Ausbildung or University?

Most people are left grappling with which way to go. Coming from other country education is highly regarded and most would prefer to join a Uni which to us back home is more “prestigious” than an Ausbildung, but aside from the prestige, why pick one over the other? It’s worth noting also that Ausbildung is NOT an inferior qualification to a University degree.

In this article, I’ll be looking at “traditional” University vs “normal” Ausbildung. “Normal” Ausbildung is one which the Azubi (apprentice) is paid. There are other Ausbildung where the Azubi isn’t paid and sometimes has to pay to do an ausbildung, these are the Schulische Ausbildung. “Traditional University” is where students study for the specified time and only get to work during an internship which runs for about 2-6 months. The opposite of this is the Duales Studium.

Before getting into the Uni vs Ausbildung, the key questions to ask yourself would be:

  • What I’m I good at?
  • What I’m I interested in?
  • What are my plans for my future?

You might wonder why I didn’t include: What is marketable and What pays best. Well, these two questions tend to vary overtime, what is marketable  or pays the best today, might not be the same tomorrow. Also, I believe if you’re passionate about something, you’ll be able to reinvent yourself regardless of what crops up in the future.

Some professions are only offered at the Uni while others are only as an Ausbildung.

Advantages of Ausbildung

  1. There’s no requirement for a sponsor or money in a fixed account inorder to get the visa
  2. You get exposure to working in that sector before graduating
  3. If you have a grade worse than C+, an Ausbildung will allow you to still be able to get into Uni
  4. More practical approach, less theory
  5. Easier to get a job after graduating
  6. Takes a shorter time usually 2-4yrs
  7. Offered in part-time for parents with children
  8. Some IHKs offer some courses as crash courses which take a shorter time than the usual course
  9. An Ausbildung allows you to start earning money earlier
  10. Some Ausbildungen allow for Semesters abroad within the EU


Disadvantages of Ausbildung

  1. There has to be a high demand for the profession you are applying for inorder to get an Ausbildungs visa
  2. Because most Ausbildung are based on practical activities, chances of that profession being replaced by machines or computers is higher, thus chances of becoming unemployed are much higher.
  3. Harder to change careers


Advantages of University

  1. Visa is issued based on the admission letter to the University and NOT the demand for the profession
  2. Any grade above a C+ is enough to get you into a German Uni
  3. Students get to specialise in the field of choice and concentrate on it
  4. More flexible for those who might need some offtime inbetween
  5. Allows you the opportunity to take part in a Semester abroad and several internships that increase your exposure
  6. Degree holders tend to earn more overtime than those with an Ausbildung
  7. Lower unemployment rates than those with an Ausbildung
  8. Allows easier change of careers. Even with a degree in Engineering, it’s still possible to work in a bank for example.


Disadvantage of University

  1. You need atleast €8000 in a fixed account or a sponsor to get a visa
  2. You get very little time to get to know the practical side of the sector before graduating
  3. Although most Universities offer a recommended study duration, the flexibility tends to confuse some students leading to some taking many many years before graduating. (Worth noting though, is that as a foreign student in Germany, you are only allowed to extend your study duration by 3semesters more than the recommended study time.)

Source : mkenya


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