give you an overview of these topics.

School

Germany has various types of school, and these differ from one federal state to the next. Compulsory schooling applies to children between the ages of 6 and 18 in Germany. This means that they must attend school during this time. Comprehensive information relating to school education is available here.

Good to know: Would you like to know whether your school-leaving qualification is equivalent to a qualification in Germany? These decisions are made by the Länder offices for certificate recognition.

Work Experience

In order to develop your initial work experience, you could complete a traineeship. In this way you can improve your German skills and learn the most important terms for the occupation you want to do. Here you can find traineeship places that suit you.

Training

Germany has two systems of training: dual training and vocational training within the educational system. In the dual training system, trainees work at a company and attend vocational school on a regular basis. In this way, they become familiar with both practical and theoretical learning content. However, some occupations can only be learnt at school.

The video "Apprenticeships in Germany" will explain Germany’s training system to you.

Would you like to begin training? Then arrange a face-to-face meeting with your careers counselling service, which will help you find a training position. Your individual wishes and capabilities will be discussed. You will be given information about sought-after occupations in Germany. However, you will also find out which training scheme suits you best. If you don’t find a suitable training scheme, your careers counselling service will suggest alternatives. You also have the option to complete sponsored internships with employers.

On the multilingual platform planet-beruf.de, you will find further information and practical tips on the topic of training.

Higher education

To be able to study in Germany, you need certain school-leaving qualifications: either the Hochschulreife (certificate of aptitude for higher education), the Fachhochschulreife (certificate of aptitude for specialised short-course higher education), or an equivalent qualification. The decision on admission to higher education is made by the universities and colleges themselves based on the school-leaving certificates you present from your country of origin. The Employment Agency and the universities or colleges’ advice centres will help you find a place in higher education. Arrange a face-to-face meeting with your careers counselling service or contact one of the universities or colleges’ international offices.

Do you have a qualification from your home country? Our counselling officers will know which office you can contact to have it recognised. We will be happy to help!

Further information is provided in the video "Studying in Germany".

On abi.de, you can learn about options for studying in Germany. Based on your skills and interests, you will be guided through the education system in Germany in five steps – ending with the application.

Information on study programmes and universities and colleges in Germany is available on studienwahl.de. Learn more about the German higher education system at "Study in Germany - Land of Ideas".

Good to know: Do you already have a foreign school-leaving certificate or a training qualification? Have your certificates recognised.