Vocational training preparation

To plan your own career it is essential to know your strengths and weaknesses, capabilities, preferences, wishes and ideas. At best you are already able to name a certain profession or an occupational field which you are interested in. If you don’t know your career plans yet, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my capabilities?
  • What are my personal strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are my wishes and ideas for my professional future?
  • What are my medium and long-term objectives and which intermediate steps are necessary?
  • Am I ready to make sacrifices? (Change of residence, less free time, salary loss, etc.)

The general rule is:

The more you like to learn in practical training the more you should think about starting your vocational training (The dual training system is the most common training type in Germany) or a dual study programme. If you prefer predominantly a theoretical training you would be better off with a study programme at university or university of applied science. (Please consider that this is a general statement and each study course and occupational training has its own profile.)

Here you see advantages and disadvantages of vocational training:


  • Having practical work experience
  • Consequent preparation for your future profession
  • Clearly defined activities and tasks, integration in everyday working processes
  • Regular working hours
  • Collecting experiences in the everyday work with chiefs and colleagues
  • “Manageable” training period, two till four years
  • Fixed salary, low financial dependency on parents
  • Good chances to get an employment in your training company when achieving a good school-leaving certificate
  • Opportunities to participate in further education programmes, possibility to acquire additional qualifications or postgraduate courses


  • Occupational training exclusively for one profession, this means early commitment to one special occupational profile
  • Low margin to act and decide on your own
  • Also with perennial work experiences generally lower salary than university graduates
  • Limited opportunities for career development
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