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Business and management

Occupations in business and management exist across all sectors of trade and industry and in every category of enterprise from small firms to major company groups. There is a multitude of possible areas of deployment in public administration, in trade and industry, in the service sector, in the craft trades or in the media. Tasks performed are equally diverse. Activities range from processing and clerking roles all the way to management and leadership functions.

Typical training pathways and occupations in trade and industry and business

Commercial dual VET Programmes

Dual vocational education and training means that training takes place at a vocational school and at a company. Training generally lasts for 2-3 years. A large number of different commercial occupations are available, including office manager, sales assistant for retail services and hotel specialist.

Continuing training

Certified business Economist
In Germany, certified business economist is the highest non-academic qualification in business administration. It is an advanced training qualification which allows management assistants or certified senior clerks to work in management positions. The final examinations are usually taken at the chambers of commerce and industry. This qualification is equivalent to a master’s degree from institutes of higher education.

Senior technical clerk
Certified senior technical clerks work at the interface of production, technology and commerce within a company. The nature of the advanced training leading to this qualification is similar to the advanced training undertaken by a certified business economist (see above). The final examinations are usually taken at the chambers of commerce and industry. This qualification is equivalent to a master’s degree from institutes of higher education.

Certified business economist in accordance with the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code
This advanced training qualification was specially developed for master craftsmen in the craft trades sector. The advanced training imparts all the specialist business knowledge necessary to work in the management of craft trade businesses or to start up a company. This qualification builds on the advanced training undertaken by master craftsmen and is the highest level qualification in the craft trades sector in Germany. It is equivalent to a master’s degree from institutes of higher education.

Continuing training (these occupations are only available in some federal states)

State-certified business economist in relevant specialisms
This qualification involves continuing business training at a trade and technical school or at a specialised academy. Various specialisms are available, including marketing, commerce and controlling. The continuing training concludes with a state examination and leads to the qualification of “state-certified business economist”. The continuing training programmes and specialisms are regulated by the federal states. They may differ in each federal state. This qualification is equivalent to a Bachelor degree from institutes of higher education.

Degree in Business Administration

In Germany, the subject of “Business Administration” may be studied at university or at a University of Applied Sciences. The degree course offers a wide choice of specialisms (such as marketing, production, controlling). An academic degree at diploma, bachelor or master’s level is awarded upon successful completion of the programme.

The online portal BERUFENET, which forms part of the website of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), provides a detailed summary of all occupations in the field of business and trade and industry.

Do I need recognition?

These are generally non-regulated occupations. Recognition is not mandatory in non-regulated occupations. Requirements for individual jobs are stipulated by the employers. Recognition does, however, bring benefits. The recognition notice you receive is an official and legally secure document. Your professional or vocational qualification will then enjoy the same status under the law as a German professional or vocational qualification. This will increase your chances when making a job application because potential employers will immediately recognise that your professional or vocational qualification is comparable with the level of a German professional or vocational qualification. Last but not last, recognition may also be useful in salary negotiations.

You can also submit job applications if you have only obtained partial recognition. As well as identifying areas in which there are differences to the German reference occupation, your recognition notice also documents your skills. This means that every application makes it transparent to the employer what you are able to do.

No system of recognition via a conventional recognition procedure exists for higher education qualifications in the field of business. You may, however, apply for a certificate evaluation from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).