How do I make an apprenticeship easier

Apprenticeship or study: what brings more salary

Apprenticeship or study - there are many ways to find a job. Years ago, the classic for this was the operational one training. It's more like that now Education. More and more students are doing their Abitur (women especially) and most of them then start studying at a university or college. But is it also financially worthwhile? After all, trainees receive a (albeit small) salary from the first day of their training, while students first have to invest in their training and may have a full (student loan) debt package after graduation that they have to pay off. And indeed, the formula is correct: Those who study earn more later. In some subjects, however, you are better off with an apprenticeship ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Those who study generally earn more

Those who study have higher income prospects - at least that is the result of a DIW study (PDF). At that time, the researchers analyzed the data of the microcensus for the years 2005 to 2008, particularly on people of working age between 21 and 65 years. So a total of around 190,133 employees with different training.


  • Unsurprisingly, the highest hourly wages - women and men alike - were achieved in the subjects of dentistry and medicine.
  • Studying business administration and law is also lucrative for men. Or (afterwards) to complete an international management degree (as offered, for example, by the EBC University).
  • According to the study, the least financial reward for men is completing a degree in social work, history, regional studies or architecture.
  • For women, on the other hand, business administration is not the best choice. Surprisingly, graduates of a teaching degree achieve a higher salary statistically and in the long term than graduates of a business administration degree.
  • It is even less lucrative for women to study technical and scientific subjects. They earn below average in mechanical engineering, mathematics and civil engineering. The current strong demand for female graduates increases job opportunities, but in the long term the expected wages are not that high.
  • What is also exciting about the study, however, is that men with commercial training, especially as insurance clerks or in accounting, can achieve relatively high hourly wages. At least the income prospects here exceed those of graduates, graduates in humanities or some engineers and natural scientists.
  • Trainees in technical subjects such as precision mechanics, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, on the other hand, are in demand today. The study also shows, however, that those who complete a comparable academic qualification are usually better off financially afterwards.
  • For women, training in the areas of marketing, media and advertising, IT, medical services, insurance and finance, foreign languages ​​and transport technology then results in comparatively higher salaries.
  • Even if still very popular: women earn less than average with the classic - training in retail.

Apprenticeship or studies: what speaks for each career path

Arguments for studying

The following speaks in favor of completing a degree:

  • Unemployment statistics.

    University graduates are less likely to be unemployed than less qualified people.

  • Career prospects.

    Most companies nowadays require a university degree for senior (and better-paid) positions.

  • Career choice.

    Some professions can only be chosen after having completed a degree: doctor, lawyer, teacher.

  • Orientation.

    The long-term professional goal can also be defined during the studies and thus a specialization can be targeted.

  • Disadvantage:

    Long pre-financing and later start into professional life. Much self-discipline and organization required.

Arguments for an apprenticeship

In turn, the following speaks in favor of completing an apprenticeship:

  • Practice.

    If you want to work less theoretically and more practically, you will find more offers here. Work experience is gained on the first day of training.

  • Independence.

    Numerous apprenticeships enable advancement as a manager in the craft or even self-employment (master craftsman).

  • Crossing.

    The completion of an apprenticeship does not have to be the end, for many it also serves as an intermediate step to study, with the advantage of improving the study budget in the semester break instead of working as a student assistant in the profession.

  • Job prospects.

    Numerous trainees are subsequently taken on by their training company. This is not a guarantee, but with a good degree, there is no job search and the first salary increase follows after three years at the latest.

  • Disadvantage:

    In the long term, the salary prospects remain relatively low, and it is difficult to switch to other professions later without retraining.

Training or study? 44 questions to aid decision-making

Sit down when deciding between Apprenticeship or study please do not under pressure and do not let others do this for you. Gone are the days when your apprenticeship or studies finally and definitely shape your future career path. Today you have numerous Career options open, many of which will only open up during your professional life. Also about Advanced training you can later open up new professional fields and even change industries.

So that you can make better choices today, here are a few Orientation questions:

  • I already have a rough idea of my future career aspirations?
  • Can my job ideas be better achieved with an apprenticeship or a degree?
  • are my notes good enough for potentially interesting courses and training?
  • Which subjects and topics were I already interested in at school?
  • Which - not necessarily subject-specific - Have I discovered strengths in myself?
  • What strengths and abilities do teachers, friends and family see in me?
  • Which Passions and interests do I want to follow?
  • Which courses and training courses feel wrong or inappropriate to me?
  • I long for practical work or does the deeper theoretical introduction to certain topics and areas appeal to me?
  • Which educational path offers me better opportunities to pursue my interests?
  • I need more clear structures or do I want to be able to design a lot myself?
  • Do I want to see the meaning and practical application of the knowledge I have learned or is it enough for me to grasp it theoretically and intellectually?
  • How important is that to me Duration of my educational path?
  • Can I finance both educational paths?
  • Do I have the Support from my parents and friends for training and studies or am I alone on one of the two paths?
  • What study and training opportunities are there in my area?
  • I can and will for study or training move?
  • Do I - or someone in my family - already have good contacts with companies that would take me as an apprentice?
  • I have Previous knowledge and experiencethat are counted towards studies or training and could shorten the educational time?
  • Which educational path - study or training - can I prepare better for?
  • Which decision to make my friends and / or what reasons are important to them?
  • Can I still meet the registration deadlines for studies and training?
  • I fulfill all of them Requirements and prerequisites for my favorite courses of study or training?
  • Do I already know students or trainees in training and study courses that are interesting for me?
  • Which Funding opportunities can I use it for my studies or for training?
  • Do I have friends and acquaintances at potential universities or vocational schools who could support me?
  • Are there any eligible universities or training companies? in cities that interest me?
  • Do I already have acquaintances or friends in possible training or study locations?
  • I find it on the lecture or timetable Subjects and topics that appeal to me and inspire?
  • What impression do training companies and universities make on me at on-site appointments?
  • Offer companies and universities Open house days or training / study days?
  • Can I vividly imagine my studies or training and does this idea feel good?
  • I learn best with specifications or independently?
  • Do I like to read a lot and can / do I want to familiarize myself with specialist books on my own?
  • Do I need that Contact with colleagues with practical experience or is dealing with fellow students and lecturers enough for me?
  • From today's perspective, which educational path offers me better career prospects?
  • Which educational path suits best to my wishes and dreams?
  • How much knowledge do I have to acquire for my studies or for training before starting?
  • Which problems can I already make out which educational pathway?
  • How many training companies or universities can I choose from?
  • How much effort do I have to invest in the respective applications?
  • What advantages do I expect from studying or training over the other training path?
  • Predominate in one of the two ways the disadvantages?
  • What do teachers who are good in my opinion recommend me?
[Photo credit: fizkes by]

Even more tips and advice on training

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March 26, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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