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Which is the right path for me?

Three students are standing under a tree on campus, the one in the middle holds a tablet in both of her hands.
Which path leads to the desired career? Which study courses and vocational trainings do exist? Answers to such questions you can find on the internet.
Foto: Isabella Fischer

Step 3

Which is the right path for me?

You have occupied yourself with your strengths and interests. You can assess what you're good at and what you want to do as an occupation. The next decision is the path that you take. On the one hand, you should obtain information on study courses and regulated training occupations that are right for you, and on the other hand you should think about whether you can achieve your occupational goal through studying (including dual studies) or through vocational training.

One good website for acquiring information on study courses is studienwahl.de. You will find detailed information on all study areas and individual study courses there, in English as well (studienwahl.de/en/study-opportunities.htm). With the search function, you can find out where in Germany you can study a specific subject. This applies to dual study courses as well. For example, write “civil engineering” as the search term. The search results are shown both as a list and as points on a map of Germany. The Hochschulkompass also offers a facility for searching for study courses throughout Germany. If you are looking for information in the form of videos, you can have a look at films on study courses on BERUFE.TV. The website AusbildungPlus provides information specifically about dual study courses.

You can find comprehensive descriptions of dual training and training in schools in BERUFENET. You can enter a specific occupation in the search field, or use the A-Z search. “Search access via occupational fields” is also possible. For example, if you open the description of the occupation “chemical laboratory assistant”, together with other things you will find information on the vocational training, access and work involved in this occupation. You can view films on vocational training occupations at BERUFE.TV as well. Many of the films are provided with English subtitles. You can find reports from young people talking about their vocational training on the planet-beruf.de website at “Mein Beruf" ("My occupation").

One goal, several paths

With some occupations the question of studying or vocation training does not arise. Anyone who wants to be a doctor has to study medicine; a person who wants to work as an engineer decides on an engineering degree. And for bakers, the only path is via the dual system of vocational education and training.

There are also occupations or fields of activity that do not lay down a fixed path. If you want to work in a bank, for example, you can study business administration (in the form of dual studies as well) or go through the dual system and train as a bank employee. This also applies to interpreters and translators: study courses and training in schools lead to this occupation.
If there is more than one path to the goal, you will have to decide. The following table [Download here, PDF - 118 KB] provides an overview of the four paths:

Studying and Dual studies

 

Studying

Dual studies 

Qualifications

Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, state examination, in some cases “Diplom” and “Magister”

  • University degree (mainly a Bachelor's degree)
  •  In some dual study courses a vocational qualification in addition

Learning locations

  • Universities
  • Associated institutions, e.g. library, language centre, university clinic
  • Universities or colleges of advanced vocational studies
  • Companies

Duration (standard)

Bachelor's degree: 6-8 semesters
Master's degree: 2-4 semesters
State examination: 7-12 semesters

3 to 4.5 years

Costs/pay

  • Semester fees: depending on the university (ca. 50-300 euros)
  • Study fees as well at private universities
  • No pay
  • Financing e.g. via BAföG, jobs, grant, student loan
  • Semester fees depending on the university/college of advanced vocational studies
  • Usually a monthly salary depending on the branch and company

Setup /
structure

  • Winter semester (October to March) and summer semester (April to September)
  • Periods without lectures between semesters for examinations and practical periods
  • Change between university/
    college of advanced vocational studies and company, e.g. every three months
  • Start of training usually on 1 Aug. or 1 Sept.

Where and when can you apply?

  • Application to the university and/or via www.hochschulstart.de
  • Unrestricted courses: register about one month before the beginning of the semester
  • Local admission restrictions: applications usually by 15 January for the Sommer semester, by 15 July for the winter semester
  • National admission restrictions (medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy): applications usually by 15 January for the summer semester, by 15 July for the winter semester; veterinary medicine for the winter semester only
  • Application to a company and a university
  • Application phase starts at least one year before the start of training, application to the university usually not until the employment contract is signed

Type of activity during education

 

  • Academic education
  • Depending on the study course obligatory and voluntary on-the-job training and/or practical semester possible
  • Academic education at university
  • Learning practical skills in the company

Where can I find places / stdy places?

 

<< to the top

dual training and training in schools

 

dual training

training in schools

Qualifications 

Vocational qualification

Vocational qualification

Learning locations

  • Companies
  • Vocational schools
  • Specialised vocational schools or specialised academies
  • Companies (during practical training)

Duration (standard)

2 to 3.5 years

1 to 3 years

Costs/pay

Monthly training pay depending on the branch and company

  • School fees are levied at private specialised vocational schools only
  • Training pay is seldom paid (depending on the occupation)

Setup /
structure

  • Change between company and vocational school, e.g. three days per week in the company, two days at vocational school
  • Start of training usually on 1 Aug. or 1 Sept.
  • Five days per week at a specialised vocational school
  • On-the-job training en bloc or on set days

Where and when can you apply?

  • Application to a company, registration at a vocational school through the company
  • Application phase starts at least one year before the start of training
  • Application to the relevant specialised vocational school or specialised academy
  • Six months to one year before the start of training

Type of activity during education

 

  • Acquiring practical skills in the company
  • Subject teaching in school
  • Acquiring theoretical knowledge in specialised vocational school
  • Acquiring practical skills in exercises and on-the-job training periods

Where can I find places / study places?

 << to the top

More information

Contact points and important links


abi>> Portal
Heading „Studium“: studium.abi.de
Heading „Ausbildung“: ausbildung.abi.de

 

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abi>> 31.08.2016