A young woman works in a laboratory. Measuring devices and test tubes are on the table.
 © Gorodenkoff Productions OU / Fotolia

IT and natural science

Information technology specialists, laboratory technicians, technical biological assistants and many more occupations besides. Know-how in IT and in natural science is much sought after in Germany. Large numbers of experts are needed in the IT sector in particular.

Persons in this sector frequently work across a broad range of branches. Opportunities are diverse and include the automobile, energy, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries and consultancy services. The public sector also offers prospects, for example in ministries, at government authorities or at scientific and technical research institutes.

Do I need to have my professional or vocational qualification recognised?

No, you will usually not need to obtain recognition for your professional or vocational qualification. There are no general restrictions to accessing professions or occupations in this sector.

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.

  • 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 be able to evaluate your qualification.

No recognition via a recognition procedure exists for academic qualifications in the IT and natural sciences sector. You may, however, apply for a certificate evaluation from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)..

How can I become qualified for the various professions and occupations in Germany?

Dual training programmes

If you undertake dual training in Germany, you will spend 2-3 years learning an occupation at a vocational school whilst at the same time gaining practical experience at a company. Relevant training occupations in the IT sector include information technology specialist and mathematical-technical assistant. In the case of the scientific occupations, various laboratory-based occupations are on offer such as physics laboratory technician or materials tester.

Advanced training

Advanced training programmes mainly qualify you for management tasks and self-employment. The Vocational Training Act provides for advanced training programmes right across the country. You normally embark upon advanced training after completion of vocational education and training, usually having gained several years of occupational experience. One example of an advanced training occupation would be certified pharmaceutical consultant. The equivalent in the IT sector is certified IT developer. In some cases, the level of these advanced training programmes corresponds to that of academic qualifications such as a Bachelor or Master degree.

School-based training

School-based training programmes at full-time vocational schools are also available in the different federal states in Germany. These are of 2-3 years’ duration. Alongside technical teaching courses, you will usually complete at least one practical placement during your training. At the end of the programme, you will sit a state examination. Qualifications include state certified technician specialised in information technology.

Continuing training programmes at trade and technical schools (these occupations are only available in some federal states)

Some federal states also offer continuing training programmes at trade and technical schools. These are similar to advanced training programmes in that they qualify you to take on management tasks and impart important knowledge for possible self-employment. The level of continuing training programmes provided at trade and technical schools is equivalent to the academic level of a Bachelor degree. Continuing training at a trade and technical school may, for example, lead to the qualification of state-certified technician.

Academic qualifications

In Germany, you may study a wide range of IT-related or scientific subjects at universities and Universities of Applied Sciences in disciplines such as biology, physics, information technology or pharmacy. Depending on the programme, you will usually be awarded the academic degree of Bachelor of Science or Master of Science.

There is also the possibility of combining dual training (see above) with a course of higher education study. In this way, both qualifications are acquired. This is referred to as dual higher education study.