Have you ever dreamed of living in cities like Vienna, Zurich and Munich? According to Mercer’s 2011 Quality of Living Survey, six out of the top ten most livable cities in the world are in Austria, (German-speaking part of) Switzerland and Germany. Fluent German language skills combined with a German degree will grant you better access to some of the most livable places in the world. What better way to learn German and earn a German degree than to study in Germany?
Fluent German grants you better access to the German-speaking world
The German-speaking “world” I’m referring to comprises primarily of Germany (duh!), Austria and Switzerland (really???). (Apologies to any other German-speaking communities that I may have unscrupulously left out.) If you are able to speak German fluently, you’ll have much better access to jobmarkets in these countries. (Better doesn’t mean that you don’t have to shower before than interview.) Besides, life in general would be a whole lot easier and more fun. Professionals and fresh graduates from other countries without equivalent German language skills would struggle to compete with you for those open positions (assuming all else is equal).
But what about international organizations in these countries? Wouldn’t English be enough there? English skills are without a doubt crucial for most international organizations. It is needed for colleagues of different backgrounds and nationalities to liaise with one another. It’s needed to watch Jim Carrey play… well, Jim Carrey! Nonetheless, from my experience, English alone is not enough. Fluent German is often mandatory for international organizations operating in these countries as well. One of the main reasons being that the local offices are often intended to serve the German-speaking market. International organizations often choose to set up offices in these countries to serve their clients in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (the region is often known by the abbreviation DACH). To work with these clients, you’ll need German (or a very, very good looking translator).
A German degree is well-recognized in Europe
As described in my previous post, Universities in Germany have high standards and are well-recognized globally. Besides the positive recognition, they teach relevant content. The recognition of these universities and the relevance of their content are accentuated in the German-speaking world. No, it’s not because they are the only ones who can read each others’ degrees! It’s about having a common culture focused on excellence (think BMW, Rolex and… Red Bull???). So, having studied and earned a degree in Germany improves your chances of securing a good job in the German-speaking world.
Having worked in Germany for over four years now and having had much discussion with recruitment agencies (a.k.a. head hunters), I believe there is an abundance of job opportunities in the German-speaking countries. However, candidates must have fluent German skills and good academic qualifications to secure them.