wie-kann-man-sich-fuer-ein-studium-entscheiden.md 11.9 KB
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# How Can I Decide What to Study?
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![Entscheidung Studium, Infoillustration von <a href=](https://collaborating.tuhh.de/itbh/hopon-study-gitbook/raw/master/de/abb/study_grafiken/wie-kann-man-sich-fuer-ein-studium-entscheiden.jpg)Riesenspatz</a> für Hop-on, ist lizenziert unter einer [Creative Commons Lizenz CC-BY 4.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)" />.
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In Germany there are currently more than [400 professions with vocational education (Ausbildungsberufe)](https://berufenet.arbeitsagentur.de/berufenet/faces/index?path=null/suchergebnisse&fil=eJwzNDAwBEJsAABHRAUU)and more than [19.000 courses of study (Studiengänge)](https://www.hochschulkompass.de/studium/studiengangsuche/erweiterte-studiengangsuche.html).
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There is a difference between:
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- Vocational training (Ausbildung) with the aim of getting a professional qualification and
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- Academic education (Studium) with the aim of getting an academic degree.
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If, for example, you would like to be a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer, you need a degree.
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If you want to work in the general sector for health, law or engineering, you can get a degree or a professional qualification (vocational training).
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The German system for vocational education is special. The dual training system is especially rare in other countries as they don't always have this type of education. More information about professions that require vocational training can be found in the Hop-on Vocational Training Book [How Can I Prepare For A Profession That Requires Vocational Training?](#informationen)
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Generally, you differentiate between studies at an institute of higher education by:
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- Undergraduate studies (grundständiges Studium) and,
- Postgraduate studies (weiterführendes Studium).
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An undergraduate degrees are your first studies if you don't have an academic degree yet. Most of the time, an undergraduate degree is a bachelor's. For certain studies, you get an academic degree through a state exam. Once you have your first degree, you can start your postgraduate studies. A postgraduate degree is, for example, a masters.
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Out of the 19.000 courses of studies, around 10.000 are undergraduate and 9.000 are postgraduate. The course of studies are either organised by the state or by private institutes of education. Private institutes of higher education always cost money.
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It's hard to find a course of study that fits your interests, skills and goals.
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In an [article from Zeit-Online](http://www.zeit.de/studium/studienfuehrer-2015/entscheidung-studium-entscheiden), different students talk about what they decided to study. The article is in German.
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If you need help, you can get personal advice. Every institute of higher education has a student advice center. In all of the German Federal States, there are institutions that give advice about education and professional orientation. In the chapter called [Where can I find counselling services and projects about studying?](../allgemein/wo-finde-ich-beratungsangebote-und-projekte-zum-thema-studium.md), you can find a list of counselling services.
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You can make a decision by asking yourself different questions. We will give you some ideas for the type of questions you should be asking yourself. There are many more of course.
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4 important factors for the choice of a course of study are:
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1 Interest for the subject
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2 Personal competences and skills
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3 Expectations of the study
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4 Professional Goals
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## 1 How Can You Find Out What Interests You?
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You can ask yourself the following questions:
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- What subjects was I interested in at school?
- What are my hobbies? What do I find fun?
- What do I dedicate myself to or involve myself in?
- What activities make me forget the time?
- What would I voluntarily get up for in the mornings?
- What have I always liked to do?
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You can also take a test online, using the [Hochschulkompass](https://www.hochschulkompass.de/studium-interessentest.html) website or the [studifinder.de](https://www.studifinder.de/?ac=studytest-overview) website from North Rhine-Westphalia, for example. The tests are in German.
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## 2 How can you find out what competences and skills you have?
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You can ask yourself the following questions:
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- What kind of educational and professional experience do I have?
- What can I do well (not only at school but also in other areas)? 
  - Am I good at being organised?
  - Am I good at quickly understanding technical systems?
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- What subjects did I have good grades in?
- What qualifications or certificates do I have?
- Which profession do I already have experience in?
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If you don't know where to begin, you can get an idea of what skills you have by taking Ruhr-University Bochum's online test [Borakel](http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/borakel/mein-berufsweg.htm). The website is in German. You have to register.
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## How Can You Know Whether a Course of Study Matches Your Expectations?
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You can:
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- Speak to students at the institutes of higher education and ask them questions,
- Find out information at the student advice center,
- Attend informative events at institutes of higher education,
- Register as a guest student.
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If you can't meet any students personally, you should have a look on the internet. On the website called [oneweekexperience](https://www.oneweekexperience.de/) you can find a student. You can get to know a course of study, see what an institute of higher education and a student's life is like for a week. In this [Video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwd7sml_GK4) you can find out information on how to do a week like that. You must register on the website. The website is in German.
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You can find out more information about being a guest student at [What is a guest student?](../vorbereitungen/was-ist-eine-gasthoererschaft.md)
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Some institutes of higher education also offer an online study selection assistant (Online-Studienwahl-Assistenten, OSA). An OSA can help you get a first impression of a course of study. All OSAs are currently only in German.
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Here are 3 examples of OSAs:
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[OSA of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, study track Information and Data Management ](http://osa.fh-potsdam.de/informations-unddatenmanagement/)
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[OSA of the University of Hamburg, Psychology Studies](http://www.stups.uni-hamburg.de/)
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[OSAs of the Free University of Berlin, many courses of studies](http://www.osa.fu-berlin.de/)
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## How Can You Find Out What Career Opportunities You Have With A Specific Degree?
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You can talk to people that work in the profession you want to work in.
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If you don't know anyone personally, you can also have a look on the internet. On [whatchado.com](https://www.whatchado.com/de/) you can watch some videos. In the videos, people talk about what professions they have and how they got them, for example a [Steuerberater](https://www.whatchado.com/de/stories/ivan-grasic) (tax consultant) or an [IT Projektmanager](https://www.whatchado.com/de/stories/jawed-zamani) (IT project manager). It is an Austrian website so a lot of people speak Austrian German. There are some videos in English and other languages.
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You can also look at statistics. The Employment Agency regularly analyses the German labor market. Using the analysis, twice a year, they determine which professions are hiring many employees and which regions don't have enough people with the right qualifications for that profession. The Employment Agency differentiates these professions by qualification. This means they distinguish between professionals of skilled labor (professional qualification), specialist (master craftsmen) and expert (academic degree). These professions can be found on the [Employment Agency Website ](https://statistik.arbeitsagentur.de/Navigation/Statistik/Arbeitsmarktberichte/Fachkraeftebedarf-Stellen/Fachkraeftebedarf-Stellen-Nav.html). The website is in German. The [positive list](https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/web/wcm/idc/groups/public/documents/webdatei/mdaw/mdex/~edisp/l6019022dstbai447048.pdf?_ba.sid=L6019022DSTBAI447051) is created using the analysis.
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There are professions where a lot of people need to be hired with professional qualifications or academic degrees and there aren't enough people with the right qualifications for that profession. There are mainly professions in the field of Engineering, IT and Health Care.
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## Which Degrees Can Get You A Job the Fastest and Pays Well?
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There is no simple answer to this question.
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Often, there are differences between regions in Germany, for example in terms of unemployment or salary.
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Also there isn't always an automatic link between the chances of finding work and the salary. Also, even if many employees are looking to be hired, it doesn't always mean that you earn a lot of money in that profession.
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There are various websites that give information about salary in vocational training or a profession. Often, you can get this information for all of Germany, East Germany, West Germany or the Federal States.
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On the website called [Professional Development Navigator (Berufsentwicklungsnavigator, BEN)](https://ben.arbeitsagentur.de/ben/faces/index;jsessionid=tS6l1-5zz1shfwo3QSxFZLfAkW98PM0DQqFgFebAe3qBF_Kn2A4o!655784641?path=null), you can look up a profession and see how many applicants there are in a city for that profession for a job. Click on „wieder einsteigen" (re-enter) and it will give you a profession (for example, interpreter) and a city.
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**Tip:**
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Researchers have shown that you will be especially successful when studying if your interests and skills match well.
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For example:
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The prospects on the labour market for scientists and engineers, natural scientists and engineers are very good. But more students drop out of these subjects than they do any other subjects. In [Maths and Natural sciences 39 % of student drop out and in Engineering it is 36 %](http://www.dzhw.eu/pdf/pub_vt/21/2017-02-18_vortrag_studienabbruch_isleib.pdf).
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This is why your professional goal and prospects on the labor market aren't the only things to keep in mind. You should also think about:
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- What professional goal do I have and why?
- How can I reach my professional goal?
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- Which way best suits me personally?
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- What kind of ideas and concepts do I have from school?
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Dropping out is not the end of a career. During your studies, you will learn a lot of things that can be used in different ways. If you started a study but you're now unsure about it, you can take a test on [PrevDrop](http://prevdrop.zab-consult.com/frontend/www/index.php?r=uberTest/view&id=9). The test is in German, English and Italian. At the end you will also get more information about advice centers and alternatives.
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## You Want To Speak To Someone About Your Personal Ideas and Questions?
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In the chapter called [Where can I find counselling services and projects about studying?](../allgemein/wo-finde-ich-beratungsangebote-und-projekte-zum-thema-studium.md), you can find counselling services in your state.
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## You Don't Have A Computer?
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In every city or region, there are institutions with computers where you can look up jobs, professions or vocational training for free.
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The Employment Agency has, for example, the Center for Professional Information (Berufsinformationszentrum, BiZ). You can talk to them about finding vocational training, courses or jobs. You can also write an application and print it out. On the [Employment Agency Website](https://www3.arbeitsagentur.de/web/content/DE/BuergerinnenUndBuerger/Detail/index.htm?dfContentId=L6019022DSTBAI485471) there is a list of addresses for the BiZ. The website is in German.
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You can also go to libraries and use a computer for free for a certain amount of time. Sometimes you have to sign up too the library before hand.
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On the [library portal](http://www.bibliotheksportal.de/bibliotheken/bibliotheken-in-deutschland/bibliotheksadressen.html) you can find all the libraries in Germany. The website is in German.
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## Mehr Informationen
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- [What Requirements Are There For Studying?](../voraussetzungen/welche-voraussetzungen-gibt-es-fuer-ein-studium.md)
- [What ways are there to getting an academic degree in Germany?](../wege/welche-wege-zu-einem-akademischen-abschluss-gibt-es-in-deutschland.md)
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Stand: [22.11.2017]