How Speaking German Will Give You A Key Advantage in The Job Market

Generally speaking, any additional skill that one has will always give them an edge, especially in the current highly competitive international job market, and multilingual skill is for such not an exception. Speaking Germany, from my experience and those of many expatriates in Germany, will give an edge in the job market. If you asked me, I’d say it may be a necessity, especially if you do not want to have to compete with many other people who go for English-speaking jobs in Germany.

Experiences of learning the German language is very different amongst international students: Whereas you have those who still struggle with the language hitherto, even after more than 5 years in Germany, some think it is a lovely language and is reasonably simple for native English speakers.

Although many degree programs are available in English, which is good for international students, and English is also spoken in some major German cities, the experience after school is not the same: The fact is, what you experience depends on your discipline and the area you want to focus on career-wise. In core disciplines that involve direct interactions with the locals – e.g. Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and the likes, German is a must to get a job: You’d most likely neither find the study programs in English nor work in such fields speaking the English language. The relevance of the language in the job market becomes obvious in such a case. In other disciplines that do not involve direct interaction with the locals, e.g. IT and Software Development, Life Science & Molecular Biology, and Engineering to some level, your German language skills may not play a big role in finding a study program and/or a job after your studies.

Whatever your case may be, one thing is certain, having basic German skills would be a plus – you have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Having business proficiency of the language is for sure a very smart career move in the German job market, especially if you dream of working in internationally renowned German companies such as Pharma companies like Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck and BASF; automobile companies like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Daimler, Audi and Volkswagen; and electronic & engineering companies like Siemens and Bosch.

Besides working in Germany, German proficiency will also give you an edge in some areas of your life abroad; the language is gradually becoming one of the most commonly spoken languages worldwide. According to deutschland.de, there are about 130 million people who speak German as their mother tongue worldwide. It is the most common native language and also the (an) official language in at least five counties in the European Union; Germany, Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. It is also one of the official languages in Switzerland (in addition to French and English). Outside the EU, around 7.5 million people spread across 42 countries speak German as a minor language. The similarity of the German language to other languages, e.g. Dutch and Danish, may also help you understand such languages when you find yourself in that environment.

How many international languages can you speak?

Do you have any experience with a foreign language abroad?

Responses

  1. People worry a lot about the German language, but the truth is, your skills are more important than the language. Keep that in mind – be an expert in your field before the laguage.

    1. Employers will hire you because of your skills (experience) and attitudes and not necessarily because of the language. Of course, some jobs require a good level of the language proficiency, but generally speaking, language is always secondary when it comes to hiring abroad.