Germany is the European economic motor. It offers many opportunities, it is reliable and efficient such as its trains, cars and electrical appliances. It is one of the best fields for young enthusiastic engineers or young professionals. In the same sector, for example automobile industry, many different jobs are offered to these same graduates. The most demanded profiles are those professionals who are able to work in more than one industry, because the specialization in Germany is achieved by working (learning by doing). Telecommunications engineering, industrial engineering, management engineering, logistics management, electronic engineering, informatics are studies with the highest chances to find a job both in South and West Germany and also Hamburg. Finding a job as an engineer in Berlin and East Germany is a little bit more complicated.
The German industry grows slowly but constantly, and due to the low birth rate, many professionals will be needed in the future, not only engineers but also nurses, teachers, social workers, physiotherapists… If the exportations continue to grow and the industry is able to create new jobs, recruiters will find several difficulties to find workers who fit perfectly with highly demanded profiles.
To come back to the subject of the specialization, I would like to remark an important feature of the German labour market and the German way of thinking. Rigidity, strictness, lack of flexibility are present when comes a new opportunity to change your field of expertise. Once you start to work, it’s usual to go in depth in a specific task, and after several months, the young professional is “tagged” as expert in this field. Therefore, it would be difficult in the future to find something else not related to this “specialization”. It could be complicated to prove to a German company that he or she is perfectly able to work in other areas with different responsibilities. To get rid of this “tag” and finding a new job can also be exhausting. Many Germans work much time for the same company in the same job because they do not need to change, they feel good doing what they do and they know that change is always difficult. This lack of flexibility and resistance to change is quite usual in south-German workers. In many cases, change means working for another company, with bigger responsibilities but in the same field they are “tagged”. In my opinion, the acquired competencies in a concrete job are perfectly applicable to other jobs from other sectors.
In this first article I would like to transmit that the German labour market is challenging, broad, it offers lots of opportunities. There are an infinity of different positions. Besides, engineering jobs are well paid (mostly higher in comparison with some countries of the EU). South-Germany offers new opportunities in automobile industry and related fields, the West is the home of the traditional heavy and services industry and Hamburg, with its harbor, is an important node of logistics and aeronautic companies. On the other side, once some experience acquired, it is difficult (but not impossible) to change to a different field.
Pablo Genovard Carpio