The basics
Germany: Career Prospects - Must read

Finding a graduate career in Germany

How do you find a job in Germany once you graduate if you’re an international student? Can you even stay in the country to begin with? Find out now...


What’s the job market like in Germany?
Germany has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the EU and a large number of international students stay on in Germany after gaining their degree to find work. In fact in 2014, the German Academic Exchange (DAAD) revealed that around 50% of international students stay on in the country to secure full-time jobs, and it’s not hard to see why!


Unlike other European nations that are suffering from the economic crisis, there are a number of jobs in Germany on offer in most fields, especially for individuals with a German qualification under their belt. There is also a welcoming government and community attitude towards gaining international talent that can contribute ot the workforce. 


Which areas are most in demand?

Major industries in Germany with plenty of jobs include engineering, IT, technology and science fields but these can also be the most competitive areas. It's worth looking at growth industries in Germany too - these include telecoms, banking, tourism and the automotive industry.


Major German companies are often on the look-out for international students for their graduate schemes such as Aldi, Lidl, adidas, Bosch, Deutsche Bank, E ON, Siemens, Volkswagen and Allianz. The process is competitive and like in the UK and elsewhere, may involve psychometric tests. 


Can I work in Germany once I graduate?
Students from non-EU countries are allowed to remain in Germany for the purpose of looking for employment for a maximum of 18 months after graduating, which is a decent amount of time to secure a job in your chosen industry as long as you’re organised.


While you’re searching for full-time employment you’re also allowed to work as much as you want, meaning you should hopefully be able to support yourself until you start receiving a salary. If you’re an EU student, you won’t need a work permit at all to study in the country, provided you have a valid passport or ID.



  • Apply early. Make sure you start applying for jobs during your final semester
  • Secure an internship or 'praktika'. Most German students usually do an internship (praktika) before graduation so to be in with a chance of competing you should consider securing a placement early on. 
  • Stand out from the crowd. Read our guide on writing a CV and references
  • Make the most of university resources. Speak to careers staff and attend as many careers fairs and networking events as possible.
  • Consider taking a German language course. You might have been able to study your entire degree in English, but if you want to stay and work in Germany, you’ll need to have a basic level of German. Brush up on your speaking, writing and listening skills before applying for a job by taking German classes. 
  • Arrive early to your interview. It’s no myth that German culture is underpinned by good time-keeping and punctuality. Pass by your interview location in advance of your interview and make sure you leave plenty of time to get there on the day.


Useful sites for finding a job in Germany:

Good luck!

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About Author

Katie Duncan is Editor of Hotcourses Abroad and is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and University of Exeter graduate. Having worked at an English language school in the UK, as an educational consultant in Spain and as a reporter in the international education sector, she is well placed to guide you through your study abroad journey. Katie grew up in Australia, which perhaps explains her unusual reptile collection, comprising of a bearded dragon (Bill) and tortoise (Matilda).